Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Star Wars: Honor and Duty Graphic Novel
Honor and Duty (Star Wars)
by John Ostrander, C.P. Smith, Luke Ross, Jasen Rodriguez, and Steve Firchow
This graphic novel covers 3 issues in the Star Wars: Republic line. All three cover the story of Sagoro Autem, a Republic Senate Guard two years before the onset of the Clone Wars and the events shortly after Episode III. It is stories like that of Autem that keep me glued to the Star Wars EU.
Autem is third generation Senate Guard. He is a by the book family man who finds that the Republic is the next best thing since the Holonet. Like Jedi Master Mace Windu, Autem believes that the Republic is the only thing that keeps the galaxy from falling into chaos. Like Windu, Autem does whatever it takes within the guidelines of the Republic to maintain that order. So he makes sure that he gets his man.
Like all ordinary people, Autem does have his problems. His brother, Venco, is a former Senate Guard who was fired due to his corrupt deeds. Venco continues to visit his brother's protest. His son Reymet, who is currently a student at the Senate Guard academy does not share in his father's view of the Republic. If anything, he is carefree and wants to venture outside of Coruscant to learn about the outside world. Autem's married life is strained at best. Yet he continues to punch the clock each day to earn his pay and get the bad guys.
Everything changes when Autem and his partner are asked to investigate the murder of a Senator right before the passage of an important Senate bill. The new Senator is assigned two Jedi, Obi Wan Kenobi and the young Anakin Skywalker. Autem is distrustful of the Jedi but decides to keep them in the loop. Soon Autem discovers that Venco is involved in the plot and his son has unknowingly assisted his brother in his criminal activities.
Autem's fate is set when he kills his brother and learns that he would be put under investigation when the Senate Guard realizes that Venco had paid Autem and his family several visits. Autem decides to leave the Senate Guard when he learns that his family has fled the planet. Fast forward until the events after Episode III where Autem is a celebrated war hero due to the siege of Saleucami. He learns about the Empire and Darth Vader and quickly realizes that again, he has bought into the wrong system. Somehow Vader takes a personal vow to kill Autem himself, yet in the end the hero escapes.
What makes the story so great is that we see what happens to the little people in the wake of the Clone Wars. We see how the Republic and it's corrupt bureaucracy runs over the powerless. It makes one understand why so many planets decided to become independent. Autem and several like him throughout the story struggle with that idea. Unlike the other characters, it takes much for Autem to realize that the Republic has failed him.
Again, I enjoy the story line but I was frustrated that the other stories of Autem and his encounters with other Jedi, his return to the Republic, and other battles are left out. I understand that in several of those stories, Autem was a background character and the other stories would not have centered around him. For those not familiar with the EU, it may seem rather confusing. Overall, it is nice collection of good writing and great artwork.