About the Author:
Mick Harrison is a pen name of Randy Stradley; writer, editor and co-founder of Dark Horse Comics.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Dark Times - Blue Harvest
(Art by Douglas Wheatley)
Volume four of the series, set 19 BBY and following on from the events of 'Vector Volume One'. Here we're reintroduced to Dass Jennir, a Jedi fugitive who is still unsure of his place in a galaxy where his kind are outlaws and where he has been disowned by the only friends he had. The alluring woman Ember Chankeli hires Dass, who has become a mercenary, to confront slavers on the planet Telerath, but there turns out to be a great deal that Ember is not telling him.
This story works as a brilliant standalone tale of a knight errant trying to navigate the murky moral waters of the titular Dark Times. Jennir's journey throughout the book is great to read as we see him rediscover his purpose. This all culminates in a brilliant bit of Star Wars imagery where Ember says "They're going to kill you! Why are you doing this?" and Dass, igniting his lightsaber for the first time in the story, replies simply "It's my job."
Ember herself is also a great element to this book, being a cynical and sometimes cruel character who, like Jennir, you nonetheless manage to sympathise with. Throw into the mix a couple of updates on the stories of the Uhumele crew and Vader and you've got something pretty special.
Followed by 'Dark Times: Out of the Wilderness' (written as Randy Stradley).
5 out of 5
Star Wars: Dark Times - Parallels
(Art by Dave Ross and Lui Antonio)
19 BBY. The second book of the Dark Times series focuses on two characters; Bomo Greenbark from the first book and the fan-favourite Jedi K'kruhk. The book begins shortly before the end of the Clone Wars and reveals how K'kruhk and several other Jedi, including 'younglings', are caught in the events of Order 66.
K'kruhk's story then follows him and the other Jedi survivors into hiding where the Jedi Master has to battle the violent urges instilled in him by three years of war and then the shocking events of Order 66. Running parallel to K'kruhk's story, hence the title, is that of Bomo Greenbark, who is also battling inner demons whilst trying to find his place in a galaxy where he has lost everything. I enjoyed reading his gradual acceptance into the mismatched family that is the crew of the Uhumele.
Despite this interesting element, the book overall is fairly unremarkable. K'kruhk never finds any answer or resolutions and doesn't even get a neat wrapping up of his tale. Meanwhile, the adventures of the crew of the Uhumele just aren't that interesting here, although I was pleased to learn of Crys Taanzer's connection to the Jedi.
Another massive irritant was a single line in which Bomo says "...I guess I'm still not over what happened to my family...". No kidding?! Maybe that's because his wife was murdered and his daughter was cooked and eaten less than two months before! That would certainly upset me for more than a few weeks. The biggest let down with this book is that the parallel stories, despite the occasional crossover of characters, never actually intersect, making the whole thing seem a little pointless.
3 out of 5