"Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith" #1 & 2
Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #1 & 2
**NOTE: While comics and books are usually reviewed one at a time, I happened to get the first two on the same day, and decided, in the interest of time, to review the first two at once.**
Jedi. Sith. Jedi. Sith. The two words are etched into the brain of every Star Wars fan, as the overall definitions of good and evil. Both sides can produce equally compelling stories, with each having it’s fair share of literature highlighting past tales that lead up to the blockbuster films we all know and love. While the Jedi stories have been written for twenty years or so now, the Sith bloodlines are a more recent phenomena. Books such as the Darth Bane trilogy, and the immense Darth Plaguis (a book Rick Cromack, a good friend and head geek of Lone Star Comics in Plano, Texas, described to me as “the best book in the entire Star Wars series”) give a detailed understanding not only of the Sith themselves, but also of their belief systems and inner hierarchy.
“…it is a pretty damn cool story, and discusses one of the first true balances of the Force I have seen as of yet.”
Luckily, this has extended into the realm of comics. Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith is a five-part comic series detailing a storyline that happened 2,942 years before the events in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It takes place on the planet Kesh, inhabited by a tribe of human descendents from Sith castaways. Through deceit and manipulation, the Sith rule over the planet’s original inhabitants, the Keshiri natives. Of course, as any reader of the Star Wars universe knows, the Sith cannot survive as a group for long, as it goes against the very philosophy that inspires them in the first place.
There is a deeper story regarding the planet, which I will not go fully into here, as it’s still being fully drawn out, and could detract from the reading experience if known beforehand. I will say that it is a pretty damn cool story, and discusses one of the first true balances of the Force I have seen as of yet.
The story itself revolves around a vandal and Sith-believer known as Spinner. Spinner is captured by a constable names Takara, who is the daughter of the planet’s Grand Lord (a fact that does not automatically guarantee her own rise to power, which is her source of contention). When Spinner is sent to exile, she stows herself on the ship, thinking that it’s going to the planet of . Unfortunately, it’s actually an expedition to Kesh’s South Pole. Spinner and Takara both plan an escape from the expedition at the same time, and ruin each other’s plans simultaneously. Both are saved from execution by powerful members of offworld species that no one else on Kesh even knew existed. From there, we learn where this species came from, what the true history of the planet consists of, and of the dark power that was never meant to be released (which, true to form, is released at the end of the second book).
Storyline-wise, I found it to be strong and interesting. If you enjoy the stories of the Sith so far, this should be no different. It involves the same problem that besets all groups of Sith who come together, namely the independence and lust for power that makes up Sith teachings also halts any progression that can be made in a community. For if one is to follow the Sith, it means one must want power over all others. And everyone vying for power over one another does not make for a very close-knit society. This lust for personal power vs. a stable environment where everyone can live somewhat peacefully is the backbone of all Sith stories, and gives a strong inner and outer conflict to drive a story forward.
“This lust for personal power vs. a stable environment where everyone can live somewhat peacefully is the backbone of all Sith stories.”
The art and dialogue are very good and adequate, respectfully, but both have troubles stemming from the same source, namely that books about Sith really can not be great if geared towards a younger crowd, as these are. The art, for example, is interesting and well drawn, but not as hardcore as that found in something like American Vampire or Nancy in Hell. And while Star Wars probably should not go quite as dark as those other comics, it does need to be dark and brutal enough to make one feel the Sith is truly evil. The Darth Bane books, for example, discuss beheadings and carnage throughout. This is because they are dealing with the most pure evil in the universe, and gear the books towards adults for that reason. Pure evil is simply not a subject well suited for the younger demographic.
The dialogue seems to hold back for this reason as well, and suffers from the same thing that most kid movies do nowadays…they dumb it down for a younger generation. And, frankly, I don’t think kids need to be pandered to, nor to I find it good to make things simple just to make it easier for them to follow. We should be challenging the youth with new ideas, not simplifying dialogue by taking out any subtlety or context. That being said, the artwork is still very good, and the dialogue moves all the events forward without detracting from the story too much. It just could be stronger if taken in a more mature direction.
Overall, it’s a fun read for any Star Wars fan, and one I’m looking forward to continuing as the series progresses. If you do have kids, this is one Sith story you can let them read without any fear of things getting too graphic.