Star Wars: Republic #53
April 2003
"Blast Radius", 22ppg, $2.99

Script: Haden Blackman
Penciller: Brian Ching
Inker: Joe Weems
Colorist: Joe Wayne
Letterer: Digital Chameleon
Cover Artist: Mozart Couto
Book Design: Dave Nestelle
Assistant Editor: Jeremy Barlow
Editor: Randy Stradley
Publisher: Mike Richardson


DROID
2-1B (Too-Onebee)

LOCATION
Queyta, Coruscant

SPECIES
Skakoan

STARSHIP
Confederacy evacuation ship, Jedi Starfighter [Delta-7]

COMMENTS
According to the inside cover, the events in this issue takes place four months after the Battle of Geonosis.

The planet Queyta is a fiery, volcanic planet that is surprisingly similar looking to Mustafar, except for the fact it appears two years prior to the release of Revenge of the Sith.

Master Ven'nari was known as the "Fire Eater" and once fought off wookiee bandits to save Bothan space. Master Antilles was a student of the Dark Woman who infiltrated the bounty hunter's guild and had been thought dead before. Master Diath was from the Diath Jedi clan and freed many slaves from the Hutts. Master Fay was beautiful and ageless, and never once raised her lightsaber in combat.
SYNOPSIS
On a landing platform outside the Jedi Temple, Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu watch as a damaged Jedi starfighter carrying Master Obi-Wan Kenobi crashes. He is badly injured, but has recovered the antidote. As medical droids look over him, Master Windu explains that he was searching for the antidote to the chemical gas Ohma-D'un. Four other Jedi died in bringing this antidote back and they will be deeply missed.

These four Jedi are being mourned in the Temple garden by the Council and a few other Jedi. They are a Bothan, Master Knol Ven'nari, Jon Antilles, Nico Diath and Master Fay. Mace asks Kenobi to share with the assemble Jedi how their histories ended.

Obi-Wan's search for the source of the chemical weapon lead him to the volcanic world of Queyta, where the other Jedi were waiting for him, having followed the Force or their own leads there. They have discovered the chemical factory, which is drifting on a river of lava. The team of Jedi infiltrate the base only to find a skeleton crew of Skakoans running things. Kenobi discovers the lab where the samples they need should be.

Upon discovering the lab, they also discover Asajj Ventress and Durge, who have already secured the antidote. As Kenobi and Ventress lock lightsabers, Durge opens fire on the Skakoans, who are methane breathers in compressed suits. The whole place explodes! Master Ven'nari begins pulling in the flames, protecting everyone else. She does not survive the extensive burns but has given the rest a chance to go after Ventress.

She is crossing a narrow catwalk over the lava and is flanked by Antilles and Kenobi. Durge flies in knocking Antilles over the side, while Ventress uses her lightsaber on the ceiling, causing it to collapse. Master Diath is caught and tumbles back into the lava. As Kenobi and Master Fay make their way after Ventress, Antilles, who had managed to jump on Durge's back is drowned in lava by the massive warrior.

Master Fay uses the Force to launch shards of broken glass to incapacitate Ventress before pulling her memories away, knocking her unconscious. Kenobi takes the vile of antidote from her as he and Master Fay are blown clear by an explosion from Durge's rocket.

Master Fay calls after Kenobi, not seeing the two red lightsabers that stab her through the back. Ventress sees Kenobi hanging by one hand over the side of a cliff. She offers him a hand, but he swiftly refuses. Ventress says she will kill him next time they meet, regardless of Dooku's order. She and Durge take off in an evac ship.

Master Fay is not quite dead and is able to pull Kenobi up from the ledge. She then lends him what she has left of her strength so that he alone can survive and safely see the antidote home.

Back in the Jedi Temple, pay their final respects to the fallen heroes and take comfort in the fact that have saved millions more lives.




Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars – The Republic Goes to War #1 Clone Wars Trade Paperback #2