Writer: Matt Owens
Artist: 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!
Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu #1, outside of its overly long title, is one of the few Star Wars titles from Marvel that dips into prequel territory. There have been a few, Obi-Wan and Anakin for example, but this one develops some new characters and some interesting psychology of the Jedi during the Clone Wars. The mindset of Jedi as peacekeepers turned generals was always an underlying theme in the movies but writer Matt Owens tackles the deeper emotional war the Jedi must now face with great skill and guides the reader seamlessly through this rollercoaster ride the Jedi are now on.
Mace Windu is at the center of the story and his opening conversation with Ki-Adi-Mundi really gets to the heart of the Jedi’s struggle. There are some more familiar faces, Yoda and Kit Fisto among them, but we are introduced to new Jedi Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano. Dibs is sightless but has a strong intuitional connection to the Force and Mano is a new Jedi, but according to Mace, has impressive piloting skills rivaling those of Plo Koon. Windu and his team must head to Hissrich on the outer rim to take out a Separatist foothold that doesn’t really feel like much of a threat.
That’s the crux of the story and while Owens makes sure there’s plenty of action this story is really just setting the stage. Owens also maintains the comedic tone of the B1 battle droids of an army that seems almost bored at times by their assignment. The story is well rounded and entertaining but this is just a small taste of what’s to come, or at least so I hope so. This mission Windu leads isn’t much of a challenge but the ending introduces readers to something, I’m not quite sure how it fits going into issue number two, but it’s definitely intriguing.
Denys Cowan art is a good match for this book. Traditional line work, great flow in the action and Guru-eFX’s coloring is fantastic. Lots of color which brings, even more, character to this book. It feels dynamic and really pops off the page. Cowan really captures the look and feel of the Jedi Council and easily transitions to the jungle covered planet of Hissrich. Great flow and pacing throughout.
Mace Windu is definitely a book with a lot of potential and the team behind the book are obviously just giving us a teaser of what’s next and I’m excited by the possibilities. It’ll be interesting to see how deep a look Owens gives of Windu moving forward. He has started off well and I look forward to learning more about Mace Windu, that I feel, we only got a sampling of in the movies. A definite read for any Star Wars fan but also those who want a different perspective of the Clone Wars from the characters with who we are already familiar and for those who maybe didn’t watch the Clone Wars animated series.