Wednesday, August 3, 2011
37 BBY: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell
What I enjoyed most about this comic however, was not Windham’s contribution, but the work of Ramon F. Bachs – the art was fantastic! Bachs’ work is familiar to me, as it was his pencil’s I enjoyed in the Jedi vs. Sith comic. I’m not sure if I’ve come across Bachs work in other Star Wars comics I’ve engaged with, but I know there is still more to come for me from this great artist. The comic art makes or breaks the comic, and Bachs makes it every time.
But getting back to the story of the Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell: it was a great little murder mystery tale with neat twists and turns. It even featured a ‘hot farmer’s daughter’. What’s not to love about that character?
However, plot synopsis aside, I want to address two scenes which stuck out at me, both of them having to do with the characterization of Qui-Gon. As great as I think Windham is I think he portrayed Qui-Gon a little harshly in this story. After discovering the Republic rescue team failed in its attempts to rescue Baron Sando, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan discovered many dead bodies on Baron Sando’s freighter, all killed by a savrip. Obi-Wan, in his youthful ignorance declared: “I can’t help but think the universe would be a better place without monsters like savrips”. Qui-Gon quickly shoots back to the boy: “Really….that may be the most impudent comment I’ve ever heard from you”. Ouch! The Qui-Gon I know from Watson’s stories would never had let a comment like that from Obi-Wan slide, much like Windham’s Qui-Gon did not, but Watson’s Qui-Gon would have been a little more gentle in his delivery I think. Obi-Wan would have understood he cross a line, but to call his comment impudent was a little much. The comment came from a place of anger and frustration, and Qui-Gon, as wise master, would have served his pupil better had he addressed the emotion behind the comment, and not focus on the poor choice of words from his student.
The other scene I found that went against Qui-Gon’s character was the final episode in the story. Having discovered it was Baroness Omnino behind the killing of the savrips, the “noble savages” in this narrative, and learning that she was wearing a mind control device around her head, Qui-Gon PROCEEDS TO DECAPITATE HER!!! Holy crap!!! Since when is decapitation the Jedi way?!? I mean, couldn’t he have forced pushed her, or force run at her, or done some other sudden or discombobulating move? Must he have immediately gone to defcon 9 and chopped her head off? It just seemed to me that such an act is defiantly not something Qui-Gon, or any other Jedi master would have done. Taking a life is a rather important call to make. I’ve said it once and I’ll it again: the Jedi are protectors of the peace and protectors of life, regardless of how worthy they think that person may be of that life. They Jedi are not judges, juries, and executioners.
Still, those small critiques aside, Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan: Last Stand on Ord Mantell was one of the most enjoyable Star Wars comics I’ve read. Fir my next post I’m going to continue through my Rise of the Sith omnibus, and engage with the story Aurra’s Song. Until then my friends, May the Force be with you.