When Disney bought Star Wars, there were murmurings that they might deem the Prequel Trilogy non-canon in favor of having their own stab at it. After all, to most people, those three films are just the butt of jokes about sand getting everywhere, famously cardboard performances and, of course, Jar Jar. But, over the last year or so, Disney has increasingly directly referenced the prequels across all forms media.
Star Wars Battlefront II is in the middle of its Clone Wars season, Darth Maul showed up for a cameo in Solo, they’re bringing back The Clone Wars for a final 12 episodes and now, a comic called Age of Republic Special is coming our way which delves into the ongoing stories of four important prequel era characters.
Here’s what’s in the pipeline for this special issue:
The baddest Jedi in the galaxy has a score to settle — MACE WINDU returns in an action-packed adventure from OLD MAN HAWKEYE’S Ethan Sacks!
You can run, but can you hide from the twin lightsabers of Sith assassin ASAJJ VENTRESS? Feel her fury in a tale expertly woven by veteran STAR WARS comic scribe Jody Houser (THRAWN, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS).
And is JAR JAR BINKS’ role in the Star Wars story over? NOT BY A LONG SHOT! Because Chip Zdarsky (PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE) has a rancor bone to pick with the galaxy’s most notorious Gungan.
You can take the clone out of the war but you can never take the war out of the clone — CAPTAIN REX dusts off his blaster and enters the fray in a story by X-MEN: GOLD author Marc Guggenheim.
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While that’s a huge thumbs up for Windu, Ventress and Rex, do we really have to see more of the bumbling idiot Jar Jar? I mean, it’s not as though his story isn’t fleshed out already. Though he’s most famous for his appearance in The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar went on to become a junior representative for Naboo on the Galactic Senate alongside Padme Amidala. But, in true Jar Jar fashion, he completely screwed that up in a dramatic way, as he was convinced by Palpatine to propose emergency powers that ended up paving the way for the Empire to take over the galaxy.
So, all those killed by the Empire (including the entire planet of Alderaan)? Their blood’s on your hands, Jar Jar! This is something the Star Wars universe at large seemed to recognize, too, as his most recent appearance in the novel Aftermath: Empire’s End found him relegated to being a street clown on Naboo, ostracized by both the Gungans and the Naboo for his part in helping the Empire rise to power. Couldn’t we just leave him there?
2019 will be the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, which may explain why Disney’s suddenly eager to promote prequel characters. That and there are rumors swirling about that Episode IX will bring back elements from the prequels to round out the 9-film Skywalker Saga.
That remains unconfirmed for now, but what we can tell you with certainty is that Star Wars: Age of Republic Special will hit store shelves on January 19th, 2019.