Prelude to Rebellion was the first story arc of the Star Wars: Republic series of comic books. It spanned issues 1 to 6 of Dark Horse Comics' ongoing series, originally titled simply Star Wars. There was also an online preview issue #0 published exclusively on the Official Star Wars website in Shockwave format and never published anywhere else until a subsequent reprinting in a Marvel Epic collection.
Ki-Adi-Mundi is a Jedi Knight of formidable strength and influence. On his homeworld of Cerea, most of the planet's citizens are happy to continue their low-tech lives of simplicity, isolated from the Republic, but a growing voice calls for the advanced technologies brought by offworlders. When Ki becomes a strong voice of opposition for such development, he is falsely charged with murder and is swiftly drawn into a web of conspiracy and intrigue that could rock the galaxy to its foundations — a web that may have the vile crime lord Jabba the Hutt and the powerful Trade Federation at its center, setting the stage for Episode I The Phantom Menace!
Prelude to Rebellion opens on the planet Cerea, home of Jedi Knight Ki-Adi-Mundi. Long isolated, the planet is being wooed by the Republic. A representative has been sent to persuade the Elders of Cerea to join, offering trade and scientific advancement to Cerea's largely unindustrialized population. Ki-Adi-Mundi dissuades the Elders by speaking of the benefits of the Cerean lifestyle, a peaceful way in harmony with nature that is at odds with the Republic's polluting technology.
Ki returns home to find out that his daughter Sylvn has run away with a member of the Pro-Tech Movement: a group of young Cereans who are in favor of technological advancement. Searching for Sylvn, Ki winds up at a Pro-tech rally led by the human diplomat Bron. After interrupting Bron, Ki is given a chance to speak, but is shouted down by the crowd and seized by a group of angry youth. Sylvn tries to persuade her boyfriend Maj-Odo-Nomor to help release her father, but instead he steals Ki's lightsaber. Not being trained, he accidentally kills another Cerean, but in the chaos, he escapes, leaving Ki with the blame. Ki is cleared since there was a video of the rally, but his lightsaber remains in custody.
He returns home to find a group of youth on swoops, among them Sylvn, escaping from the house with stolen food. Ki follows them to an outsider citadel where he meets with an old friend and informant Ydde. Fearing for his life, Ydde tells Ki nothing and walks away from him. Ki follows him to an alley where he is ambushed by a group of thugs led by a Devaronian. Ki defeats them only to find Ydde dead, shot in the chest by an assassin. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the citadel, the small group of youth are sheltering in the apartment of a Chevin smuggler named Ephant Mon. Three of them, Twin, Skeel and Kordren, decide to go swoop racing, but Skeel dies and Kordren ends up in the hospital when the swoops turn out to be sabotaged.
After finding the name of Ephant Mon in a clue left by Ydde, Ki attempts to persuade the Elders to return his lightsaber. He fails in this, so Ki decides to interrogate a Gran who is under suspicion of murder. The Gran tells Ki, under Force suggestion, where he can find Ephant Mon. Ki arrives at the apartment to find it empty except for a merc droid. Lacking his lightsaber, Ki is forced to flee the droid and runs into a messenger from the Elders. They flee to the sewers where the messenger delivers Ki's lightsaber. Back in possession of his blade, Ki defeats the droid easily, but being injured in the fight, is taken to a medical center.
Ephant Mon and the Pro-tech youth escaped Cerea on Mon's shuttle, but trouble appears, and Sylvn is locked out of an escape pod by Maj. She screams as dangerous divviks close in, but at the last second, she is rescued by Mon who decides to use her as a hostage to ensure their escape.
Ki tracks the ship along with the droids J1M, B3NK, 2-ROB, and the reprogrammed merc droid FLTCH R-1, knowing that Mon's ship is infested with the divviks. They catch up to Mon in orbit around the planet Tatooine and Ki enters the ship, fighting with divviks until he reaches the escape pod. Within the pod, a fight breaks out and Mon kills Maj. With his daughter in the pod, Ki-Adi-Mundi has no choice but to let Mon escape to Tatooine. They track the pod to Jabba's palace, and after surviving a fighter attack, manage to rescue Sylvn and Twin before they are killed by an ion storm. During the chaos, Jabba launches a freighter carry smuggled goods, but J1M managed to infiltrate the ship and download the cargo manifest. Ki returns to Cerea to find that the Pro-tech movement has died down and the Republic presence on the planet has sharply decreased. In reward for his hard work, the Elders order Ki to spend some time with his family, which he does with pleasure.
Behind the scenes
- The bottom of the building where the Cerean Elders' Council meets, carries the Aurebesh letter Grek (G).
- Ephant Mon walks into a room containing various crates. One is marked with the Aurebesh letter Dorn (D), another with Aurek (A) and a third one carries the letter Krill (K).
- The guards escorting Ki-Adi-Mundi, after Maj-Odo-Nomor kills a man with Ki's lightsaber, have the letter Peth (P) on their chest.
- When Ki goes to see Ydde, the sign on the building he enters says, "BAR" in Aurebesh.
- Ydde's note to Ki reads "EFONT MON", with Ephant Mon's firstname misspelled.
- The bands sealing off Berth #289, contain the text "POLICE LINE".
- When the merc droid is chasing Ki, the droid's viewscreen displays the word "TARGET".
Notes and references