27 February 2019

Review: Star Wars: Dark Times: Fire Carrier by Randy Stradley and Gabriel Guzman

Comic trade paperback, 118 pages
Published 2013 (contents: 2013)
Acquired May 2014

Read January 2019
Star Wars: Dark Times, Volume Six: Fire Carrier

Script: Randy Stradley
Art: Gabriel Guzman
Colors: Garry Henderson
Lettering: Michael Heisler

I don't know if Dark Times was intended to end in its seventh volume, or if Dark Horse losing the Star Wars license brought it to a premature end, but this volume makes me think it was intentionally winding down. Fire Carrier picks up a thread abandoned since volume two, as we revisit the Jedi younglings hiding from the Purge with Master K'Kruhk. This seems like the kind of thing you make sure to tie off when you know you're running out of time, but maybe a side story is the kind of thing you do when you want Doug Wheatley to draw your main arcs but know he can only draw six issues every two years.

In any case, misleadingly Darth Vader-focused cover aside, this is one of the best Dark Times stories, and probably the one that most feels like the series was mean to be-- the last couple Jennir-focused volumes made it more Jedi-centric. But here, like in some of the early Uhumele-focused stories like Parallels and Vector, it's about decent people trying to hang on in a universe arrayed against the very concept of decency. And not just K'Kruhk and his Jedi charges, but also ordinary Imperial officers. There's a whole sideplot about Imperial officers, who were quite recently Republic officers, and how they're trying to make the new government live up to their expectations. The Empire was supposed to be something and it's not, but they want it to anyway.

I enjoyed it a lot. The kind of story that makes you think it could go anywhere (and it does go some dark places), and is all the better for it. There's even a nice tie-in to Legacy, connecting two of Dark Horse's better Star Wars ongoings together.

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