The wedding of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade
Star Wars Union was the very first Star Wars comic I've ever read. At that time, my knowledge of the expanded universe was limited. A lot of the characters were unknown to me, especially Mara Jade, the woman that Luke Skywalker would be marrying. I thought to myself that this had to be non-canon. However, despite all of this, I still enjoyed reading it. Years later, I was glad to take a look at this classic book once more, since my knowledge of Star Wars outside the movies had grown.
Star Wars: Union is basically a wedding, Star Wars style. It has the elements you could imagine that go with a wedding: the planning process, a bachelor party, the wedding dress, last minute wedding jitters, the ceremony, and assassins...wait what? Taking place quite a while after Return of the Jedi, the New Republic is as strong as ever with the Empire, now known as the Imperial Remnant, now struggling to survive. When word reaches the galaxy of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade getting married, it sparks a lot of reactions.
There's a lot of different aspects towards this event. There's the fact that this wedding is supposed to be something positive for other to witness after decades of fighting, there's also the talk about the advantages and disadvantages of being married thanks to both Luke and Mara's friends, which is humorous, and there's the Jedi and The Force concept. Before the prequel movies stating that love and marriage was forbidden as a Jedi, the concept was lost during the rise of the Empire. Both Luke and Mara have their own version of wedding jitters as they believe that something dark will come out of being married. As sappy as that sounds, love really does play a role in this story, that shows the bond Luke and Mara have for each other, and beats Han and Leia's marriage in some ways.
Oh, and I can't forget about those who oppose this wedding. Yes, this small fraction featured in this story is lead by Moff Takkar who believe it's the perfect time to attack in this time of celebration. It understandable why those loyal to the Empire feel cheated due to the position of power in the Imperial Remnant. And to be honest, while his plan was...idiotic, it was the ideal and passion that made it interesting. What were the Rebels fighting for? To restore democracy. That is what Takkar is trying to accomplish.
The artwork does have some minor problems, but overall, Robert Teranishi does a great job with it. For the most part, the main cast of characters look the same (amazingly, I mean it's been nearly 15 years after Return of the Jedi). One might think that because this is a story about a wedding there wouldn't be any conflicts, but there are some. The minor fuss goes toward some of the characters that are sometimes hard to recognize, especially with the men. What really stand out are the environment. The majority of the story takes place on Coruscant, but it's amazing how much detail is put into each area. The colors really help set the environments and mood as well. Major props go towards Duncan Fegredo who does a fantastic job with the cover illustrations.
The problem with Union has to be the lack of background. The story itself is easy to get into, but if your knowledge of Star Wars doesn't go past Return of the Jedi or the novels, you might feel lost on who most of the unfamiliar characters are despite some having minor roles. There's not even a mention of WHEN Luke proposed to Mara or HOW they even met! There's also the plot to disrupt the wedding. You'd think that most of the characters being Jedi, couldn't they sense a possible disturbance happening? Just saying.
Instead of being a sappy soap opera drama, Union manages to be another essential part of the Star Wars lore. If you're looking for a lighthearted Star Wars comic about a celebration, try reading this book.