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Comics

Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn Never Left This Galaxy

With the re-release of Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace in 3D arriving next week, it’s hard not to start thinking about characters from the film such as the tattoo-faced Sith warrior Darth Maul, the skillful and intelligent Jedi master Qui- Gon Jinn and even the annoying amphibious creature Jar Jar Binks.

However, while these characters have survived and been seen on DVD for years and once more on the big screen, the comic book universe never really forgot about them.

Beyond the four-issue comic book adaptation of Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace, Dark Horse Comics has published a variety of series featuring characters from this film.

One of the more memorable titles featuring The Phantom Menace characters was the four issue limited series, “Star Wars: Darth Maul” by writer Ron Marz (“Artifacts”) and artist Drew Struzan in 2001.

The story, set prior to Episode 1, has Darth Maul set on a mission to destroy the head of Black Sun, a criminal organization.

In addition to telling a story featuringone of the best and most underused characters in the Star Wars universe, “Star Wars: Darth Maul” had the honor of bringing this Sith warrior to the comics for the first time.

According to the amazon.com description for the “Darth Maul” trade paperback, “‘Star Wars: Darth Maul’ is the first-ever graphic-novel adventure of the ultimate Sith enforcer, an explosive tale of intrigue, mystery, and blistering action.”

This one particular tale has been reprinted in other comic collections such as “Rise of the Sith Omnibus.”

Beyond the early appearance of the Sith, another element of The Phantom Menace was being introduced to the cool, calm, and strong Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Jedi padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This master-apprentice storyline alwaysseemed ripe with further adventures and Dark Horse saw that with miniseries such as “Star War: Jedi Quest” by writer Ryder Windham and artist Pop Mhan and “Star Wars: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan: The Auroient Express.”

However, the adventures of Qui-Gon doesn’t stop there as Dark Horse also presented more of Qui-Gon Jinn’s origin in last year’s miniseries, “Star Wars-The Dark Side” by writer Scott Allie and artist Muhmad Asrar.

The series took a deeper look into themythos and man that is Qui-Gon Jinn as he learns to further work with the force as well as train a padawan named Xanatos before Obi-Wan.

In an interview with comicbookresources.com, Allie explained how he wanted to approach Qui-Gon Jinn, a character who left enough to be explored following his one and only appearance in the film.

Allie said, “We know very little about him, but we know who he is at the time of Episode I. And at that time, I think he can mainly be described as stoic. So how do I make a compelling character in a comics series who, when next we see him will be summed up in the word ‘stoic?’ What does he go through to become that way? Who is that guy?”

“Star Wars- The Dark Side” has been theonly recent appearance of this masterful Jedi as well as a tale featuring young Obi-Wan and himself was presented within the pages of “Star Wars: Republic.”

“Star Wars: Jedi Quest” was also includedin the comic book collection, “Omnibus: Menace Revealed.”

Now, last and somewhat least, is thecharacter more detested by fan boys than the Sith, Jar Jar Binks. While most of Jar Jar appeared in the adaptation of Episode 1 (and Episode 2), he also appeared in his own original tales within “Star Wars Tales” #20, an anthology of stories from across the Star Wars universe.

The Jar Jar story by writer/artist Peter Bagge was called “Failing Up with Jar Jar Binks,” and featured the Naboo native creating more havoc in the Galactic Senate.

The following story involved Jar Jar’s father in “George R. Binks” by writer/artist Tony Millionaire within the same issue. “George R. Binks” featured the senior Binks sailing around Naboo, fighting sea creatures, and surviving on a desert islands in a short comic that looked like something from Jules Verne.

When “Star Wars Tales” #20 was released in 2004, a review from thefourthrail.com’s Randy Lander read, “In the original solicitation, I was given to believe that the focus of this anthology was going to be on that most-hated of Star Wars characters, Jar Jar Binks. In fact, there are only two Jar Jar Binks stories, but they’re both quite entertaining.”

He continued to write that he enjoyed theserious, sea tale by Millionaire and Bagge’s humorous story.

Although these particular characters have lived on past their cinematic appearances, they aren’t the only ones to further develop their lives as Padme Amidala and Mace Windu have had stories featured on their exploits before and after this episode.

So, while fans gear up to see Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace in 3-D, they should realize these characters haven’t disappeared for years but found a new place to live.

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