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Cover Date: October 4 2004
Cover Price: Free
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Black & White; Webcomic; 169 pages
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The events which begin Revenge of the Sith show Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker trying to rescue Palpatine and take down Count Dooku. As this webcomic shows, though, the Jedi Council's game was much deeper than all that.
While the boys are going for the head of the CIS, the girls are tasked with taking out other trunks of the Separatist tree. Aayla Secura, Stass Allie and Barriss Offee are sent for Commerce Guild Presidente, Shu Mai. Unbeknownst to them, however, General Greivous, military chief of the CIS, is keeping a watchful eye over Shu Mai. He stands quite ready for a rematch with Secura, whom he all but killed when first he revealed himself to the Jedi Council. Along the way we get perhaps our most detailed glimpse of Stass Allie since her early, supporting role in the events surrounding The Phantom Menace, and we see Barriss Offee at last as a full Jedi Knight with a padawan of her own.
But this story does not stop with the opening scenes of Episode III. Instead, it presses forward and becomes a kind of Revenge of the Sith as told by the last padawans of Offee, Alliee and Secura. The hunt for Shu Mai takes the Troika and their padawans all the way to, and after, Order 66. The strip ends with all three masters deaths having been witnessed remotely by their stunned padawans. Using their minds and their Force powers to make sense of what they've seen, they undoubtedly understand, in the end, that Palpatine was controlling both sides of the War all along.
In truth there were 169 separate "issues" of this title. While it was ongoing, each 3-4-panel strip came out daily. Now that the story is complete, it appears as an entire story through which one can page.
Attributing the price as "free" is a matter of debate. It's perhaps most accurately seen as "free with Hyperspace membership"--"Hyperspace" being the premium content area of starwars.com.
The story itself nestles into continuity at the very end of the Clone Wars, vol. 2, animated series as a sort of "what other Jedi were doing during Episode III" tale.
Based upon a 27 September 2004 press release, the likely start date for the series was 4 October 2004. If it truly ran daily, it would have ended on or about 5 April 2005, about a month before the theatrical release of Episode III. In practice, however, it ended about a month after the release of ROTS, in June of 2005.
This strip is one of the few Star Wars comics to ever star female Jedi; Yoda, Skywalker and Kenobi appear in limited ways.
This strip is best read after having watched Episode III, because it ties so tightly into scenes in the movie. It offers us a glimpse into what was probably Anakin Skywalker's last official act as a Jedi, shows what Aayla's cut lines from the movie likely were, and gives us a revealing look into the actual transmission of Order 66.
Importantly, at least to Star Wars fans, the story contains the definitive death scene of Barriss Offee, and implies the death of Stass Alliee, scratching their names off the list of possible Order 66 survivors. It also shows Secura's death from a different angle than that of the movie, ending any fan debate over whether or not she really died in Episode III.
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