“BURN” – The Clone War rages! The Jedi Order leads the armies of the Republic in battle against the endless Separatist droid legions. The Jedi may have finally met their match in the fearsome and merciless General Grievous! Countless Jedi have fallen to Grievous‘ blades but no matter how many Jedi he slaughters nothing can sate cyborg’s appetite for destruction…
Written by Jody Houser
Art by Luke Ross
Colors by Java Tartaglia
All good things come to an end and so does Age of the Republic. As of the next issue, we will transition into the Age of the Rebellion. The last issue is dedicated to one of the major villains of the prequel era, General Grievous.
As the issue opens, we find Grievous hunting Jedi on the planet Ledeve. And although a Jedi Master makes a stand in an attempt to protect her pupil, the cyborg easily kills her and the young padawan. Searching through the boy’s stuff, he discovers the reason why the two Jedi came to the planet – ancient Jedi temple.
The temple is abandoned and its halls protected only by the statues depicting past Jedi and their triumphs. Grievous almost gleefully destroys them all while going deeper into the temple. Inside the temple, he is greeted by a series of death traps. It is clear that they were designed so that only Force sensitive people could pass through them.
However, not only is General Grievous cybernetically enhanced and thus surpasses an ordinary person, he is also trained by Count Dooku himself, so he has no trouble getting to the heart of the temple. There he finds a waterfall with the glowing light behind it, yet he cannot touch it nor destroy it.
When he steps behind the waterfall, Grievous is pulled into the vision. And like with Vader or Maul before him, Grievous is seen through and through and told things about himself that he doesn’t want to hear. He believed he made himself stronger by replacing his body parts with cybernetic elements, but all he did was cut his own connection to the Force. He is told that he is weak and small before he is thrown out of the vision. Naturally, this infuriates Grievous, he lashes out at the mysterious light, achieving nothing.
This is why the cyborg orders the droids to bombard the temple from the orbit.
This is overkill, of course, but the complete destruction of the ancient temple seems to satisfy Grievous. As he walks away, though, the mysterious light is seen among the burning ruins of the temple. The destruction of Jedi temple, like the destruction of his own body, has brought him nothing.
I like many things about the new canon, but some of the more important things are consistency and adherence to Lucas’s vision, especially when it comes to the Force. There is no such thing as Grey Jedi, for example, though there are other schools of thought concerning the Force. Some avenues are firmly closed to dark side users and bad people in general and it’s their choice. As I said, we have seen it with Maul and Vader: you can find the way to the greater wisdom and knowledge if you change your ways but, if not, those doors will be barred for you forever and you cannot break them down no matter how powerful you think you are.
Grievous cannot attain the Jedi secrets just because he was powerful enough to kill and destroy. He can steal a lightsaber, but the Force is out of his reach. And he can kill all the Jedi in the galaxy and destroy all their temples, but the Force remains. Maybe I am just a petty person, but I felt deep satisfaction when the cyborg was stripped of his enhancements and told that he was small.
When this series was announced, I expected flashy additions to the canon about some untold events of the prequel era. What we got are small, intimate insights which deepened the characters or showed them in the clearer light and, after reading the entire series, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Jody Houser is climbing on the list of my favorite Star Wars comic writers and Luke Ross was her perfect partner in crime, adjusting minutely his style to her every story. Houser’s stories required second and third reading and provoked thought. Every reader will find their favorite issue(s). My personal favorites were Anakin and Darth Maul.
We can only hope that the Age of… series will continue to provide us with great stories like these as we venture into the Age of Rebellion and the new team takes over the writing and art. But, that is for another time, now…
THIS ISSUE GETS 8/10 STARS.