In an era thousands of years before the films, a rag tag group of friends will discover a startling betrayal sending them on one more mission together to save one of their own before something sinister can befall her. But will they arrive in time…
When last we left our heroes at the end of the previous volume, Zayne had discovered that Jarael was once a slaver. Jarael has parted company with the rest of her former friends, with only Rohlan the Mandalorian choosing to accompany her. Zayne and the rest of his companions return to Coruscant for the trial of the Mandalorian scientist Demagol, responsible for many war crimes against the Republic.
But when the man in the armor denies he is Demagol, Gryph and Zayne start to put the pieces together and realize that somewhere along the way Demagol and Rohlan exchanged places – and Jarael has been left alone in his company. I found it ironic that by busting loose Rohlan from Republic custody, Zayne and company find themselves on the run from the law again – coming full circle to where this series started.
Rohlan then reveals to Zayne the true history of Demagol, just as the scientist reveals his true identity to Jarael – that of Wyrick, the master of the school from which she was stolen by pirates in her youth. Knowing the end of this series is near, it’s nice to feel like we’re finally getting some payoff on many of the dangling storylines that have been lingering for quite some time now. “Rohlan” has seemed to be acting strangely towards Jarael, and now it becomes clear why that is. She is the last of a group of clones Wyrick was growing, trying to create a legion of Mandalorian Jedi Knights out of Jedi Arca Jeth’s DNA.
But in tracking down the slavers of the Crucible, Jarael and Zayne had both learned a critical piece of information – that the rest of the slaves could be found back where they had been first captured, on Osadia. Now they’re both racing there, Jarael fooled into thinking Wyrick wants to free the slaves, and Zayne out to free her before she can be corrupted by Wyrick or the lightsaber he carries – the one owned by Exar Kun. On Osidia they all find Chantique – who has long ago killed all the slaves, and who herself was actually the only success Wyrick ever had in producing a Force sensitive being, because she is his own daughter and they both share the ability. It is a great irony at the very end of the story, one made all the more complete as they kill each other – father and daughter in their last act.
In the wrap-up at the very end we get to see what’s next for each of these characters, providing nice closure for most of the rag-tag group. For anyone who’s been plugging for Zayne and Jarael to get together in this series, that’s the biggest payoff of all. Over the course of the last few volumes I have come to understand why so many fans treat this series with such high regard, it is truly one of the best Star Wars comics series I’ve ever read. Like many others, now that I’ve reached the end, I realize how much I’ll miss reading more adventures about them – but I’ll take solace in the fact that there could still be stories out there waiting to be told about them again one day in the future.