They've been responsible for some of the most dazzling and awe-inspiring visuals ever put to film, and now the concept artists behind the Episode III: Revenge of the Sith bring their considerable talents to comics. The gifted minds of the Lucasfilm art department and the visual effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic come together to tell their own Star Wars tales in this compilation of short stories. Given free reign to explore any and every aspect of the Star Wars universe, each artist offers a new twist or a deeper view into that galaxy far, far away.
Nowhere else will you find a more pure or more different look at George Lucas' enduring creation than through the eyes of the Star Wars: Visionaries.
Put simply, some parts of Visionaries are true, some aren't, and some are right on the edge. In the notes field of each story, the various tales are marked as NON-CANON, CANON, and POSSIBLY CANON.
Synopsis: This "story" is an abstract representation of the battle between good and evil. There is neither dialogue nor recognizable characters in the work. The only thing that's clear is that lightsabers are the weapon of choice.
Notes: POSSIBLY CANON STORY Not really a story, but a series of recruitment ads for the Empire. Still, the nature of the ads is conjecture, roughly based on World War II military recruitment ads, and implies something about the way the Empire replaced its Clone Wars-era stormtroopers which may or may not be canon.
Notes: POSSIBLY CANON STORY This isn't a story, but a 12-page gallery of art. The paintings are drawn from all over the Star Wars galaxy, and may represent several different time frames. Though all obviously painted by Church, he posits that they were done in-universe by fictional artists living in the Star Wars galaxy. That, however, makes the canonicity of the work considerably less clear, if one considers the vantage point of the artist necessary to complete the work.
Some of the subject matter is inherently unclear. For instance, what is the piece, "Green Coruscant" supposed to represent? Is it Coruscant tens of thousands of years ago, before it became a city-planet? Is it Coruscant of Star Wars: Legacy, after the greening program of the Yuuzhan Vong War? Or is it an entirely different planet literally called "Green Coruscant"?
Contains the following portraits:
Death Star Drydock
Synopsis: Background During the Huk War, a conflict predating and unrelated to the Clone Wars, two mighty cultures were engaged in battle. On the one side were the Kaleesh; on the other, the Huks. The basic nub of the argument was that the Huks had overpopulated their own planet, and sought to conquer nearby worlds for colonization.
One such world was Kalee, which resisted the Huk invasion fiercely. One of their most brilliant battlefield tacticians was the warlord Qymaen jai Sheelal. He had become so zealous in his pursuit of the Huk that he journeyed to their other worlds and began slaying not just combatants but civilians without discrimination. Eventually, the Huks actually turned to the Republic for assistance, and the Galactic Senate sided with the Huks.
In the end, everything Sheelal had been fighting for was lost; Kalee ended up a poverty-stricken planet anyway, thanks to Senate embargos of the planet's economy.
At about this same time, Count Dooku left the Jedi Order. But he would have been privy to information about this Sheelal and his battlefield antics. It was therefore natural that Dooku should one day turn to him when looking for a military leader without a clear sense of morality.
At first, Dooku brought Sheelal into the Confederacy of Independent Systems via the Banking Clan. It was done, as all things SIth, quite subtly. Kalee was in poverty. They needed economic assistance. So San Hill went to Kalee, offered to wipe out the debt caused by the Senate's embargo, under the condition that Sheelal become an IBC collection agent.
However, the IBC didn't allow him to bring along any Kaleesh warriors for backup. Instead, they insisted that he use their droids. He went through several models, demanding changes in their programming each time. It was this process of making a single organic warrior, a master tactician, work alongside droid warriors, which radically improved droid design from the time of The Phantom Menace to the point where droids nearly vanquished Jedi elite in Episode II's Battle of Geonosis.
"The Eyes of the Revolution" proper All was going well with this new arrangement, until Sheelal got word that the Huk had returned to Kalee. The invaders were apparently ransacking sacred burial grounds. Sheelal thus immediately stopped working for the IBC to return to his homeworld.
San Hill was not amused at this breach of contract. He thus brought in his CIS allies in on the problem. At the time, neither he nor Poggle the Lesser, nor the Archduke of Geonisis thought it odd that Dooku and their mutual master, Darth Sidiious, should be so interested in the case of one wayward employee. Instead, these lesser members of the CIS were grateful that the "upper management" were so involved.
In truth though, they should've seen that something larger was going on. The plan Sidious, through Dooku, devised was decidedly a "test run" for something bigger in the future. They would blow up Sheelal's shuttle, but remote-activate his seat to eject. All of his Kaleesh elite warriors would be destroyed, ending Kaleesh's ability to prosecute a war on Kalee, and he would himself be badly injured, necessitating cyborg implants.
The plan worked. Sheelal's legs were instantly amputated. His body went into massive shock. But Dooku was able to be right at the coordinates of the ejection seat's trajectory to administer Force Lightning to stop the immediate shock. By using the blood of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas (whom Dooku had kept cryogenically frozen), Dooku was able to keep Sheelal alive long enough to get him into a bacta tank on Geonisis. Along the way, Dooku planted the idea that the shuttle attack had been engineered by Jedi, acting on the orders of the Senate. After extensive operations and considerable rehab, including a selective lobotomy, he emerged a different kind of warrior known to the whole galaxy as General Grievous.
And his hatred of the Republic and Jedi was absolute. Ironically, he owed his life to the blood of a Jedi, and his first weapon following his transformation was the light saber of Sifo-Dyas.
POSSIBLY CANON This story is tricky to slide into a category. The basic details are meant to be canon, but LucasFilm actually has two explanations going for the origin of Grievous. One comes from the Clone Wars cartoon and the other is from LucasBooks' novel, Labyrinth of Evil. The two have not yet been completely rectified, as of late 2006. However, this story does work within the context of Labyrinth of Evil.
Another complication is that this story contains the only visual depiction of Sifo-Dyas in any medium, so one could well imagine that he might be differently imagined in the future.