This opening line from Star Wars Dark Times: Out Of The Wilderness #5 highlights what I enjoy so much about the Star Wars Dark Times series. Each issue begins, and ends, on such bleak terms. And just when you think that things are looking up, writer Randy Stradley sweeps hope away from under your feet.
There are so many developments in the overall story of Dark Times that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. But overall, the creative team behind the work of this Star Wars series has done a brilliant job at not only capturing the mood of the period, but highlighting exactly why Obi-Wan Kenobi refers to it as the “Dark Times.”
Out Of The Wilderness #5 settles a story arc that reunites former Jedi Dass Jennir with some old friends. In between the reunion, Jennir is being trailed by an assassin who is determined to destroy or kill anything in his path to capture/kill the former Jedi. Notwithstanding this, the assassin’s work has put Darth Vader on Jennir’s trail, as the Sith Lord continues along his destiny to track down and destroy the leftover Jedi.
Stradley’s writing in Dark Times continues to improve. We see a lot more of Vader in these newer issues, and we seem to be viewing a clear transition from the uncertain former Skywalker in armor to the commanding warrior we’re familiar with from the Original Trilogy. Jennir continues to go through significant physical alterations, consistently changing his outward appearance and costuming to avoid being detected as a Jedi.
Visually, these changes are a lot of fun. Douglas Wheatley‘s art captures Jennir’s physical evolution nicely, as these alterations seem to reflect not only his mood and outlook, but his current ongoing experiences on top of his outlook of the galaxy. Dan Jackson‘s colors bring an extra breath of life to the pages, particularly when Jennir awakens on his friends’ old ship – there’s a rich vibe among these pages; and then a commanding use yet restriction of color on the Darth Vader pages. This makes for an interesting dichotomy.
Aside from this, I’m looking forward to the direction in which Dark Times is going. The creative team is setting up for the inevitable confrontation between Dass Jennir and Darth Vader, and it will be interesting to see how the story plays out. Star Wars fans will definitely want to get their hands on this series.