Thursday, September 22, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic, Volume 2- The Threat of Peace by Rob Chestney, Alex Sanchez, and Michael Atiyeh

The Republic and the Sith Empire have decided to broker peace between the Jedi, the traditional protectors of the Republic and the Sith, who bear a grudge against the Sith for a long-ago war. But when the Sith lay siege to Coruscant, the seat of the Empire, and destroy the Jedi temple, it puts them in a superior position in the talks- they can threaten to destroy Coruscant unless they get what they want.

But their actions and decisions are not without consequences. Master Dar'nala, and her student, Satele Shan, are in the middle of Negotiations with Sith Lord Baras, but even the treachery of the Sith means that the Peace will go forward, despite the fact that the Sith wiped out most of the Jedi on Coruscant.

On Coruscant, Jedi Master Orgus Din and his friend, Lieutenant Tavus, are too slow to prevent the fall and destruction of the Temple, but they do find out the identity of the Sith Lord in charge of the attack- Lord Angral, a Sith Warlord. But Lord Baras is supposedly taking advantage of the recently declared Peace to destabilize the Jedi order, including killing Master Dar'nala, and destabilizing several planets while allying with the Hutts of Nar Shadda. But even as the two groups team up with the Bounty Hunter known as Braden and another Jedi Master named Fortris, they must discover who is really seeking to Destabilize the peace and defeat an alliance that undercut the Jedi and all they stand for... But will Satele, descendant of Bastila Shan, fall to the Dark side as the Sith hopes, or can her muddled emotions possibly lead her to the correct decisions?

This graphic novel is based on the game by Lucas Arts and the new MMO being developed by Bioware. As it stands, they introduce characters from all the major classes, from the Jedi Negotiator to the Sith Warlord and Sith Manipulator- each of which have a very different feel and powers from the "standard" Sith or Jedi. The story seems a bit scattered at first, since despite the threads being linked, the characters are separated by large bits of space, but eventually the characters combine and so do their stories link up, showing a larger, overarching story that is being told to manipulate the Jedi and the Republic.

I found the book interesting. It "introduces" the different classes, but aside from Baras being more subtle in his use of power, it doesn't really underscore what makes the different classes so different at the level of what kinds of powers they develop. And the Bounty Hunter "class" is given short shrift in the story- although the character of Braden ends up being successful in his hunt, he also ends up being hunted by both sides- the Republic and Sith. The characters are also more than characters, many of them stand in for the attitudes in various parts of the Republic, like Tavus, who respresents the attitude of the Republic military, even if he is also a character in his own right.

I enjoyed the book, which told an interesting story, but for those who are looking forward to seeing the differences coming in the game, well, there isn't much there to go on. Maybe after the game comes out, this is a graphic novel you can go back to and find the story enhanced by the game. But as for now, it's just a regular story and not much more. Recommended.

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