I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Friday, January 11, 2013

Star Wars #1

Star Wars #1 is the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa/Skywalker, and Darth Vader following the events of the George Lucas film A New Hope. As Luke and Leia seek out a new home for the Rebellion they are ambushed by Imperial forces, forcing Leia to become an undercover "spykiller." Meanwhile, the Empire rebounds from the devastating loss of the Death Star (which interestingly is put entirely on the shoulders of Grand Moff Tarkin).

The first thing I noticed about this book is that I really like the art. One of the challenges of telling new stories of characters from film or television is deciding whether to make the characters look exactly like the actors who play them or to use your own style to draw the character as you see them. Carlos D'Anda succeeds at the latter in much the same way that other great comic book continuations like Buffy the Vampire Slayer have before this.

The writing on the other hand is somewhat lacking. Brian Wood is much like George Lucas. He is pretty good at laying down a general story that will be compelling, but he has some difficulty when it comes to dialogue. With many of the speech bubbles, I found myself thinking, "I can't imagine Luke saying anything like that." Wood has some talent, but right now the only reason I can find to read this book is the promise that is brought to it by the already established characters.

There are a couple of things that are worthy of note in Star Wars #1. I thoroughly enjoyed that the predominant perspective of the first issues was that of Princess Leia. It drove home the gravity of Leia's position. She is the princess of a recently destroyed planet and leader of the Rebels who wish to take down the Empire, not to mention a pilot and a fighter. If we weren't so mystified by the force in the original trilogy and Luke's hero quest, it would be obvious to us that Leia is the most important character in this universe, save for maybe her old man. In this book, Leia shows a lot of the qualities that her mother Queen Amidala showed in the prequel trilogy (which I think was better at portraying an empowered woman than Lucas's original second act). In this issue, we begin to understand the pressure on Leia.

The best moment, however, was when Darth Vader reflected momentarily on the meaning of his defeat at the hands of one named Luke Skywalker. Wood's subtlety leaves the reader wondering if this is the seed that will ultimately bear fruit in Return of the Jedi when the Emperor's dog turns on his Master. It feels like Anakin Skywalker can feel his blood again, can remember that he is the last remaining member of the Jedi council.

Ultimately, I am left wondering why this volume was published and why it was released now. For the last few years, Dark Horse has been releasing plenty of Star Wars mini-series with subtitle after subtitle after subtitle, and I've found myself unable to connect to many of the characters who weren't depicted on the big screen. But now Disney has made a plan to release more Star Wars films and Dark Horse is starting to fill in some of the blanks. Is this book a set-up for these movies or will the movies contradict what is contained within? A book like Star Wars feels like it is canon, but strict canonists understand only the movies, the two cartoons, one video game and one book to be canon. (Am I missing something?)

The main reason I am going to keep reading this book is because it is about characters I love. The secondary reason is because I'm intrigued to see how some of the issues that begin in this issue will turn out. The next couple issues will decide whether this comic is really worth all the hype. I'm hopeful.

I've syndicated this review at Examiner. You can read it here. If you click on it a few times, spend some time there, or navigate to a new page, I might get some money. But I'm only asking that of you if you liked reading the article here and want to show your appreciation.


  1. I was really surprised to find out Dark Horse is re-envisioning episodes IV-VI. The Dark Horse comics (Dark Empire, Droids, and Rogue Squadron) were the only comic books I'd actually pay attention to growing up.

    You really thought Amidala was a stronger female role than Leia? I've always felt Leia came off as the stronger of the two, but I feel that was largely due to Carrie Fisher's acting gravitas, enhanced by the superior writing of IV, V, and VI. I think you bring up a great topic of debate here.


    1. windows 7 home premium free product key , buy windows 8.1 pro key , buy windows 10 product key , windows 7 starter edition product key free , genuine vista ultimate sp2 , windows 7 produc key , keygen win 7 , buy a genuin windows 7 ultimate product key , l1VgEv

      office project 2013 keys

      windows 7 ultimate sp1

      windows 10 pro key

      windows 10 pro key free

  2. There was Luke Skywalker - the savior of the universe - Han Solo - everybody's favorite badass - and then there was Princess Leia - a strong woman, but ultimately a damsel in distress for the other two. In A New Hope, she was a victim who needed men to save her and the real thing you wondered was which of the two men she would end up with. In the original trilogy, Padme was strong in the senate, she was older than Anakin and a hero before he was even a pod racer, and in the other two she was more and more of a positive figure as Anakin became more and more of a negative figure. She was amazing in the clone war cartoons too, which might be the "over the top" move for me.