SW#3 cover

Star Wars issue #3

Writer: Jason Aaron

Art: John Cassaday

Colorist: Laura Martin

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

I decided to step into reviewing the main Star Wars line at issue #3. I don’t like doing 1st issue reviews for reason I talked about in my Darth Vader issue #2 review.

We come to the 3rd issue of the reboot of the Star Wars line which ironically after about 30 years is being rebooted in comics under the original company that it lead off with, Marvel. Now under the Disney flag Marvel has retread the EU starting with our beloved heroes of the Rebel Alliance staging a covert demolitions mission to destroy the Empire’s Largest weapons manufacturing facility.

Now by this issue the plan’s already run afoul and a Dark Lord of the Sith has shown up to throw some helmets around. Luke was going to try and face off against the aforementioned Vader but hear’s Ben Kenobi’s voice telling him to run. We pick up this month’s issue in this full-on “run” mode. Not just Luke but the rest of the major Rebellion figures, Han Solo, Princess Leia have stolen an AT-AT and are slowly making sure they grind it into the ground from all the ground fire from Imperial ground units that included some Clone Wars era tanks as well as some awesome Imperial Troop Transports and AT-ST’s. While Chewbacca, in a failed attempt to stop Vader is now back at the Falcon saving C-3PO from being eaten by some kind of trash vermin that attacked the hull of our favorite YT-1300 who in-conspicuously didn’t have to try hard to hide in the trash heaps around the weapons plant.

The group had tries to make the plant blow but failed. Vader now in pursuit of our rebels attacks the stolen AT-AT’s legs and brings it down heros with rescued slaves from the plant and all. Luke realizing the attempt to blow the plant’s core was thwarted refuses Leia’s direct orders to retreat and goes back into the plant with an imperial speeder bike blasting away at the core, imperial work technicians be damned. Vader however after rendering the AT-AT grounded goes after Luke in a combat air-speeder as the weapons plant goes back to being critical to blow… again. Luke with Vader on his speeder bike’s exhaust high tail it out of the plant as it goes full meltdown and implodes. Vader escapes of course with some introspective into this boy Ben Kenobi was protecting on the Death Star and that he died for.

Luke back on the Falcon with the rest of the motley crew are trying to escape three Star Destroyers in orbit around the planet. It has a scene where Luke starts getting solemn that he’s not he Jedi Obiwan thought he could be and he should be dead.

The scene fades to a pair of what one must assume hunters or vagrants from Mos Eisley on Tatooine flying a body of a dead rodian to burry. They pass an old hut in the dune sea where one comments to the other about who lives there and his partner in crime tells him it was an old wizard named Ben Kenobi, a hermit who keeps to himself. Before showing a few panels inside Kenobi’s home with a container? Marked in Aurebesh “For Luke”.

My opinion on the issue was that it was decent. Like the two previous issues of the main Star Wars line it hasn’t had the “Wow!” factor that I had hoped but then again it’s only issue #3. The art is decent from Cassady for the limited scenery the story has presented. If it wasn’t for the few trash heap scenes with 3P0 the manufacturing plant would have been almost used exclusively as open areas (I don’t count the interior of an AT-AT as scenery its a personal taste) so for what he was presented with he’s done a good job especially some of the vehicles, they look straight out of the cut away journals and really capture the tech look of the “used universe” that George wanted. If anything the only gripe about the art I would say is he uses too many close ups on the main cast which often makes it slightly confusing for me to tell what’s going on, in one panel it shows Luke on his speeder bike cutting off the front guns of an AT-ST and shooting a few troopers. Apparently that was the area where Luke held off a TON of imperial troops/AT-STs/ITTs and other imperial armor. He drew the Imperial tech superbly but with the close ups the actions of the characters sometimes get lost. It worked well for Han and Leia however as the AT-AT falls forward and crashes who stare at each other as if almost confessing mutual love before it hits the deck. Again this is space fantasy opera, so it’s not really that big of a deal if a few details get lost I’m sure the editors like seeing more of the main characters in panels to help sell the issue rather then wide shots of action that may or may not need to be shown.. so it’s forgivable.

I can say for the small exclusive feel of the three issues so far Jason Aaron really tries to get a good mix of action, drama, suspense and even a little emo in his storytelling there isn’t a ton of “what’s this mean” moments for the readers except the last two pages of Issue 3 showing Ben Kenobi’s hutt on Tattooine. I hope he slides more of it into the story. I hope he eventually fleshes out more imperials since we already have the entire cast of the rebel heroes in full effect since issue #1. The whole timeline itself isn’t really understood yet as we assume its been a few if not many months since the destruction of the first Death Star, but it’s well beyond the escape from Yavin we assume since the crew show up in Issue one in a Tatooine shuttle? (I was soooo hoping to re-see the classic Star Wars telling of the Imperial Blockade of Yavin and how the rebels escaped.) While unexpected it’s passable.

I must say some of the best praise goes to Laura Martin’s colors that really came out to shine in the final few pages on Tatooine, I would love to see what her pallet skills could pull off if she were given more natural scenery like Endor or even Yavin. Having much of the color pallet based off of an Imperial plant and blaster fire at an AT-AT isn’t really much to go on so far. Then I saw her work to show the Falcon going to hyperspace and I realized where she could take good pencils with color. I looked over the Falcon’s cockpit going to hyperspace so much I wanted it for a PC background.

So all in all I’m going to say Star Wars #1-3 isnt as complex and politically intriguing as Darth Vader #1-2 in story telling the art is comparable depending on your taste of style and the color of the issues are both good. I’d give the series so far a solid B grade. We’ll see how it progresses from here… see ya in 30!