Introducing Jedi News Network: Lockdown Legends

For most of the world, they are living day to day like Yoda on Dagobah, having to cope with isolation. Here in the UK, like in so many countries, we are being kept indoors until this crisis passes, only allowed out to get bare essentials. Living like this, of course we need some escapism and if you’re reading this, or in fact any part of Jedi News, we can pretty much guarantee that escapism will be through Star Wars.

The literature team here are used to bringing you reviews of the latest comics every week. We know that many of you enjoy reading these. However, the comic book industry is not immune to the issues facing the real world at the moment. It is looking more likely that we may not be having any new content for the foreseeable future. Not only that, this means comic book stores will be having a lot less income coming through their doors.

A very wise Jedi Master once said that, “always in motion the future is” and here at Jedi News we are putting ourselves into motion to try and help you get back to your escapism.

Now before we lay out our plan for the next few weeks and possibly months, we can’t take total credit for this. Cavan Scott gave us the idea when he recently tweeted that he was starting to reread Star Wars: Prelude to Rebellion, which forms the first story arc of the Republic series. It is now twenty years old (yup, we feel old too!) and there will be many new fans who have not read this tremendous series, as well as others.

So, after lengthy discussions, favours called in from friends of Jedi News and some arm twisting and bribery, Lockdown Legends has now been born! What will we be doing? The team at Jedi News are going to bring you regular reviews of previously released comic book series over the course of the COVID-19 crisis.

Some of you will have these issues you can use them to follow us through our journey. If not? Well, we know that this is a very worrying time for a lot of industries at the minute, including the comic industry. Comic book stores are having to close their doors and are not sure if they will be able to open again. So, with this in mind, if you don’t already have the issues, you could purchase them from a local comic store if it is open for online trade or kerbside pickups. You can find your nearest store here to see what services they are offering. You can also purchase copies from Amazon UK and US or digitally from comiXology or Marvel to help support the industry as a whole. It’s a little something that we, as fans, can do to help an industry that we all so love dearly.

We then have a couple of new guests who have volunteered to join our literature team who we are sure need no introduction to you all. Here’s an overview covering who our new recruits are and a  guide to what each of us will be reviewing.

Steve Galloway (Literature Editor)
Star Wars (1977-1986) #7 onwards
Steve will be going back to his youth and reliving what it was like in the late seventies by reviewing the original Marvel series. Regarded as an absolute classic, this will hopefully be the nudge to get fans who have yet to discover this series (myself included) to grab copies and read along. Steve has always been so enthusiastic about this series, I’m sure he will provide a unique and fresh viewpoint to these issues.

Kat Rees-Jauke (Literature Reviewer)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2006-7) #1 onwards
Kat will be reviewing the very popular Knights of the Old Republic series by John Jackson Miller. Kat is a sequel trilogy girl, but loves Darth Revan, making this an ideal series for her to read. This era still has a huge following and it seems right to include this in our return back to the past. The series spanned fifty issues and was one of the flagship titles for Dark Horse back in the mid-2000’s.

 

David Whiteley (BBC Presenter and Star Wars fan)
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (1995-8) – The Rebel Opposition #1 onwards
David Whiteley in recent months has been called a “super fan“. He is the brains behind the documentaries “The Galaxy Britain Built” and “Toy Empire” that aired on BBC 4 last December. It is great to have David on board and he will be reviewing the much-loved Rogue Squadron comic series that was released by Dark Horse. Adorned with incredible covers by Dave Dorman and co-written by fan favourite Michael Stackpole (who also did the Rogue Squadron novels), this was a dearly loved series.

Tony Fleecs (Artist for Star Wars Adventures and My Little Pony)
Star Wars: Droids (1986-7) #6
If you’ve followed my reviews of Star Wars Adventures, you will know just how much love I have for Tony’s work. He also does artwork for My Little Pony (which makes my daughter very happy). We recently interviewed Tony about his love of Star Wars, and after his latest issues of Adventures being very Droid centric, we thought it the perfect for Tony to review his favourite issue from the Droids series of comics.

Matt ‘Jammies’ Springer (Literature Reviewer)
Dark Empire I (1991-1992) #1 onwards
Jammies will be dusting off his much loved copy of Dark Empire I. Starting at the beginning of the first volume, he will unravel the iconic series brought to us by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy at a time when the resurgence in Star Wars and it’s expanded universe had started to evolve.

Mark Alders (Literature Reviewer)
Star Wars: Prelude to Rebellion (1998-2006) #1 onwards
I will be taking my cue from Cavan Scott and reviewing the Republic series which went for over eighty issues, and also went through a renaming to The Clone Wars. It was the The Clone Wars series that was the first I ever read.

Starting tomorrow, at 17:01 BST, we will launch our first review, which will be Star Wars: Prelude to Rebellion #1. Then every other day a new review will follow at the same time slot.

This is not all that we shall be doing to help support you at home as well as the comic book industry. We already have a few surprises lined up during the course of Lockdown Legends, so keep your eyes open! After each review is published, we would love to hear your opinions using the #LockdownLegends and #JediNewsNetwork hashtags via Twitter or Facebook. We may be isolated in our houses, but that does not mean we need to be isolsated online!

Now we have a call to arms for others to join in and help us support the industry. Are there any comic industry editors, writers or artists who would like to join us and review their favourite Star Wars comic? If your schedules allow it, please get in touch with us via Twitter or by email and we would be happy to have you as our guests.

So, go grab your comic boxes, find out your old comics, find your local comic book store to see if they’re open for business or go to your digital comic supplier and get ready to join us as we go revisit the past. This is a difficult time for all of us, but we still need our regular escape to a galaxy far, far away…

May the force be with you, always!