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Just like the other Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse, Star Wars Legacy is coming to a conclusion in advance of the license going to Marvel Comics (conveniently owned by Disney, who also now owns LucasFilm). One of the real contributions of Dark Horse to the expanded Star Wars universe has been the two volumes of Star Wars Legacy, exploring future generations of Skywalkers and Solos. So Star Wars Legacy (volume 2) #18 wraps up the tale of Ania Solo, descendant of Han and Leia.
When we last left Ania and her friends Sauk and AG-37, they had gone to a distant planet to rescue a kidnapped Jao Assam from Darth Wredd, a renegade Sith, only to find the planet overrun by Siths who want Wredd dead, since he has been hunting down and assassinating them. As Alliance forces arrive, a full-scale battle between Jedi and Sith occurs.
Gradually in this issue, Wredd’s full plan becomes clear. After, with Wredd’s assistance, all of the other Siths are vanquished, he suddenly turns and attempts to murder Empress Fel. His plan is to force Jao murder him, thereby ridding the galaxy of Sith. It turns out the Sith murdered Wredd’s family, and though he became one, he always secretly hated them, deliberately plotting to somehow destroy them the whole time.
Although his plan is rather convoluted, I do think this reveal is a compelling way to conclude the Star Wars Legacy series. Many of Wredd’s actions have led to this point. Although not every arc of the series fed into the conclusion, most of them did, making it feel like a real close to the series (contrasted with the weak ending of Star Wars). Now knowing his plan, I do wish we had seen more of Wredd at times. He disappeared for much of the middle of the series.
The work done by writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman in Star Wars Legacy was pretty strong, as they developed unknown characters Ania Solo, Sauk, and AG-47 into significant characters. I don’t know that Jao ever became entirely successful, but he was mostly interesting. Similarly, I think more could have been done with Wredd, but he was still a worthy villain.
However, the art is another story. Many of the early issues of Star Wars Legacy were illustrated by Hardman, and his style is outstanding. For whatever reason, a switch was made recently to Brian Albert Thies. His art has been okay at times, but in issue #18, it doesn’t deliver. Some pages are fine, but there are also panels that are pretty ugly. Characters have bizarre and unrealistic facial expressions, bodies appear out of perspective, and key action scenes look amateurish. I’m not trying to bash Thies, but this could have been a great concluding issue, but the art falls far short.
In spite of the unappealing art of Star Wars Legacy #18, I think the issue and the series overall are worth reading. The story Bechko and Hardman told was intriguing, and added some dimension to the future of the Star Wars universe. I wish that Hardman had been able to keep up the art duties, but in spite of the drop in quality with other illustrators, Star Wars Legacy told 18 issues of a quality story, capping it with an epic battle and satisfying ending.