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Tales of the Jedi Companion (1996)

When they announced that the follow up to the Dark Empire comic series was going to be a series about Jedi centuries before the original Star Wars movies, I was pretty uninterested. If I recall correctly, it was only my pal Ed’s glowing reviews that got me to finally check it out. I honestly still winge with reflexive disinterest a bit when I think about it, but the Tales of the Jedi comic is no doubt one of the best bits of 90s Star Wars, certainly in comics but even in general. Like Dark Empire, it is a fever dream of Star Wars, but one that actually feels correct in some fundamental way. Freedon Nadd! Exar Kun! Holocrons! Lightsabers with wires connected to little power packs! Not to mention paving the way for two excellent videogames.

The Tales of the Jedi Companion (1996) attempts to translate this remote epoch to the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. It draws from just the first two series — Tales of the Jedi and The Freedon Nadd Uprising, a mere seven issues — and everything from the setting to the tech feels pretty accurate to the comics. It is a big undertaking for a single 180-page book though, to set up an entire galaxy. So while I think the content of the comics is well represented, I struggle a bit to see how to play beyond the bounds the comic has clearly laid out. That might be a me thing (I did pass on the comic initially, remember) but I file this sourcebook as more one for folks who want to read about Star Wars than play Star Wars. Maybe I’d feel differently if it took into account all 36 issues. (It also bugs me that I can’t find comic writer Tom Veitch’s name in the credits anywhere).

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