Monday, 7 March 2016

1993: STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI ISSUE 1 (Dark Horse Comics)

From October 1993: another launch in the burgeoning line of STAR WARS comic books from Dark Horse: TALES OF THE JEDI.

This was another landmark series because, for the first time, it demonstrated that Star Wars adventures didn't have to be contemporaneous to the film series but could plunder the whole rich history of the expanded universe and feature none of the screen-familiar characters. That, of course, gave the creative teams free reign to really have some fun with concepts and scenarios only hinted at to date... without falling foul of the continuity police. The stories appearing here took place 4,000 years before the first Death Star went bang.

There was also a sourcebook from West End Games that filled in more of the backstory.

This also demonstrated Dark Horse's willingness to push the envelope in terms of expanding the scope of the saga. A policy that would go on to help them build a bewildering diverse range of SW titles and pave the way for other parts of the Lucasfilm merchandising juggernaut to similarly leave the confines of the films behind. It may have even have helped convince Lucas that audiences didn't need all the familiar faces in order to turn out in droves to see a new Star Wars flick.

Although I bought this first issue at the time, I wasn't terribly interested in mining the ancient history of a fictional realm and I didn't bother to pick up another issue.


  1. did you ever read the more recent DAWN OF THE JEDI which covered similar ground ? Set millennia before the movies, it suggested that Tatooine had once been an ocean planet.

    1. Ed, oops, my reply about the Dawn of the Jedi books ended up in its own thread and now isn't clear I was addressing your point. So ... see below!

  2. I read the novel by Tim Lebbon, and it was a really joyless and boring affair. I'd read the Expanded Universe novels pretty faithfully, but this one failed to deliver on the promise of that title--it didn't offer any sense of it being a "start" for the Jedi movement, it was really just a very dull story that happened to have Star Wars props in it.

    No follow up Dawn era books thanks to Disney nixing the EU, which did not help--it was perhaps a set up for something that never happened ...?

    (In defense of a jobbing author like Lebbon, I imagine he followed the brief he was given, it just failed to engage at what proved to be a tumultuous time for the franchise)

  3. I'd say that was the case, a lot of planned projects fell by the wayside once Disney took over. And to be honest, I was never into the novels as star wars works much better in a visual medium such as comics.

    1. I never much enjoyed the Dark Horse comics, they always seemed a little too humorless for me. Humour's such a huge part of the original trilogy (and The Force Awakens, too. Prequel era less so).

      I devoured the novels, at least the post-Jedi/classic era ones. I've only dipped a toe in the others but the Darth Bane trilogy is very good.

      I do have great affection for the Marvel Comics 70s series, especially the first 4 years which are simply wonderful comics.


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