Published: September 4, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Penciler: Paolo Villanelli
Cover Artist: Marco Checchetto
Leading into Jedi: Fallen Order™ the upcoming third-person action-adventure Star Wars™ title from Lucasfilm and Respawn Entertainment, DARK TEMPLE follows the Jedi Master ENO CORDOVA and his impulsive Padawan CERE JUNDA on their most dangerous mission yet. The Jedi Council has sent them to the remote planet Ontotho to oversee the peaceful excavation of a mysterious temple that has been uncovered. But they will come to find that what surrounds the temple may be even more dangerous than the mysteries within it. Clandestine local resistance forces and ruthless corporate security troops in a war for the fate of Ontotho – and the Jedi are caught in the middle!
Jedi: Fallen Order. Who didn’t see that trailer!? Jaws dropped and November has been circled on everyone’s calendar for what promises to be an incredible game. To whet our appetites comes the tie-in comic. Star Wars has surprisingly done very well with its tie-in supplements to games. Shadows of the Empire had an incredible story written by Steve Perry, The Old Republic had a very popular series of books, The Force Unleashed (at least the first) had a story straight from the creator and we also had Republic Commando, which started a whole series of masterfully written books that are some of the best found in Legends. If we keep very quiet about The Ruins of Dantooine, then Star Wars’ track record with these sorts of stories is exceptional. So surely nothing to worry about? Yet this is the first time Marvel have linked one of their comics to a video game, and the five-part series have been a very mixed bag. Which side of the coin would Fallen Order fall on?
The start of the story is incredible. Set during the time of Rebels we get to see both the Inquisitor and the Seventh Sister. Both of these characters from Rebels were very well designed, yet under used in the series. I’m glad that they’re being utilised here as well as promising to be back in future issues. The dark tone and the use of colour in the first few pages are well done and really shows the direction the comic will be taking in the coming weeks. It was not the opening I was expecting but it certainly caught my attention.
The rest of the comic goes back to the time of the Prequel Trilogy. It’s always difficult at this stage knowing how much of the story is being influenced by the game, and how much the game is influenced by the story. This fist issue introduces us to a master and an apprentice. From the beginning of meeting them, we get to see the joys (or woes) of the master and apprentice relationship. Usually, we’ve seen this through the eyes of well-known Jedi and I think this works well because these are characters that we don’t know. It shows that Obi-Wan was not alone in his problems with Anakin, that all masters have to deal with impulsive padawans.
Junda is the padawan and I’m sure she is a character that will be very relatable to teenage readers. She is impulsive, doesn’t listen very well and only really realises her mistakes with hindsight. Her master on the other hand, Cordova, is very relatable as a parent, sighing at the mistakes, trying to summon the patience to deal with the child and knowing far more. It allows many readers to be able to relate to this comic in one way or another.
However, the character that stole the show for me was Yoda. He is not in the issue for very long, but when he is, his character shines through. Rosenberg has balanced the Jedi master perfectly between the wise sage and the humourful creature in The Empire Strikes Back. I found myself laughing along with him as he made his little jokes about the padawan. Much like Vader, Yoda is best used sparingly and here it feels just right.
The design of the planet is interesting, and I like that even after so many planets have been created for the Star Wars universe, Rosenberg is still able to give us something a little different. With this comes the mystery of the temple and the Fylari. Who or what are they and what is the significance of the temple?
The artwork does its job well, the colours are used very well, really creating a sense of Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy. The action flows well, meaning the battles are clearly seen.
As this comic came to end, I could not help but want more. There are questions here, aside from the links to the video game, that have me intrigued. And that is what a good first issue to a series should do. It introduces us to the main characters and leaves us wanting more. This is certainly one of the strongest openings to a story that I’ve read, and although I was glad to see the prequel era, what I really want to see is more of that dark opening. I hold my breath with anticipation that the second issue of the series can live up to the strong start of the first…
Jedi Fallen Order – Dark Temple is a five-part series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores. This issue retails at $3.99.