Note: This review contains potential spoilers!
Marvel’s Star Wars # 1 arrives in stores this week, and delivers on every conceivable level. With Jason Aaron and John Cassaday at the helm, Star Wars # 1 is the comic book experience that Star Wars fans have been waiting for since 1977, when A New Hope entered our collective conscientiousness. The characterization is unbelievably spot on, the pacing is right out of the original films, and the cliffhanger will take your breath away. If this is the kind of storytelling Star Wars have to look forward to, this could be the biggest shot of adrenaline to the saga since Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire.
From the opening splash page, a cinematic feel is present; you can hear John Williams score blazing in your soul. The book immediately transitions to an opening crawl that sets the scene for what will presumably be the focus of the series. The dialogue feels like the authentic conversation you played over and over again in your mind when playing with your action figures, but were never able to perfectly encapsulate. Han’s smug banter is equal parts charming and sarcastic, and his repartee with Threepio is right out of the films, and that is just the opening sequence.
Luke and Leia’s emergence is one for the ages, and fans of Leia in particular will erupt with excitement. She explodes onto the scene with power and elegance, a rare quality, but one that fans of the princess of Alderaan have been clamoring for. The big three of the Original Trilogy retain the chemistry and magic we all love, and maneuver themselves into an Imperial weapons factory with one goal in mind. All the while, John Cassaday’s art captures the looks of a young Ford, Fisher, and Hamill perfectly. They’ve never looked better on the comic book page.
Nor have they sounded better. Jason Aaron has just catapulted himself to being one of the better fictional writers of the Star Wars universe, with dialogue and turn of phrase that exhibits all the best of our beloved characters. This really did feel like the film we would have wanted to see (if Lucas had made Episode 4.5), and never is this more true than when Darth Vader makes his appearance. Once you see how he deals with the first threat he encounters, there is little doubt who the most powerful villain of this time period is.
Luke Skywalker is ready for the return to Marvel as well, with a burgeoning confidence that is tapered with uncertainty, as he attempts to listen to the Force. We are still far from his first encounter with Yoda, so it is great to see his attempts at independent learning through the Force. His nobility shines through as well, and the trio is off and running; the classic formula is present, while retaining its freshness through the medium of comics. If you ever had any doubt as to the validity of the amount of preorders comic shops have placed on Star Wars # 1, you may safely put them aside, as you head to the comic book store at light speed. This is one of those moments in Star Wars you will remember forever. While the wait for The Force Awakens may seem difficult at times, it seems Marvel’s Star Wars will certainly fill the void, and give you new cause to get excited about the future of Star Wars storytelling.
5 out of 5
Note: A big thank you to Marvel comics for providing an advanced copy to review.Powered by Sidelines