Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Star Wars Dark Times #17
Dark Horse Comics
Harrison, Wheatley & Jackson
The five part storyline called Blue Harvest wraps up in this issue after a series of long gaps between issues. While the overall theme of this arc and series has been in line with the title, Dark Times, this issue bucks that trend in a big way. The issue doesn't exactly tie everything up in a neat little bow; in fact, the ending is very much ambiguous. However, the issue provides a very enjoyable read about a Jedi lost in the time of the Empire's height.
Dass Jennir, in this arc, injected himself in a planet's struggle between two factions of gangs. Neither gang is particularly appealing for the locals and Dass managed to start a war between the two. Until Dass is discovered as the manipulator and is beaten to a pulp. This issue picks up with him having escaped with the help of a local boatman. Dass, beaten and battered, knows the fight isn't over.
This issue is really about Dass coming back out of the fog of not knowing what he should be doing as a displaced Jedi. More so in the previous issues in the series than in this arc we've seen Dass struggle with his role and his place in the new order. He's been mostly rejecting his Jedi training and making choices that don't always help people in dire need. However, with his face and body badly beaten he comes to peace with what he must do and what he wants to do.
Dass wants to fight and he wants to take down both gangs. By whatever means necessary he wants the gangs out of commission with the smallest amount of killing possible. Dass doesn't run and he doesn't take any of the easy ways out. He charges in and acts as a Jedi during the Clone Wars might have where he battles impossible odds regardless of the danger to himself. It's a good coming of age for the character.
Two of the most appealing parts of this particular comic have little to do with the content within the issue. First, the series is continuing in 2011. Despite all of the delays over the last four, yes four, years the series is still going to produce more stories which is a good thing. Secondly, the letters column offers up a lot of information about the inspiration for the story and for the title, Blue Harvest, of the arc. It's a good glimpse into the creative process and shows a strongly rooted story beyond just Star Wars. I found this to be a very good addition to the reading experience.
This issue wraps up the arc well but feels like it's slightly out of place because it seems to actually have a happy ending. This is strange because of all the death and horror that this series has produced in the previous stories. Despite the growth to the point of maturation for the lead character this story leaves you wanting more of him in the future. Fortunately, this series appears to have more life left in it down the road. More Dark Times is a good thing.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles