Written by Brian Wood
Art by Carlos D’Anda
Following their victory on Yavin 4, the rebel fleet is looking for a new base to call home. Mon Mothma alludes to a spy in the rebels midst which may hamper the mission at hand.
Dark Horse has covered a wide time frame within the Star Wars Universe, adding to the deep canon of the SWU. They’ve gone back to the roots of the Jedi and the Sith with Dawn of the Jedi, they’ve covered the Empire in it’s infancy with the Purge series as well as the excellent Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, they’ve even taken us to a very bleak future with the Legacy series featuring reluctant hero Cade Skywalker. One period they haven’t really touched on is the time frame of the original trilogy. Well that all changes today as Dark Horse introduces its new series simply titled Star Wars. No subtitles, no allusion to another part of the Star Wars Universe. It’s just Star Wars, Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca. This is Star Wars as you love and know it. I for one was ecstatic when this series was announced, my favorite thing in the whole world combined with superstar X-writer Brian Wood, it was a no brainer.
One thing I really loved about this book is that there is no set up, we all know what happened on Yavin 4, so there’s no need to revisit this, we jump straight into the action. Usually with a first issue in a series back stories need to be set up, story arcs need to be planted and characters need introducing, which usually makes for slow first issues, but with a familiar cast and back story we can jump right into the fray.
Luke, Leia and Wedge head out into the galaxy as far as possible in the search for a new world to sustain a hidden rebel base. The mission doesn’t go as planned as the threesome find themselves ambushed by a Star Destroyer launching a full compliment of TIE fighters. After escaping the ambush Mon Mothma delivers a secret mission to Leia to root out a possible Imperial spy within their ranks, which could be the cause for their failed mission.
I loved the story that Wood is delivering here. It jumps right into the action and keeps delivering from page one. First off who would’ve thought that Leia was pilot, second, who would’ve thought that she kicks so much ass as she blasters up a TIE fighter pilot unfortunate enough to cross her path? The story seems to be filling a nice gap in the Star Wars continuity, and best of all feels like Star Wars. It doesn’t feel like the Clone Wars or a sequel, it feels like I’m watching the continuation of Episode 4, and that’s exactly what they were going for here. Wood’s script also taps directly into the characters to help sell the Star Wars feel; they act and speak just as you would expect them to if you were watching this as a movie. We all know and love these characters, but it takes a real understanding of them to get it right like Wood has, my hat is off to you Mr. Wood.
My favorite part had to be the pages with Vader being reassigned to a new mission by the Emperor in the wake of Vader’s failure at Yavin 4. Vader is not happy about the new assignment and in true Vader fashion, menaces the man sent to take command of Vader’s ship. Vader is one bad dude, and his replacement seems way too eager to take command from Vader. I definitely do not envy that guy. Wood once again masters Vader’s presence and speech selling me on the idea that this is the big bad Vader, not the unsure monster that we get in a lot of the comics due to the fact that they are usually about the early days of the Empire.
D’Anda’s art blew me away as well, including a very sick looking splash page of a Star Destroyer deploying some menacing TIE fighters. All the characters look like they should, which I was thankful for, as this doesn’t always happen. His art is quite beautiful here and only lifts up this premier issue even more, you can have the next Great Gatsby of comics on your hands, but if you don’t have an artist that can deliver the vision it is all for not. D’Anda comes through with flying colors here and shows that the Star Wars Universe is the perfect fit for him. I also loved the Alex Ross cover and the use of the blue, yellow and red coloring, I found it to be beautiful and the teaser of the cover we got a few months back only made me that more excited for this series to drop.
Overall Star Wars #1 is a great read and should serve as the jumping point for a great series. Not all of the Star Wars content Dark Horse has dropped has sat well with me, but this book will not disappoint folks, go out and get some.
4.5 out of 5 nerds
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing