Sunday, October 17, 2010

700 BBY: Star Wars Tales Volume 4: Heart of Darkness

Minch is not Yoda.

I was disappointed by this fact, as I thought Heart of Darkness was going to reveal something of Yoda’s youth – a fact I both bemoaned and appreciated. I appreciated it because I think it’s for the best that Yoda’s past remain shrouded in mystery. There has to be something mysterious left in the Star Wars universe, and Yoda is one of those characters which hasn’t lost his mystery. I also bemoan this fact because I thought a simple story from Yoda’s knighthood would not subtract from his mystery – but then again, maybe it would. As it is, Heart of Darkness is still an origin story which links itself to the Empire Strikes Back.

After reading this comic I, at first, thought Minch was just another name Yoda went by in his youth: a name later to be changed to Yoda. But as Leeland Chee said on wookieepedia “Minch is not part of Yoda’s name”, putting any debate that this character is a young Yoda to bed. Interestingly, Minch was originally Yoda’s first name in the early drafts of the Empire script, but was later dropped for the simple name ‘Yoda’. What is more, in Jedi vs. Sith, on page 132, there is a picture of Yoda “battling Bpfasshi Dark Jedi”. I wonder if Edwards received the inspiration for the picture from Heart of Darkness.

We’ve moved ahead another 280 years in Star War history, to a time where the Galactic Republic rules strong and the Jedi Order looks robust and healthy. In this time-frame it seems the Jedi Order is taking threats of the Sith and Dark Jedi seriously, and not simply burying its head in the sand believing the Sith to be extinct, but actively going and meeting these threats head-on.

Written by Paul Lee and penciled by Paul Lee and Brian Horton, Heart of Darkness, Tale #16 which appeared in Star Wars Tales volume 4, tells the story of Jedi Knight Minch, and his defeat of a Bpfasshi darkside Master. The defeat of the master took place in the famous cave on Dagobah, where Luke received his vision of Vader. Fighting past the dark Master’s use of Dun Moch, Minch managed to cut down the dark leader. As the Bpfasshi Master lay dying, his final words to the Yoda-like creature were eerie: “You will make a great addition to the Dark Jedi…one day”. I wonder if the words of this dark master come to fruition sometime in the future, or if this was simply his continued use of Dun Moch on Minch.

Regardless, as the end of the text states regarding the cave: “A new place of power, anointed with the sweat of the just and the blood of the wicked, is founded”. It is this cave that Yoda later comes to during his self-imposed exile. If I remember correctly, it is because of this Dark Master’s black mark on Dagobah that Yoda felt he could hide his presence in the galaxy – away from the searching eyes of Palpatine and Vader.

I enjoyed the art in this piece, and I thought it especially sinister the way the Bpfasshi adept committed suicide rather than being captured. Still, if this story was about Yoda, I don’t think it would take anything away from the Jedi Master’s mystery. This was a neat little tale which further detailed the universe we love. For my next post I’ll be engaging with our old friend Xim once more. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. I agree, it would have been interesting if this was an early Yoda story, and I don't think it would have detracted from his mystery. Nevertheless, that would have contradicted the Thrawn Trilogy, since it says Yoda fights the Bpfashi Dark Jedi during the Clone Wars.
    On a different note, I just wanted to give you a heads up about a couple more items coming up that aren't on Joe's timeline yet:
    580 BBY: Jedi vs. Sith: Part 5: Zeison Sha, 192-193
    580 BBY: Jedi vs. Sith: Part 5: Matukai, 197
    232 BBY: Jedi vs. Sith: Part 3: The Dark Jedi Conflict, 133-134

  2. Ahhh Plaristes, this is why you're my PhD director :) You'll make sure I won't miss a beat in my examinations of Star Wars history.

    I'll defiantly examine these bits of chronology after I've dealt with the Xim material.

    So that's where the picture of Yoda fighting Bpfasshi dark Jedi comes from. Cool.