Review – A Padawan Caught In The Middle In Marvel’s Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple #3
A looming conflict between the Fylari and the Ontohon government becomes reality in this week’s issue of Jedi: Fallen Order – Dark Temple. Padawan Cere Junda recently discovered the Fylari – a peaceful, isolationist culture living outside the government of Onotho. They’ve caught the interest of a young executive Dylanto Daa of the Daa Corporation due to a mysterious temple he wishes to examine. The Fylari consider themselves protectors of this temple, which has been on Ontotho since before they established their civilization and will not let Daa or the Ontothon government near it. In a last ditch effort, Cere approached the Ontothon government on behalf of the Fylari to ask them to stay away, but corporate interests prevailed and it looks like a showdown is inevitable. SPOILERS AHEAD….
Second Sister and her team have successfully contained the Fylari insurgency as we meet them in present day, but the Inquisitor is not entirely convinced the people she’s taken out represent the entire threat to Imperial interests. Upon further investigation, she finds a set of stairs leading to what appears to be an underground bunker. These introductions with Second Sister and the Imperial siege of Onotho have been brief but I feel like they are leading to a showdown between present day Cere and what’s left of the Fylari. In my opinion, that would be the best way to connect this series to the forthcoming game. The present day panels leave us with Second Sister and her troops venturing in.
We flashback to the escalating conflict as the Onothon and Daa forces arrive at the edge of the temple, waiting to get in. Cere blocks them but they say their new membership to the Republic grants them the right to get to the temple. Cere reminds them the land they stand upon are Fylari, who remain sovereign and determined to protect the temple. The invading forces coming in guns blazing, but Cere takes every precaution to see they are only stunned and not killed. When we first met the Padawan, she was quite aggressive, but she’s learned from her mistakes and knows the cost of aggression. Violence would dilute the statement the Fylari are trying to make by resisting and Cere wants them to succeed.
I love how much Cere has grown since her incident in the first issue. Here she stops an assassination attempt on the Daa security force commander. She knows by killing anyone it will give the Onothon government a mandate to displace the Fylari. Cere knows this isn’t a fair fight and that the Fylari have to take the moral high ground here. In a very short amount of time, Cere has become a great commander. When they are able to regroup, Cere realizes how complicated the situation is and knows she has to get the Jedi to bring attention to the Fylari. She has no illusions about how the plight of smaller societies can get lost in the bureaucracy, corruption, and process of the senate. As they discuss this, another attack comes, and Cere puts herself in the the crossfire, allowing the Force-sensitive Fylari children to escape and using her skills to effectively disarm the Daa security forces.
See…Cere takes the high ground. Not a soul harmed. Dylanto Daa has arrived on the frontlines and is obviously concerned about his security forces. He also expresses admiration for Cere, but I’m sure he knows she’s determined to stand in his way. That’s why he’s seemingly locked down any communications system Cere could use to contact the Jedi. Cere sees him retire to his mobile command center and follows as the Fylari forces start to take out (no killing, though) the Daa security forces. Dylanto pours himself a drink to take the edge off but quickly realizes he’s not alone.
I don’t like Dylanto. Right away he asserts his privilege and calls Cere a terrorist sympathizer and says she’s interfering with a “lawful” business transaction. Yes, corporate interests rarely align with those of indigenous or local populations, but the saps who carry out atrocities or displacement often hide behind the laws created by oppressors. You don’t have to look like Jabba the Hutt to be a scumbag. Dylanto hits a panic button and Cere anticipates more of his droids coming in. She stands at the door waiting to strike. When she does, her blade is deflected by another lightsaber.
Well, well…Master Cordova survived. Sounds like he’s been nursed back to health by the Daa Corporation and gotten to know Dylanto especially well. They’ve bonded, but Cere is not having it. She’s grateful to have her master back but she’s not about to give up on the Fylari. Cordova claims he’s been in contact with the Jedi Council and that he’s ready to bring the Fylari to justice. Cere is shocked and informs her master she has taken the side of the Fylari and is prepared to fight alongside them. I loved this exchange between Cere and Cordova. Cere did not back down and she’s ready to do what’s right. I don’t trust Dylanto…at all. It also sounds like he’s done a great job manipulating Cordova, but something in the Jedi seems very willing to go along with the convenient story he’s been spoon-fed.
Obviously the negotiations don’t go well. I couldn’t say it better than Cere does. The Fylari are defending their territory from a corporate takeover via the local, corrupt government. She’s outraged her master and the Jedi would even call these negotiations. Master Cordova is able to negotiate an armistice, but the looming threat of Daa exploitation is not abated. Master Cordova reveals he doesn’t necessarily trust either side because he needs to see what exactly the Fylari are protecting.
Okay! So we are finally getting a look inside that temple! It should be noted that Master Cordova negotiated this armistice due to a “more important” Republic representative coming to help with a treaty between the Fylari, Daa, and Onotho. Hmm…an important Republic official, like a senator or Supreme Chancellor, who may have interest in Force-artifacts is on their way to Onotho. Also, there are Force-sensitive children running around. I wonder who would take interest in such a place….
This series is not required reading but I’m sure enjoying it. If you are waiting with baited breath for the game to arrive, I don’t see any reason you should miss this. Cere is the star of the series for me and I’m going to try and get my hands on the game just so I can see where her story goes. The art in this issue by Paolo Villanelli and colorist Arif Prianto is as consistently good as the preceding issues. Writer Matthew Rosenberg has done a great job crafting a conflict in the golden age of the Jedi and I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next issue. I won’t know until the conclusion of this series and the release of the game, but I hope we get more Cere stories after this series ends.