This review of Star Wars #1 contains minor spoilers.
Marvel Entertainment, in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, had the better part of 2014 to plan, outline and populate the Star Wars canon with the bevy of new series, the first of which, Star Wars, is out Jan. 14.
The collaboration has paid off in ways that even casual fans of the original trilogy can appreciate, which is no small feat given the complexity of not just capturing the characters’ original essence, but also adding to it for readers new and established, as well as the Star Wars canon, too.
Reading Star Wars No. 1 is like watching a movie: It grabs you from the opening crawl and holds you all the way through to the cliffhanger ending (as if there could be any other!).
Penned by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassady, with colors by Laura Martin and letters by Chris Eliopoulos, the first issue starts off boldly with Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 and C-3PO and, yes, Darth Vader, comprising the beginning of the story arc “Skywalker Strikes.”
And start it does, not missing a beat since the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebellion aims to throw off an already unsettled Empire still reeling from that destructive event, by raiding an automated weapons factory right under the Imperials’ collective noses.
The dialogue between the heroes crackles with electricity, evoking the beginnings of the terse relationship between Han and Leia, while Luke’s conflicted complexion is easily understandable — a hero of the Rebellion yet trying to fulfill his desire to better understand the Force, the Jedi and avenge the death of his father and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the hands of Darth Vader.
I won’t go deep into detail, given I’d prefer the story, its setting and its interlocking components be a surprise so as to stir readers, but I will say that Jordan D. White and Heather Antos’ editing has helped create a streamlined cinematic event that just happens to take place in a 44-page comic book.
In short, Star Wars No. 1 is a fitting start for Marvel which has, clearly, hit the ground running nearly 29 years after it published its last Star Wars comic. Clearly, the wait was worth it.
Star Wars #1 is in comic shops now, selling for $4.99, and on Comixology.
(For more detail and discussion, tune in to the next episode of Comics With Kenobi.)