Cade Skywalker isn’t your father’s Skywalker. When first seen he’s a padawan in a Jedi Academy being ravaged by Sith forces. He suffers great personal loss while escaping, and beyond an incident shortly after, isn’t seen for seven years. At that point he’s commanding a bounty hunting crew and very successful at his trade. He’s left his former life behind, but circumstances have a way of inveigling people back to the force.

Star Wars Legacy is set 132 years after the restoration of the Republic in Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately since then matters have deteriorated, with the Jedi on the run, the Sith in control of a new Empire and several other factions jostling for power and attention. John Ostrander writes this entire series, the majority co-plotting with primary artist Jan Duursema. They have an advantage that writers of other Star Wars titles lack: a clean slate. Yet for all that, the initial scenario very much resembles that at the start of A New Hope, a little joke, as matters soon evolve.

Ostrander and Duursema spread their focus around an ever expanding cast on all sides of the conflict in the course of well-plotted science-fiction action thrillers. Within the Empire there are an ambitious pair among the Moff Council, and over the course of the series Nyna Calixte will grow into one of the most complex cast members. New villain of the piece Darth Krayt surrounds himself with an equally despicable selection of Sith, and deposed Emperor Roan Fel proves far more than he initially appears. So does his daughter, the Princess Marasiah Fel. Cade’s shipmates Blue and Syn are loyal and engaging, each with their own back story, and over the series plenty of familiar faces are seen.

Cade is a fascinating character. Impulsive, conflicted and substance-dependent, he lacks a clear vision of who he is, and while naturally adept with the healing abilities of the force, he rejects his previous Jedi status. When he falls under the spell of Darth Krayt there’s a genuine tension as to whether or not he’ll be drawn to the dark side. The series isn’t titled Cade Skywalker: Jedi, after all.

So, the plotting is very good indeed, and the art matches it. Duursema, primarily inked by Dan Parsons, draws most of the material, with Colin Wilson also supplying three chapters of his European-influenced storytelling.

While it’s always nice to have a hardback collection the constituent paperback volumes, Broken, Shards, and Claws of the Dragon are both larger format and far cheaper as individual books.