Hello, I’m Gertrude Jones.
I’ve always been into Star Wars. My dad is a massive nerd, and that got passed down to me. So, it was inevitable that I’d sit down and get to enjoy The Clone Wars TV show. It took a while, but eventually, my dad and I rewatched the entire show, start to finish.
And during this rewatch, I happened to stumble upon some old graphic novels that were made when the original show was airing. There is a total of eleven of these little books, but there is one in particular that stands out above the rest. This, of course, is the tenth graphic novel in the series: Defenders of the Lost Temple, written by Justin Aclin and art done by Ben Bates. This issue, while now considered legends and thus no longer canon, is absolutely amazing and definitely holds up after almost a decade.
Let’s get into why I really like this graphic novel. A good place to start is the art. I love the way everything looks in this comic. Everything is very consistent throughout the book (which is more than what I can say for some other clone wars comics). I love how the artist (Ben Bates) makes slight changes to the shape of the clone trooper’s visors to allow them to emote more than if they were the same shape all the time. There are plenty of close-up shots of different characters that really bring out the little details of each character in the shot. The coloring is also on point, and we have Michael Atiyeh to thank for that.
But the true highlight of this book is a clone trooper named Glitch. Glitch is kind of the protagonist of this comic, and he, by far, is the most interesting character. What makes him so special? Well, he believes he is force sensitive. Throughout the comic he’s seen trying to use the force, saying things about how he’s had visions or can sense the dark side, but no one believes him. On the surface, Glitch just seems like a slightly relatable and endearing background character. Until of course, he has a conversation with the young padawan Rennax Omani. In the conversation, he gets asked what he hopes to find out by listening in on Rennax and her master, and his response is that could a clone like him be force sensitive or is really just crazy as everyone tells him he is. He laments how he worries that maybe there is something wrong with him, but most of all he worries that there isn’t, and he’s just another clone made to fight and nothing more. This gives Glitch so much more depth and makes his eventual lightsaber duel with Death Watch and sacrifice all the more powerful.
Lastly, we should quickly go over some other great characters in this story. Rennax is an obvious one. Her genuine want to help Glitch out is very nice, and her leaving the order feels genuine, and instead of being tragic like Ahsoka’s was, it’s more bittersweet because her master completely supports her in her decision. Back on the clone trooper side of things, Glitch’s fellow trooper Horns also has a nice little arc. He goes from admiring Death Watch (aka the story’s antagonists) for being powerful warriors to understanding what they truly are after meeting them.
Overall, this comic is one of the best of its series and should most definitely be checked out by anyone who is into Star Wars.