Star Wars comic history: “Alien” vs Jedi

From 1991-2012, Dark Horse comics held the comics licenses for three major film franchises: Star Wars, Aliens, and Predator (They also held the Indiana Jones licence, but didn’t make too many uses of it). It of course famously paired the latter two off in the comics, and this confrontation spinned off various video games, two films and of course many, many comic sequels.

In addition Alien and Predator also clashed with DC’s superheroes and various other film properties such as the Terminator and Robocop franchise. However, “Star Wars” was pretty much it’s own thing-and considerably more PG-and it was unlikely George Lucas would sign off on such a thing.

However, we did get a somewhat similar tale to “Aliens” with the 1997 comic series Jedi Academy: Leviathan.

First, a little context-The “Jedi Academy” series of books focused on Luke taking the first steps of rebuilding the order after the defeat of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the Clone Emperor (In the Thrawn trilogy and Dark Empire.) Of course while this is going on, he also has to deal with a new Imperial threat from a secret weapons installation (Which happens to not only have a partially constructed prototype Death Star handy, but also a small vesssel capable of destroying stars) led by a ruthless female Admiral (Who will give Luke further problems down the road) but also the undead spirit of a Dark Lord of the Sith at the site of his temple (Which is the old Rebel base on Yavin IV), tempting his students with the dark side of the Force.

 

The trilogy was then followed up by the “Children of the Jedi” trilogy, which had Luke fall in love with a Clone Wars-era Jedi who had posessed the body of one of his students. The second novel, “Darksaber”, had Luke face off against Daala once again, as well as a Hutt superweapon.

This is where “Leviathan” takes off from. It’s written by the same writer as the trilogy and Darksaber, Kevin J. Anderson (He also wrote a great deal of the Tales of the Jedi stuff)

 

Unlike a lot of other comics depicting Luke’s version of the Jedi order, which pretty much have them with the classic Jedi robe look, instead each Jedi has a more unique design. The style of the series as a whole is very similar to “Tales of the Jedi”-and it’s no coincidence, since it’s done by Dario Carrasco Jr, the artist who worked on that series (Specifically the Sith Empire ones)

 

Here’s where we get similarities to “Aliens”-A mining colony sends a distress call to Coruscant, and Leia-who now pretty much rules the Republic as chief of state at this point in the timeline-asks her brother to lend a hand. He assembles a strike force-Kyp Durron, a Jedi who briefly went to the Dark Side, Streen from Bespin, Dorsk 82, a clone, and Kirana Ti, a “witch” from Dathomir.

The group go to the rain-soaked colony but like in “Aliens”, they’re too late. Not only is the colony completely destroyed and everybody dead, but there’s also a nasty Sith monster that’s trapped the souls of the colonists.

 

Fortunately, Kyp and his team are able to kill the monster and free the trapped souls.

However, like the Alien movies, just when you think it’s safe, surprise! Another Leviathan pops up and is extremely hard to kill. However, they’re able to eventually destroy it by electrocuting it.

The Leviathan monster would later show up in further Star Wars lore, especially as more and more about the history of the Sith was written. However, Leviathan was de-canonized in 2014, when Disney decided to take a different direction with Luke’s attempts to rebuild the Jedi.

 

 

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