Written by Matt Owens
Art by Denys Cowan
For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy…but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them!
The new Marvel miniseries Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu is set shortly after Attack of the Clones and the battle of Geonosis. The issue opens with Mace in conversation with Ki-Adi-Mundi. He is troubled with the new role Jedi must take in the galaxy – the role of warriors and generals rather than peace makers – though he sees the necessity of it.
In the Jedi Council, Yoda tasks Windu with a new mission. The Jedi numbers are diminished, while the Separatists’ numbers continually grow and the Jedi are spread thin. A small unit led by Mace (without clone trooper support) is to survey the jungle planet Hissrich where an increasing number of Separatist forces was observed. They are to determine their purpose in secret.
Mace Windu has chosen Kit Fisto – for his lightsaber prowess and his ability to survive in harsh environments, Prosset Dibs – a blind Jedi gifted with great intuition and Rissa Mano – a young Jedi Knight who is an excellent pilot and engineer, to accompany him on this mission.
The dynamic between the Jedi is very interesting. Prosset is another Jedi reluctant to join the war and he is not shy of voicing it, while Rissa is somewhat of an eager puppy – happy to be on the mission with the legendary Mace Windu. The banter between all of them is refreshing, especially with the way the Jedi of the Republic were described in the prequels (with Obi-Wan being the exception) as dour and serious. I like how Kit Fisto interacts with pretty much everyone and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
It doesn’t take too long for the Jedi to get challenged by Separatists’ “clankers”. It’s not surprising that they deal quickly with them. However, they are swiftly surrounded by the members of a local species. It’s not clear whether they work for or with the Separatists, though they certainly don’t seem friendly.
The Jedi’s covert mission is completely blown when they are seen from afar by another B1 battle droid who hurries to inform his “commander” of his discovery. He mocks the Jedi for their faith though he still has belief in the highest power.
As first issues go, Mace Windu #1 does a very good job of establishing the state of the galaxy, but also the dynamic between the characters. The story is set very early in the Clone Wars, before the bodies of the Jedi fallen in the Geonosis arena have even cooled down. It was good to see the uncertainty in the Jedi, especially in someone presented as hardcore as Mace, because this shouldn’t have been an easy path to take – to abandon their quest for peace and join the war on the front lines. It is good to see that there was no firm consensus among the Jedi on how to deal with the situation and that there were opposing voices along the way. At the same time, we can see how sense of duty easily becomes delusion.
We are introduced to two new Jedi – the Devaronian Rissa Mano and Miraluka male Prosset Dibs (who is already my favorite) – as well as the completely new and impressive looking mercenary droid, AD-W4 (though the callback to HK-47 is clear). As I said, I really liked the dynamic between the Jedi, from the probing humor in an attempt to get to know one another to their cooperation in the battle, and every story with Kit Fisto in it is already promising. I was also pleased with the take on Mace Windu as not just the single minded warrior we were presented with in the movies, but also a thoughtful leader who is not beyond doubt.
I liked Deny Cowan’s art which was significantly enlivened by Guru-eFX’s coloring. I wish we had seen more of the jungle planet and its inhabitants, but that will surely come in the following issues.
This was a very solid start to the new miniseries and, if everything goes well, possibly to a string of Jedi of the Republic stories. I wouldn’t mind reading a miniseries about Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi or one of the lesser known Jedi, especially if they go more into their backgrounds and opinions about the war and the state of Jedi Order. But, that is in the future. For now, we have Mace’s adventure to look for as it continues in…
THE NEXT ISSUE:
- On a planet of near-perpetual darkness, the Jedi must bring light.
- Mace finds both his faith and skill tested.
- For is it truly the place of the Jedi to go to war?
In the meantime, this issue gets 7/10.