Connect with us
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic’ Vol. 1 review

A snapshot of what was getting published under the brand in the ’90s. 

Marvel continues to reprint previous Star Wars comics at a hurried pace, this time with a collection of issues that takes place in the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi. The New Republic Era was one of the most explored portions of the Star Wars galaxy in the comics and novels, and while most of these stories have been de-canonized, there are still some cool ideas that could sit comfortably next to the current crop of TV programs and films if transfigured appropriately, even when these stories are clearly coming out of the of the 1990s chronology. It’s not all good, with some truly terrible art at points, but fans of looking for a different trajectory for the sequel films may find something to appreciate in this collection.

In this hefty TPB, we get Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor’s Hand #0-6, Shadows of the Empire – Evolution #1-5, The Jabba Tape, Boba Fett – Twin Engines of Destruction, and a smattering of material from a handful of Star Wars Tales issues. Obviously, these are unconnected runs, so there isn’t a single plot thread or arc throughout, but some throwbacks to the 1990s are given lots of page space. Mara Jade, a fan favorite from my youth, has the most rewarding narrative arc in the book, with the Emperor’s Hand, attempting to complete her mission of revenge following the destruction of the Empire, while the assassin droid Guri seeks humanity, making her a target.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

The Shadows of the Empire sequel focuses predominantly on Guri, the assassin programmed replica droid. There is some bounty hunter action as well, with Jabba the Hutt struggling to retain control of his criminal empire, and a doppelganger impersonating Boba Fett leads to a confrontation between the two masked figures. A hodgepodge of other short stories are thrown in as well, with the classic heroes getting space to move. 

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1

Marvel Comics

The Mara Jade material is the best of the lot, with its plot from the great Timothy Zhan and scripted by Michael Stackpole. Jade was a perfect foil and ally of Luke Skywalker in these years, as her time under the control of the Emperor gave a personal connection to Luke’s attempts at rebuilding the galaxy after his fall. The art is stiff, but Carlos Ezquerra does produce some beautiful mechanical designs and spacecraft. 

My least favorite material are the Shadows of the Empire – Evolution issues. This reads like a cash-in on the success of the multimedia initiative that served as a great celebration of Star Wars before the prequel films were announced (I fondly remember listening to the Shadows soundtrack while reading the novel in the mid-’90s). Unfortunately, this comic series doesn’t add much to existing story, and has some of the worst art I’ve seen in a Star Wars comic from this period, with its glossy character designs that have all the emotion of a plastic action figure and oddly blocked panels. I recommend passing on this portion of the trade.

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1

Marvel Comics

The best material is found in The Jabba Tape, thanks to the wicked pencils of Kilian Plunkett and colors from Dave Nestelle, whose madcap creatures and exemplary designs give this book an engaging vitality. Like most of the stories collected here, it’s not making big changes to the universe, but its enthusiasm is contagious. 

There is a slew of other short stories here as well, with varying tones and approaches to storytelling. The benefit of a trade like this is the variability of styles and approaches from a specific era of Star Wars comics collected in one place. It’s not coherent, but it’s a great way to get a snapshot of what was getting published under the brand in the ’90s. 

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1
‘Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic’ Vol. 1 review
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Vol. 1
The benefit of a trade like this is the variability of styles and approaches from a specific era of Star Wars comics collected in one place. It’s not coherent, but it’s a great way to get a snapshot of what was getting published under the brand in the '90s. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.7
Lots of random material from the '90s, where the events following the Return of the Jedi looked far different.
Some fan favorite characters make appearances, with a nice variety in art styles throughout the slew of random issues.
Some terrible art in spots, and inconsequential storylines that feel lacking in purpose.
Not many supplementals, which is a shame. Would have been interesting to see notes and editorials from this era of Star Wars.
5
Average
Buy Now

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover

‘Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age’ #1 veers away from Gotham

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

X-Men Monday #255 – The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

Comic Books

EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Epitaphs from the Abyss’ #3 and ‘Cruel Universe’ #2 scares up impressive creatives

Comic Books

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1 X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for ‘X-Men’ #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup