Review: Star Wars #1

While we already have one review for Star Wars #1 up on the site, the importance and popularity of this single issue of a comic book demands more attention, so we’re reviewing it again.

Star Wars #1 is finally here, and although I share most of the feelings that were shared in our initial review, there are some glaring problems with this ish that aim to put a damper on the entire idea of Marvel’s Star Wars relaunch. Star Wars #1 was an amazing return to a franchise that I’ve been away from for way too long. But, besides being a fanboy, I’m not sure there’s any other reason to read the book, and there’s a good chance that this series is going to change the genesis of that long-standing fandom. (NOTE: This review contains spoilers! You have been warned.)

The Good

Writer Jason Aaron just gets these characters, which is an important detail for a cast that is so familiar to fans. The dialogue is spot on, with all the familiar voices in my head making sense with what they were saying on the page. The story, the action, and the overall pacing were brilliant. The only thing missing was the soundtrack background music, and everything was so well done that, I swear, there were moments when I heard the orchestra playing behind the panels. John Cassaday’s artwork is its usual tour de force in pencil, but the brilliance was compounded by how well he made the characters look like the characters. I know that sounds odd, but it’s important that these characters look like their movie portrayals, and Cassaday nailed it while still showing off his distinct style. It was just so much fun to see these character doing their thing again, and doing it with so much style and flair, but there is a lack of substance and potential disappointment for this series that demands to be discussed.

The Bad

The events of this series take place after Episode IV: A New Hope and before Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back leaving absolutely no question whatsoever about what’s going to happen. The last page reveal was shocking for a brief moment before I realized I already knew what was going to happen to these two characters. Then it dawned on me that I knew what was going to happen to ALL of these characters! For all the great storytelling going on, I’ve already read the last page of this comic, and I read 30+ years ago.

Now, maybe this isn’t really a big deal. We have The Clone Wars animated series, and it was wonderful, but I didn’t really care about the continuity established, or, more importantly, re-established, in Clone Wars. But I do care about what Star Wars the comic book establishes, and I REALLY care about what it might change, i.e. a retcon to the franchise, and we may have already seen it. Luke dueling Vader in this issue changes their up-to-this-point-presumed first duel on Cloud City, a duel where a whole lot of important stuff happens. Now, there’s still plenty of time to avoid this particular change to the history from being a major change, but it will be a change nonetheless and it’s going to be impossible to avoid in the overall scope the series. This is a beloved franchise that has been beloved for decades, and I’m just not sure how I feel about these changes now that they are happening.

The Verdict

I loved Star Wars #1 but it’s really a sign of what’s happening with the franchise as a whole, and things are going to change and they are going to change drastically. Things that have been integral parts of the history of the franchise since forever are fair game for change, and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it now that I’m seeing it happen with each turn of the comic book page. Star Wars is now in the hands of the publisher that had the audacity to <insert ANY fanboy hatred Marvel has committed in the past 30 years here> and now it’s real. This is the publisher that put their best selling character through One More Day and Brand New Day because they wanted to make Civil War a bigger deal than it already was, and didn’t have an exit strategy. Welcome Home?

Story: 3 Out of 5
Art: 4.5 Out of 5
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5

 

 

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