John Ostrander used to be recognized as one of the best comic book writers in the business. And Star Wars: Legacy proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that he still had it. Together with artist Jan Duursema, Ostrander produced the bulk of a 50 issue series that may be the greatest Star Wars comics ever printed.
Dark Horse is ending Legacy with the current six issue miniseries, of which this is the penultimate issue. For newcomers to Legacy, the premise is simple: nearly 150 years after the first Death Star was destroyed, a new Sith empire rules the galaxy. The Sith are only opposed by the forces loyal to the previous Emperor, the Galactic Alliance and the surviving Jedi. Of course there's also a Skywalker around in the form of Cade Skywalker. He's a rogue pirate who basically serves as the Luke and Han of the story.
At this point, it's a little difficult for new readers to jump in and appreciate what Ostrander and Duursema have done. The Legacy series feels like genuine Star Wars lore even though connections to the original movies are at a bare minimum. Cade himself has undergone an unconventional hero's journey, in that he's continuously spurned his Jedi heritage while trying to keep himself from falling into the Dark Side. He's also the consummate badass that Anakin Skywalker wishes he was. Several of Cade's action sequences in this issue alone are almost on the level of "Force Unleashed," in terms of visual power.
As the final story winds down to its climax, the Jedi, the Alliance and even the Empire have formed a desperate coalition to finally defeat Darth Krayt and his Sith army. Meanwhile, Cade seeks out Krayt after experiencing a vision in which they fought to the death.
My favorite supporting character is actually Cade's mother, Morrigan Corde; who's a rogue Imperial Agent herself. Her reunion and confession with her Imperial family was nicely done, as was Morrigan's moment of revenge against another recurring character. There's also some strong writing shown in the way that Cade interacts with his friends and his former masters in the Jedi order. The entire main cast feels like they have truly changed over the course of the Legacy saga and it's rewarding to see those changes inform their current actions in this miniseries.
Duursema's artwork is stunning throughout, with some incredible work on the characters. The only complaint I have about the lush visuals is that a standard issue seems just too short for some of these epic moments. That's kind of an inherent problem of western comics. When you only have 22 pages in a monthly comic, something usually has to give. In this case, some of the action sequences seem to end just when they're getting really good.
Regardless, Ostrander and Duursema have crafted a Star Wars epic that blows almost every other Star Wars series out of the water. If you've never read Star Wars: Legacy before, this is probably the wrong time to jump in. But if you want to read one hell of a space opera, check out the trades that came before this. Almost everything you've ever loved about Star Wars is waiting for you here.