By: Brian Wood (Writer), Carlos D’Anda (Artist), Gabe Eltaeb (Colorist)
The Story: Luke goes to save Leia and gets much more involved in the mission that Leia is involved in.
The Review: Did you ever read something that you know is crafted well, yet you could never truly get into for some reason? A novel or a comic that you can definitely see the qualities and the hard work put into, yet did absolutely nothing for you? This is what Star Wars by Brian Wood is doing for me right now.
There are several qualities to this book, like the willingness to stick to the mythos as much as possible, without being redundant. By incorporating some newer characters and giving us a plotline that can be easily placed between the first two films (the original ones, mind you), Brian Wood show inventiveness that does him credit. It can be hard to write in such a revered era while adding new stuff in it without sounding sacrilegious, which I do believe he manage fairly well.
Another thing that he does well is writing down the voice of those characters while respecting who they are in the movies. He may takes some liberties with some of these characters, like Leia, but he does so in a way that make senses, with Leia having a strong sense of duty that grew out of her desire to fight against the Empire, or Luke’s inability to do nothing while others may be in danger, even though it means disobeying orders. He writes them with the voices they should have and that’s an excellent point in favor of this comic.
However, what makes this rather boring, as blunt as it sounds, is the inconstant quality with the character scenes. Let’s just say that Han Solo or Dath Vader’s scenes are much more entertaining thanks to several factors, the first of them being their general direction and their pacing. As Leia’s overall mission is to uncover who the spy is in the rebellion, which is a nice direction, giving us intrigue and a general spy vibe that mesh itself well with the universe. The problem, however, is that we haven’t seen one iota of progress on that particular mission since the first issue, as the mystery only deepens itself. Meanwhile, the Han Solo and Darth Vader already did advance by introducing new characters and giving us a new direction for their stories.
This issue, unfortunately, majorly deal with Leia’s side of the story, easily the weakest of the bunch as we see just how her raid and her tactics to find the traitor has failed. Being wounded severely, most of the action gravitates around the escape of her squadron and Luke’s attempt at saving the situation. While they do give us a bit of action and show some connection between some of the characters, it also slows down the pacing and the progression of the story considerably. While there are one or two events that occurs in this issue, they do not feel very significant or even that interesting, as they are handed to us during some heavy exposition.
Considering some of the weaknesses of this issue, I feel rather sorry for Carlos D’Anda, who I can see is a talented artist. Drawing such a venerated universe like Star Wars must be a huge thing, yet the script does give him the opportunity to show us what he can do, as most of the panels and each page looks a lot alike. Sure, the panelling is different each time, yet they show a lot of the same stuff: talking faces with matching uniforms, spaceships that are replicas of each other and the depth of space. Sure, he does tries to pepper things up by showing us different angles and to show us smaller details, but in the end a lot of what we isn’t very visually diverse, making for a rather dull experience for art enthusiast. Of course, he draws the Star Wars designs to perfection and his characters are rather expressive, yet he seems to be much better when dealing with the other characters and their scenes than with Leia and her plotline.
Gabe Eltaeb is unfortunately stuck with the same bad luck, as he can do some terrific stuff as seen in previous issues, yet here he seems to be obligated to repeat the same coloring tricks over and over. In a scene featuring people talking to each other in the same room for several pages, there is not much room for diversity in colors, especially with a heavy focus on the depth of space.
The Conclusion: While this issue does some good things in its characterization and in its respect toward the universe it emulates, it is also visually repetitive and slow in story progression, which makes for a rather unimpressive reading experience. Dropped.
Hugo Robberts Larivière