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The Pone Wars #1: Tack of the Clones, Part I



A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

I was tired of waiting, so I figured I might as well get started.  As I mentioned before, the format of this comic is quite different: apart from the first and last two pages, it's all double spreads, many of which require two or three (or even more) set pieces each, so it's taking a lot longer to make each page.  Therefore it won't have the regular release schedule of the previous comic, at least not at first - although I do have an issue and a half saved up, I'm only going to release pages as I finish new ones.  At my current rate, that averages to about one a week, but no promises.

The decision to start with Attack of the Clones came about as I was trying to catch up on the cartoon and started thinking that the movie would have been much, much better had it been presented in the same format as the show, with 3 episodes each focusing on a different facet of the story, to force the rather substantial amount of deadwood to get trimmed.  So I broke the plot down into three major segments and then devised a background pony side story to parallel them.  As ever, there have been things necessarily left out - for starters, pretty much the entirety of the Anakin/Padme courtship story, for the same reason that the Han/Leia story was mostly absent from 'The Empire Bucks Back' (and also because it's slightly more creepy than the movie due to the much more significant age difference between Flurry Heart and Skywishes, and because of Cadance sitting in the back of Skywishes' brain demanding grandbabies and offering unsolicited relationship advice).

The galaxy is a much more dangerous place this time around, so I'm less concerned with keeping it all light and fluffy than before.  The format also doesn't lend itself quite as well to punchlines.  I try to keep it funny, or at least wry and witty, but it'll be different to say the least.

A short refresher, for the benefit of those who may have come late to Star Mares and/or skipped over important bits: This comic takes place approximately 50 years before the previous one, 1,050 years after the endpoint of the MLP cartoon.  Five decades ago, the Cloudsdale Trade Federation invaded the Crystal Pony homeworld of Tacktooine, ignited a second sun over it, devastated its ecosystem, and more or less got away with it because at the climax of this incident, Rainbow Dash and Princess Celestia mutually accused one another of being Nightmares, almost killed Applejack, and destroyed Tacktooine's capital city in a pitched battle that only ended when Princess Cadance turned all three of them into crystal statues.  In the following five decades, Pinkie Pie has been appointed as Celestia's replacement by the Senate (despite being woefully unsuitable for the job), Applejack has been rebuilt as a literally heartless cyborg with Rarity's dilettante surgical skills and has become the no-nonsense, no-mercy head of Imperial Security, Twilight Sparkle has put her signature to an official report that Rainbow was the Nightmare for lack of any solid evidence to the contrary, allowing the Trade Federation to weasel out of all responsibility for their actions, and Rarity and Fluttershy have come to the defense of those citizens of the Empire who have become political refugees as a result of the riots sparked by the Trade Federation's legal shenanigans and the rest of the political corruption that has beset the Empire, putting them in direct opposition to Pinkie Pie and Applejack.  The crystal ponies have relocated to their former homeworld of Halteraan and have opened their doors to refugees, and Senator Shining Armor and Princess Flurry Heart are the only prominent voices of reason in an increasingly mad universe.  With only 101 alicorn princesses (and their apprentices in various stages of training) left to protect peace and justice throughout the entire Galaxy (and fewer and fewer ponies willing to trust them), things are falling apart fast.

UPDATE: The events of Episode I are recounted, in a somewhat sporadic fashion, herehere, and here.

And lastly, a reminder:
the events of this time period are much more fluid than those of the original series, as I've already taken several liberties with the prequel movie events for the previous comic. Some characters will fulfill very different roles than you might expect from their equivalents in both series.  Also, the Mane Six (well, what's left of them at this point) have gone through a thousand years of generally none-too-pleasant experiences, and it's taken a toll on their personalities, so don't go judging their actions by how they were as little ponies (it's going to be most obvious in Applejack and Fluttershy, of course, but the event that affected Fluttershy the most takes place about 800 years before this and won't be depicted in the comic, so don't be surprised when she's a bit different than you'd expect.  That being said, she's not in this part, but will be making a fairly substantial appearance later in the series).

Now... enjoy :)

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Found it!

And, while those horns may be Celestia, she's larger/older than the other unicorn ponies. They do seem long for those bodies.

Now, Pinkie: I can imagine her being upset, after being told that she would be overseeing several political parties, only to discover what kind of party that is.