Every fan of Star Wars novels most likely has a list of books they have always wanted to see. For me the book on the top of that list was a novel featuring my favorite Expanded Universe character, Quinlan Vos. With Del Rey’s recent announcement of a novel featuring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, it seems like I got my wish. In Summer of 2015 we will be getting a novel based on unused scripts from The Clone Wars animated series.
I remember when Dave Filoni posted his sketches of scenes from the unused scripts. I was happy to see images of Vos, but extremely sad at the idea I would never get to see those stories on screen. With the recent release of the Son of Dathomir comics I knew there was a chance I would see these other stories in comic form someday, but I never expected a novel. To me a novel is an even better option because it will allow us to really get into the character’s heads.
So you may wonder why I am so excited for a novel featuring a character who only had a significant role in one episode of The Clone Wars. That may be all he is to fans who have only seen the animated series, but to those of us who have been following the comics, he is so much more.
Vos was a major player in the Republic series of comics, which ran for 83 issues from 1998 to 2006. It could be argued he was the main character in that series. The bulk of these comics told the story of the Clone Wars before the animated series came along in 2008. With his unique look and intriguing story, he quickly became a fan favorite. Comics featuring him even caught Lucas’ eye. Quinlan Vos’ apprentice, Aayla Secura, ended up appearing in the films, and Vos himself got a mention in Revenge of the Sith. Both characters ultimately appeared in The Clone Wars TV series and have had multiple actions figures made of them.
So to understand the character of Quinlan Vos you must start at his roots, the comics. You may ask me, Why would I go back and read these comics which have recently been labeled “Legends” and non-canon?
Although the future of Star Wars literature will not be beholden to the material that has come before, Lucasfilm and specific authors have said that they will be looking to the previous material for inspiration. I doubt Vos’ backstory will be completely revamped. I fully expect elements from the comics to find their way into the upcoming novel. The Clone Wars TV series used Quinlan’s look from the comics, down to his exact tattoos and the symbols on his clothing. Even his Force ability of psychometry is straight from the comics.
So which comics should you read? That’s a good question. I would just say just read the entire Republic series. In fact, that is my first recommendation. It’s a great series and well worth the read. But if you are more interested in the must-read Quinlan Vos comics, here are the ones I would recommend.
Not to be confused with the vampire novels or the name of Anakin’s ship, Twilight was the first storyline to feature Quinlan Vos. It is not his first appearance, but it is his first significant one. We are introduced to a Jedi who has completely lost his memory and is trying to regain it. The story also features Vilmarh Grahrk who will continue to pop up throughout other Quinlan Vos stories. Twilight is issues 19-22 of the Republic series and has been collected in a single volume under the same title.
This storyline starts to dig deeper into Quinlan’s past and, as the title suggests, it gets pretty dark. Vos is on a mission to save his padawan and has to confront his own fears. Oh yeah, and he has to confront an Anzati Dark Jedi too, which is pretty cool. This story features Vos’ former master, Tholme, and introduces us to the unique Jedi Master Zao. Darkness is issues 32-35 of the Republic series and has been collected into a single volume under the same title.
Rite of Passage
The story of Quinlan Vos continues in this story arc where we find him once again on a mission to save a friend. This time it is his former Master Tholme who has gotten himself into a mess on the planet Ryloth. The story heavily features Aayla Secura as well as Morgukai brothers who will play a bigger part later in Vos’ tale. Find this story in issues 42-45 of the Republic comics and collected in a comic volume with the same title.
Double Blind / Striking from Shadows / Jedi: Count Dooku
These stories are a bit scattered throughout the series. I couldn’t skip these though. They are some of the best comics Vos is found in. Vos goes undercover and tries to infiltrate Dooku’s inner circle. He is faced with his own darkness and has to make life and death decisions, not only for himself but for those around him. Oh, and there is an epic battle between Vos and one of my favorite Jedi K’Kruhk. The individual issues are Republic 54, 63, and the one-shot titled Jedi: Count Dooku. They can also be found collected into one volume titled Clone Wars Volume 4: Light and Dark.
Armor / Dreadnaughts of Rendili
If you thought those previous stories sounded awesome, just wait. Here is where the story really picks up. It starts with Vos facing off against Aayla Secura and the really cool clone Bly (Spoiler Alert: Vos went kinda dark). The story continues with a Vos/Obi-Wan team-up and Ventress shows up too. Did I mention she rides a rancor at some point? Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar, and even Anakin Skywalker all make appearances. For these stories read issues 68-71 of the Republic series.
Trackdown / Siege of Seleucami
Now it’s Aayla Secura’s turn to go undercover. She is sent by Master Tholme to figure out what’s the deal with Vos and to see if he can still be trusted. This story also brings back not only the Anzati but also the Morgukai warriors, and their strings are all being pulled by the calculating Count Dooku.
The story continues with the pivotal battle at Seleucami. This is the final battle of the Republic comics before the events of Revenge of the Sith. Jedi, Sith, Dark Jedi, Anzati, and Morgukai clones all clash in this epic confrontation, and some notable Jedi do not make it out alive. These stories can be found in issues 72-77 of the Republic series. They have also been collected into a single volume titled Clone Wars Volume 8: The Last Siege, The Final Truth.
The events of Revenge of the Sith nearly killed Quinlan Vos, but a blast from a tank can’t keep this Jedi down. These issues cover Quinlan’s attempts to survive immediately after Order 66. This also marks the end of the Republic comic series. Hidden Enemy can be found in issues 81-83 of the Republic series.
This story was non canon before being non canon was cool. The Star Wars Tales comics told various stories across the Star Wars universe and most of these stories were never meant to fit into continuity. One such story featured a meeting of Quinlan Vos and none other than a young Han Solo. Sound far fetched? The story actually works pretty well and it’s just plain cool to see those two characters together. Check out Ghost in Star Wars Tales #11.
If you are a fan of comics or just interested in learning more about Quinlan Vos before reading next summer’s novel, read some or all of the comics I recommend above. Just read them all. You won’t regret it.