On the Panel – Star Wars
Star Wars #1
The monolithic Disney having recently acquired both Marvel and Star Wars presents an opportunity for Marvel and their team of talented writers to turn their attention to a long time ago in a Galaxy far away. Celebrated writer Jason Aaron tackles the Star Wars universe for the first time to give us a brand new adventure.
Set between A New Hope and The Adventure Strikes Back this story gives us fans what we want in the form of a new adventure featuring Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3P0. The basic outline of this story is that they are on a mission to destroy an Imperial installation to further the cause of the Rebel Alliance.
The first thing I will say about this issue is that it’s a very fun read and absolutely captures that Star Wars spirit. It’s great to revisit these characters at this stage of their lives and join them on an adventure. All of the characters featured are written really well with particular attention paid to ensuring that they match their personalities after A New Hope.
Luke is starting to settle into his role as a member of the Rebel Alliance and as a result hasn’t got everything figured out yet. He’s impulsive, takes a lot of unnecessary risks and seems to think that his force powers make him somewhat invincible. His heroic tendencies are fully intact here as he makes saving slaves his priority once he discovers they are there. Luckily his colleagues agree with him because there is a lot of them and it makes their mission harder.
Han and Leia are mostly featured together and there are hints of the attraction that fully manifests itself in The Empire Strikes Back. It doesn’t go too far at this point but it can be seen developing here. Han is characterised just as you’d expect him with a lot of self confidence as well being resourceful when it comes to making the best of the situation at hand. He reacts to any problems quickly and seems to visualise a way out easily.
The events of this issue are a big deal for Han as his connection to the Rebel Alliance is confirmed to the Empire through his actions. He tries to act coy about it but it’s clear that he knows the Rebellion is where he belongs now. This ties in nicely with the regret he feels in The Empire Strikes Back when he decides that it’s better for him to leave.
I feel that Leia comes off the weakest of the ensemble with her seeming really out of character some of the time. Her decision to have Chewbacca go in for a kill shot against Darth Vader feels really counter to how she would act. It’s a decision that stands to compromise their overall mission and she must know enough about Vader to expect this not to work. Otherwise she was well done and has great dialogue with the other characters.
I really liked the humour in this issue. Little winks and nods to the Star Wars movies are subtle enough not to feel like we’re being beaten over the head with the references. I really liked the reference to the Millennium Falcon blending so easily with junk and Han being really offended by the suggestion.
I’m not sure how I feel about Luke and Darth Vader being drawn into a fight at this point. I got the impression that the iconic fight in The Empire Strikes Back was their first battle. There’s certainly no sense that they’ve actually met before so it feels a little out of place. Of course this is a cliffhanger and might turn out to be a hallucination or a test which will undermine the effectiveness of it.
A very fun read that gives us an exciting look at an adventure early into the Original Trilogy timeline featuring the characters we all love.
The story is a relatively simple one but it gives the characters time to shine. Luke and Han feel spot on in their portrayal here with everything they say and do feeling perfectly suited to their characters. Most impressively they are lacking the development they received in the latter films in the trilogy.
Leia is a little less well portrayed with a key decision made by her feeling completely out of character. For the most part she is well presented but having her act so profoundly unlike the established character was a little jarring.
An ending that doesn’t quite work brings this comic down slightly but it’s nowhere near enough to destroy what is otherwise an excellently written issue that nicely captures the spirit of the Original Star Wars Trilogy.