Star Wars: Dark Times: Path to Nowhere v. 1 (Star Wars) Paperback – 25 Jan 2008
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The grim aftermath of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars - as seen in the smash-hit animated TV series and comics - is explored in this all-new "Star Wars" series!Jedi Dass Jennir and his friend Bomo Greenbark survived the Clone Wars, but the fate of Bomo's wife and daughter remains a mystery. The search for them leads Dass and Bomo from danger to darkness, where each of them may lose more than they hope to gain. Meanwhile, Darth Vader discovers that even a Dark Lord of the Sith must bow before the power of the Emperor...The dark times between "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" are brought to grim life by top "Star Wars" comics creators!
About the Author
Welles Hartley is a veteran Star Wars comics writer, having contributed extensively to the Clone Wars comics series. Mick Harrison is a newcomer to the series. Doug Wheatley is an accomplished artist who has worked on many comics projects including Aliens, Blade and Superman. He is also the illustrator of the official adaptation of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
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I must admit that at first I was a little skeptical of the character design in this graphic novel, but the story pulls no punches. It is an interesting exploration of the psychology of Darth Vader and follows a Jedi master and his allies along their road of survival under the heavy hand of the Galactic Empire. It was the grit and humanity (and indeed inhumanity) of the story that really gripped me. There are multiple characters, all with their own agendas and reasons for hating the Empire.
A good Star Wars graphic novel collection can be hard to find as many writers feel that just because its Star Wars that you don;t need character development and a rich plot to sell well. But Dark Times: Paths to Nowhere is a wonderful exception. It is full of rich vibrant characters that are wonderfully layered and excellently written.
A must for Star Wars fans who want to explore the grim universe during the Dark Times of the Empire.
The story is set in the immediate aftermath of the film Revenge of the Sith. Jedi Master Dass Jennir has survived Order 66 and is helping a Separatist planet in its struggle against the now Imperial oppressors, while on Coruscant, Darth Vader ponders his future in an increasingly unpleasant regime. Jennir survives the Imperial victory y accident, and sets off with a group of traders aboard their ship to rescue some prisoners who have been shipped off into slavery. As his quest progresses, he sees himself moving further away from the Jedi ideals. In parallel to this quest, we see Vader and some of the Cloe Troopers also questioning their place in the new scheme of things.
This really is an above-average space-opera comic book, and I will be hunting down subsequent volumes.
The storyline is full of action and suspense, and is set between the prequel trilogy and the originals. While it does not really add anything to this main plot, it fits in nicely and works well as an aside. It adds a bit more depth to Vader, while also following an outlawed jedi after Order 66, who during the course of the book has to make some tough decisions, and it is left open whether he is becoming a rogue jedi as he does some rather un-jedi like things!
Which also leads me to say; this book lives up to the name. It is rather dark in places, with families and children sold into slavery, and while never explicit (it is Star Wars let's not forget) hints at some baad stuff! As I said though it's Star Wars; any kids happening to read it would miss this but as an older reader it did strike me! It brings a grittier, and more realistic side to the franchise that is not present in the films.
Overall well worth a look, just don't expect a happy ending..!