In 1998, Dark Horse launched a new Star Wars ongoing title, with no subtitle (although it would eventually get one-“Republic”-around the time of Attack of the Clones). This comic would also have a different focus from the other comics-instead of happening thousands of years before (Tales of the Jedi) during the original trilogy timeframe (Several of the miniseries) or post-ROTJ (X-wing Rogue Squadron, the Thrawn trilogy adaptation Dark Empire etc.), this one would tie in with the upcoming prequel movies, and feature the adventures of the Jedi Council member, Ki Adi Mundi, who along with Obi-Wan, Anakin (briefly) Yoda and Mace Windu was pretty much the only other council member from the films who actually kind of spoke at all.
The initial storyline was “Prelude to Rebellion”, in which Ki-Adi-Mundi’s family becomes involved in the affairs of Jabba the Hutt-specifically “Ephant Mon”, one of Jabba’s top lieutenants with a funny name.
However, you did read that right-Ki-Adi has a family-and one with five wives and eight kids!!
This of course, presents a bit of an odd continuity error, as it’s made quite clear in the last two prequels that Jedi are not allowed to get married or reproduce-Part of Anakin’s descent into darkness is built with his defiance of the code, and his premonitions by Padme drive him to take the actions that will mold him into Darth Vader. So why does Mundi-a council member, no less, have a family-and before the continuity overhau
l by Lucasfilm, how was this explained?
The real world explanation is kind of simple, Lucas hadn’t quite made clear the Jedi’s non-attachments at the time, and so writing Jan Strand was pretty much able to create his own backstory for Mundi.
However, when AOTC came out, a piece of retro-active continuity was introduced during one of the later issues set during the Clone Wars. Basically, Mundi is given an exception since his planet has a low male birth rate. We also learn that his family was killed during a Clone Wars battle, effectively writing them out as well.
Despite being a member of the Jedi and serving the Republic, Ki-Adi Mundi actually works to keep his planet neutral in the series, which frustrates his family, including his daughter, who joins a gang and becomes caught up in Ephant Mon’s schemes.
Although the storyline ends with Mundi rescuing his daughter and becoming a member of the council, it hints that Jabba has ties with the Trade Federation…who apparently are up to no good.
These comics also have a back up tale, Vow of Justice, which deals with an adventure of a younger Ki-Adi-Mundi as he first joins the Jedi and deals with raiders on his planet.
Future story arcs would also feature Ki-Adi, although eventually the focus of the monthly title would switch to “grey” Jedi Quinlan Vos, a character ‘sort of’ created for the comics (But based on a background character in The Phantom Menace), which I will cover in later articles.