This review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi — The Storms of Crait contains minor spoilers.
The Storms of Crait is a visually dynamic one-shot comic that aims high to add some previously unknown threads tying The Last Jedi to the Original Trilogy era.
The book succeeds, largely, thanks to the superb art by Mike Mayhew, which capably adapts a slightly awkward script by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker (they’re in the midst of a Star Wars writing tear of late) and an antagonist who seems more a cockney-addled Dick Van Dyke than morally ambiguous villain, even for the Star Wars Saga.
The gist of the story is simple: The Rebellion is in need of a new and permanent home, now that Yavin IV is compromised.
It’s a big galaxy but finding the right place — quiet, out of the way, hard to reach, hard to recognize — is a tall order. Crait, it seems, fits most, if not all, the requirements.
Leia is no stranger to Crait, thanks in part to her discovery of the planet in the pages of Claudia Gray’s 2017 novel, Leia, Princess of Alderaan. The Organa family’s ties to the planet run deep, but, perhaps not deep enough to stoke complete loyalty.
Which is what this one-shot title does a superb job of doing: Exploring the nature of loyalty, self realization and, ultimately, self-confidence. Leia learns further the complexities of command and leadership, but how to foster similar sentiments in those with whom she serves.
Luke, who at this point lacks any real Jedi training beyond what he learned from Obi-Wan Kenobi, is wrestling with notions he fought on Tatooine: Boredom, recklessness, not staying focused on the present, but looking to the future. Yet he’s also quite cognizant about the role he may yet play.
Han? He’s Han and that’s fine. It’s his nature that holds steady, ensuring the guarded skepticism isn’t overcome by desire for a new base.
The Storms of Crait is a solid addition to the Star Wars canon. There’s just enough pathos to keep readers attuned to the adventure and the blend of characters old and new — hello, Wedge Antilles and SCAR Squadron! — is not overwrought. Ultimately, the book is a visual feast. Overindulgent in its illustration and pacing.
The Last Jedi: The Storms of Crait is in comic shops now, selling for $4.99, and on Comixology.
(For more detail and discussion, tune into the next episode of Comics With Kenobi.)