First off, a huge shout out to my friend Adam for letting me borrow his collection of comics. I’ve visited the SW universe many mediums (movies, video games, animated shows, books, toys), but had yet to read any of the comic books. After talking to Adam about this, he very thoughtfully brought me a stack of books and said, ‘Try these…’
Before I get into my review of the comics, I will tell you a little about my relationship with SW. I started reading the EU books about 15-20 years ago, and prior to that I wouldn’t say that I was a very big fan. I had seen the first three films, and the first prequel, and I even had an original Millennium Falcon toy stashed at my parent’s house, but I wasn’t well schooled in the details of the canon (dirty word there!).
And contrary to popular opinion, The Phantom Menace spurred me into learning more… and what followed was a deep dive into the EU. Thrawn trilogy, Han Solo books, Bane series, Republic Commando series, and many one-offs. I have not read the X-Wing series, the Fate of the Jedi series, nor the New Jedi Order series. I just don’t know if I want to start any of these because they are each at least 10 books long. I currently read many of the canon books that are released with the new movies. Some are good and some are ok. I wouldn’t say that I am blindly buying into the hype, but I do find great fun in reentering the universe, fanboy criticism aside.
Ok, now to the comic books. The Marvel series started in Jan of 2015 and is still running. Just a reminder, I will only be reviewing the first 20 books. The stories take place between Ep 4 and Ep 5 as Luke is trying to work out this new Jedi thing, and Leia deals with the politics and logistics of the Rebellion. There’s a lot of action and all the familiar characters take part: the droids, Han, Chewie, Obi-Wan, and Darth Vader make appearances. Several new characters are featured also: a new Hutt to deal with, Han’s wife (yes, you read that correctly), and a bounty hunter Wookie named Black Krrsantan. I was afraid that the stories would stick too closely to the classic cast and just throw them into new situations, but the authors take a lot of liberty in fleshing out all characters’ personalities.
A couple notes about the timeline. Most of the stories take place in the 3 years or so between the two films, but there are a couple interludes focusing on Obi-Wan’s job as Luke’s protector on Tatooine. The authors in this narrative look a little at the relationship between Uncle Owen and Obi-Wan. (I read John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi when it came out and it is very good!) Some of the narrative arcs are told over two or three books and a couple only need one to complete. The other stories include an attack on an Imperial weapons plant, infiltration of a Rebel space prison, and Luke in a Hutt-run arena fight. The undercurrent through every story is the hunting of the Rebels by Vader and the many bounty hunters he has hired.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the opportunity to read these stories. I am always craving more time to escape into the other planets of the universe, to learn more about Han’s fractured past, and just to see more of Luke’s training. If you have the chance, these are well worth it.
Thanks again to Adam!
Here are some of my other Star Wars posts:
Star Wars: The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear by Tom Angleberger (Mini Review)
Survivor’s Quest and Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn (Mini Review)
Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel Jose Older
When you say 20 books, you mean the first 20 comic book issues, right? 😮 I do hear that some of the Marvel Star Wars titles are quite good. I’ve only read some of the Dark Horse ones myself. The Dark Vader one by Marvel was quite the sensation when it was released a couple of years ago. Will you be giving more of these comics a shot? 🙂
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Yes, the first 20 issues. I actually haven’t read many individual comics, only full-length graphic novels. I guess I always hated the idea of having to wait a month to figure out what was going to happen! Ha!
I think I will look to read more, but in the collected form.
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