While many fans are mourning with the winding down ofThe Clone Wars animated series, Star Wars fans can still delve into the wealth of expanded universe material that focuses on the famous conflict that dominated an era of the in-universe history, and saw the rise of an empire.
And as we advance into a new epoch in which the sequel trilogy will dominate our attentions, Dark Horse seems to be also beginning to wind up their Clone Wars coverage, with the release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Defenders Of The Lost Temple.
Set between seasons 4 and 5, the story opens with a mission being led by Jedi Master Utrila with Padawan Omani entering into the wilderness of the Outer Rim moon, Draay 2. Accompanied by four Clone Troopers, one of which named Glitch who believes he has Force potential, the group are determined to find a Sith relic known as the Gauntlet of Kressh the Younger.
Expanded Universe fans will recollect the Gauntlet being a major McGuffin used in the Knights of the Old Republic comic series.
Utrila’s mission is to ensure the Gauntlet is still inaccessible and hidden in a lost Jedi Temple, in the hope that it never falls into the grubby mitts of Count Dooku and the Separatists. However, the system of Draay is under careful and deadly watch by a foe that seeks revenge for past wrongs”¦ and the dark threat trapped within the Gauntlet inside the Temple may test the spirits of both Jedi and their Clone Trooper allies.
Some fans have downplayed Dark Horse’s forays into the Clone Wars material based on the TV series, but this standalone piece is an incredibly tight story. It’s written for a wide range of ages, but has a deep moral foundation that suits the flavor of the series and the Star Wars movies themselves. The presence of the Gauntlet of Kressh the Younger is a nice and wonderful inclusion – I had often wondered what had happened to that thing after reading KOTOR, and am now intrigued as to how it ended up on Draay 2.
The artwork is also great quality, with Ben Bates approaching the medium with a balanced approach – ensuring that the characters not only resemble that of both television incarnations of the Clone Wars, but also having his own irreplaceable flavor and style added to the blend. The colors are vivid and brilliant, with Michael Atiyeh nicely complementing Bates’ work – and combined they truly strengthen the story written by Justin Aclin. It’s a fun ride with a nice feast for the eyes.
Defenders Of The Lost Temple is a nice addendum to the recent news that the Clone Wars is winding down, in favor of ramping up for Star Wars Episode VII. Fans of the television series will love this one, and the expanded universe fans will find the Gauntlet presence to be a nice touch. Casual readers might also enjoy this one as well.