Review: “Touching Darkness” by Michael Moreci & Phillip Sevy
Ahsoka Tano seeks guidance from a former Jedi and battles an old enemy in this fan comic by Michael Moreci and Phillip Sevy
Last year, writers Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel celebrated the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by publishing “Star Wars: Tales From the Far, Far Away”, a fan-made comic anthology that included a story set during Obi-Wan Kenobi’s exile on Tatooine and another starring fan-favourite bounty hunters Boba Fett and Bossk.
And to celebrate the release of Rogue One this year, they’ve teamed up with fellow writer Ryan Cady and a whole crew of talented comic artists, letterers, and colourists to work on their latest project, “Tales From the Far, Far Away: Volume 2”.
The full 115-page comic contains 8 brand-new stories that cover the pre-Phantom Menace era all the way through to the sequel trilogy era and it can be downloaded for FREE over here! Or here. Or here.
Please keep in mind that the comic is entirely fan-made (albeit by professional comic writers and artists) and that while the stories are largely consistent with current Star Wars canon, some artistic liberties may have been taken where needed. In other words, try not to drag Pablo Hidalgo and the rest of the Lucasfilm Story Group into any arguments concerning “canon”…though you’re more than welcome to send them the link to the comic. The more readers, the merrier… 😉
Now, onto my review of the Ahsoka Tano story, “Touching Darkness”.
“Touching Darkness” is set a few years before the events of Star War Rebels (judging from the dialogue) and builds upon plot elements we’ve seen in the TV series The Clone Wars and Rebels as well as the canon novels Dark Disciple and Star Wars: Ahsoka.
Without spoiling too much of the story, Ahsoka Tano (who’s now working for Senator Bail Organa) must enlist the help of former Jedi Master Quinlan Vos in order to learn more about the shadowy figure that’s trying to crush the fledgling rebellion. Ahsoka and her reluctant ally soon find themselves coming face to face with a person from their pasts and must put aside their differences to save Senator Organa from certain death…
Michael Moreci has done a spectacular job of penning a story that not only captures the voice of Ahsoka Tano but also fits neatly into the established canon. “Touching Darkness” deals with an older, more experienced Ahsoka than the one we saw in E.K. Johnston’s novel but one who still seems a little uncertain about her role within the growing rebellion. This comic, while fan-made, could easily be seen as another step in Ahsoka’s journey to becoming the rebel leader we encountered in Star Wars Rebels.
Bringing Quinlan Vos into the story was a neat touch, acknowledging the events recounted in Christie Golden’s Dark Disciple and giving us an idea of what may have happened to Vos following the execution of Order 66. Until the official canon contradicts this, I’m more than happy to accept this turn of events. And Master Vos wasn’t the only Force user to make an appearance in the comic, though you’ll need to read it to find out exactly who I mean.. 😉
Kudos go to artist Phillip Sevy and colourists Juancho Velez and Dave Baron for masterfully bringing this story to life in all its vivid glory. I was already well-acquainted with Sevy’s art style (and his penchant for drawing action sequences) thanks to his work on the latest Tomb Raider comic series and I’m glad to say that his style translates perfectly to Star Wars media. The interweaving panels on the second page of the comic are an excellent example of his work.
For the sake of writing a balanced review, I’d like to point out the one scene I felt didn’t quite match up to what we’ve seen on The Clone Wars and, more recently, on Star Wars Rebels. And that was Ahsoka’s brief visit to Dathomir, home planet of the Nightsisters and Maul. It may have been an creative decision by the colourist who worked on that particular scene but the colour palette didn’t seem quite right, favouring greys and blues in place of the black, green, and red hues I tend to associate with the Nightsister coven. A minor complaint in the grand scheme of things and certainly not one that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the comic.
All in all, “Touching Darkness” is a prime example of how fan creations can sometimes surpass officially commissioned media and, in some respects, I found it a more fulfilling read than Star Wars: Ahsoka.
While E.K. Johnston did a commendable job of exploring Ahsoka’s frame of mind in the wake of Order 66 and showed us how the former Padawan came to work for Bail Organa, I was disappointed that we never got to see Ahsoka’s first mission as Fulcrum or learn more about her thoughts on the growing resistance against the Galactic Empire (perhaps this will be addressed in a future novel). Admittedly, this is more a criticism of my own expectations than the quality of the novel itself…but I have to admit that the novel left me a little wanting.
Moreci and Sevy’s comic, while short, ticked all the right boxes for me and has only whet my appetite for more comic book adventures starring my favourite Togruta. From its interweaving story threads to its intense lightsaber battles, it’s kyber crystal clear that this is a comic borne out of love for the Star Wars franchise and for Ahsoka Tano herself.
Now, could someone please hire these guys to work on an official comic series?
You can read “Touching Darkness” and the other comics in “Tales From the Far, Far Away: Volume 2” by downloading this comic anthology for free over here (or here, or here). Special thanks go to Michael Moreci and Phillip Sevy for sending me an early copy of “Touching Darkness” for review!
Looking for more amazing fan-created comics starring Ahsoka Tano? Check out my article Ahsoka Tano Webcomics You Should Be Reading!
Disappointed with this story. They made a story with Ahsoka and you-know-who post clone wars, yet it ended up being manpain for Vos smh
Each to their own. I thought it was a fun way to bring back some old characters (who haven’t been dealt with at all in the canon media).