Volume 3 of the Clone Wars series of graphic novels left us with something of a cliff-hanger regarding the fate of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this book brings him back with a vengeance. As the Jedi continue to do the dirty work of Emperor (er, we mean Chancellor) Palpatine, it becomes clear that the Clone Wars are battles of his creation, designed to bring more turmoil to the universe so he can consolidate and expand his power. The co-operation of the Jedi teeters on a knife edge as Yoda embarks on a mission to talk reason to an old friend and leader of a planet initiating its own mini rebellion, while honest Senators like Bail Organa (who later goes on to adopt Princess Leia and is seen here mourning his wife’s abortive attempts at pregnancy) become all-too lonely voices of dissent in a Senate that’s increasingly powerless.
As a result, there is more politics and less full-on action than we’ve seen in previous volumes, though the lightsaber waving is never too far away. Having said that, the political debates and Machiavellian manoeuvrings occurring here shed plenty of light onto how the various factions are likely to turn into the Rebels and the Empire of the future.
As with previous volumes, Ostrander’s behind the scenes stories still strike a stronger chord and hold more interest than Blackman’s further adventures of Anakin and Obi-Wan; while a different group of artists to the usual mix still manage to turn in a decent show.
Although not the most exciting of the Clone Wars books so far, it serves its purpose by bridging the gap between the action of the previous volumes and the political goings-on that’s been the backdrop of the prequel movies, making it a useful backgrounder to the politics of the Clone Wars and essential reading for anyone in possession of the previous four volumes.
Other titles in the Clone Wars series: