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Star Wars Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 1

Star Wars Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi, Volume 1 - Kevin J. Anderson, Tom Veitch, Christopher Moeller, Duncan Fegredo, Dave Dorman This is odd because the collection includes not just work by Anderson on the prequel stuff to the originally published Tales of the Jedi, but the work by Tom Veitch as well. Anderson's pieces about Naga Sadow and the background of the Sith people was meant to flesh out Veitch's original work in which the characters are only referenced. The Veitch stuff is much better than Anderson's work, both in imagination and in quality of writing.

Four thousand years before the birth of Luke Skywalker, the galaxy was a different place. There were thousands of Jedi spread across a fledgling Republic and planets of Sith organized in an expansionist Empire that frequently brushed against each other. The philosophies of both sides are not as well fleshed out as what we're used to and a lot of this world reads like a sword and sorcery type of epic where Sith lords wield Dark Side magic and lightsabers had ornate bone-like hilts hooked up to battery packs. What Veitch and company do successfully is re-imagine a more primitive galaxy. Hyperspace lanes have yet to be tamed, worlds are still unknown and it feels like species are just getting to know one another and work out how they're going to live together. Hidden on new worlds are unique cultures with their own traditions of Force use, good and bad, that have yet to be incorporated into a coherent and dogmatic doctrine.

The writing isn't horrific, but is filled with usual comic-ese. Lots of explanation points for sentences that seem more like statements! and the obligatory "Let me explain what I'm doing in my dialogue because the panel isn't exactly clear." This is less a story about empire and epic space opera conquest than it is an adventure story, and enjoyable one at that. It also fills in gaping holes in the EU mythology explaining the back story of famous historical names dropped in other stories and brings them to life.