I’m happy to say that I am very satisfied with how the Mace Windu comic is coming along. It has given me everything I wanted from a comic about Jedi and Jedi ideals during the Clone Wars, and one of the most entertaining exclusive comic villains I’ve seen so far. And this has been, by far, my favorite issue, for a variety of reasons.
This issue gave us some background on AD-W4, the droid mercenary hired by General Grievous to oversee this mission and kill all of the Jedi dispatched to counter it. Honestly, calling AD-W4 a “mercenary” is like calling Gordon Ramsay a chef: it’s technically correct, but leaves out the part where he makes infinitely more money than almost anyone else in the same profession. AD-W4 is all about money, and he seems really good at making it. Well, money and killing. It’s hard to tell which one he likes more. You’d think this would make him sort of boring, but they go so hard into making this who he is that it actually makes him really entertaining. Everyone else is talking about ideals and morality and wanting to separate from the Republic and droids and clones and all of these hard questions and he’s like “that’s nice but for the millionth time I only care about money.” He’s also really mean, according to the droids he’s meaner to them than Grievous.
But he’s not just mean and money hungry, when Mace Windu tries to moralize him, he manages to strike out on the offensive verbally and put forward actually decent arguments against the motivations and actions of the Jedi Order. I really think that his total selfishness mixed with his emotionless logic and vague disdain for anyone who cares about any ideals makes him a pretty perfect villain for Mace Windu to deal with.
Not only did this issue give us some great scenes with AD-W4, which really would have been enough for me, it actually got to the heart of some of the debates within the Jedi Order and the growing distrust that many Jedi have for the decisions of the Council. We also keep getting development on the two previously unknown members of the party Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano, both of which I actually like and provide good comedic relief. To anyone who wants to learn more about this time period in Star Wars history, I highly recommend this comic. Also if you just want an action comic with a fun villain, interesting characters and a lot of lightsaber combat, this comic is definitely for you.
Now, onto the hardcore Star Wars nerd stuff. Spoilers for the entire canon, as usual, just in case. I love how this potential Jedi Council corruption stuff has already started to blow up in Windu’s face. Honestly, I thought it would take longer for the major conflict within the party over whether or not the Council was doing more than just stopping the Separatists (or, rather, if the Republic was tricking the Council into securing whatever resources the Separatists are here for themselves using a Jedi strike force) to surface.
This is exactly what I wanted out of this comic. The Jedi Council does so many questionable things during the Clone Wars and I love when they get called out on it. As much as I love Clone Wars, I feel like Filoni always leaves the kid gloves on when he deals with Jedi corruption (with the possible exception of Ahsoka’s trial but even then I think he shies away from showing how cowardly their actions are) because he loves Jedi, but given their actions throughout the war they don’t deserve that sort of treatment.
I see corrupt Jedi as a mixture of everything that’s bad about corrupt cops and corrupt priests. They put themselves up on a moral pedestal; taking amounts of religious, civil and, eventually, military authority in the Republic rivaled by no other single group, so any abuses or missteps impact not just the Order but the very fabric of Republic society. I know, I know, I sound like Mas Amedda giving a speech about why the Jedi had to be eliminated, and (while I do lean Imperial) I, of course, understand that was evil. But in those accusations, as exaggerated as they are, there is a hint of truth, and that hint of truth is exactly why the galaxy swallowed the excuses given for the extermination of the Jedi by the Empire. For the entire war, citizens of the Republic watched as the Jedi falter, make compromises and commit acts of war and violence that they, for a millennia, had sworn they stood against, is it any wonder the people of the Republic lost faith in them and were willing to believe they would attempt to stage a coup or grab power from the Senate?
And while much of the corruption was due to tricks and deceptions planted by Palpatine and his associates, the Jedi Council was made up of the wisest Jedi in the entire galaxy and they should have been prepared. They made themselves a target for any Sith that remained by amassing so much power, in fact doing so in and of itself seems contradictory to the ideals of the Jedi. And– sorry, once I get started about this, I have a hard time stopping. I don’t like the Jedi Order as an institution and believe it is always destined to eventual failure by existing, and let’s just leave it at that.
I know that the resolution of the argument with Windu and Dibs will almost certainly be that the Council hasn’t done any evil on purpose, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that a devout Jedi is already questioning the Council. The Jedi Order is an institution built upon faith, and it is losing the faith of not only the public but even those within its ranks.
Honestly, if you care at all about the Republic Jedi, the Jedi Order as an institution or the events of Clone Wars and the impact they had on politics within the Order, you need to read this comic, you will definitely find it worth your while.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Art: 4.5 Stars
Dialogue: 5 Stars
Plot/Relevance: 5.5 Stars (I’ll argue that this is something we really needed to see that is long overdue and is being done incredibly well)
(W) Matt Owens (A) Denys Cowan (CA) Jesus Saiz