I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Marvel’s Star Wars series since issue #1. I loved the team-up between Leia, Sana, and Aphra. Seeing Vader learn about Luke was a chilling moment to say the least. But with this week’s issue, after a somewhat lackluster “conclusion” to the Scar Squadron story, I can’t help but wonder: Why are we being told this story? Why am I supposed to care? And will I even care once it’s finished?
In this week’s issue, Luke continues to thumb through Obi-Wan’s journal entries detailing Yoda’s mysterious encounter with a planet full of warrior children. The children feel threatened by the newcomer and attack Yoda to no avail. After evading their blows, the Jedi Master accompanies them back to their village only to find things are just as tumultuous at home.
According to the children, the planet was ravaged by endless war in the pursuit of mystical stones that originated from the mountain ranges. With the adults missing, the children are left to fend for themselves. However, conflict arises once again after discussing what to do with their prisoner of war and what should happen next. One faction votes for peace, whereas the other favors more violent measures.
Yoda, in typical fashion, calls for the children to relinquish their anger and fear, to trust in the “stonepower” around them (more on this later). He accompanies the children’s enemy captive to the base of the mountain in hopes of determining why he received a call to the planet in the first place. Unfortunately, those who rule the mountain care not for the captive and take advantage of Yoda’s refusal to fight this new set of children, resulting in his captivity. His only path to freedom? Find the heart of the mountain (whatever that means).
At the end of the day, I cannot say I am excited for upcoming issues (apart from the fact, well, it’s Star Wars). Sure, the stones, especially when affixed to the children’s weapons, remind me of Kyber crystals and lightsabers. The fact that Yoda doesn’t recognize them makes me wonder what role they may play in the future. And yes, a planet full of people unaware of the Force, Sith, and Jedi has the potential to be interesting. However, as a friend of mine correctly pointed out, this story is similar to last year’s Obi-Wan and Anakin series, to a fault. Things may have been different if this was the story we received first. As it stands on its own, though, the issue fell flat, and as a result, I’m tempering my expectations for what is to come.
Considering we get another issue February 1st, we won’t have to wait long to find out what happens next. For better or for worse.
- As a writer, my focus always goes to the story and dialogue first. It can be hard for me to comment on the artistry without sounding ignorant. To be fair, Larroca and Delgado are clearly talented. The landscapes are vivid. The choice of coloring for the blue stones was perfect. And there is so much character and life in the faces of the varying children in both camps. However, there were times Larroca’s portrayal of Yoda seemed to be off-putting, and it actually took me out of reading the story several times. (For reference: page 14, panel 3.)
- I recognize the Scar Squadron arc hasn’t really “concluded,” but I’m hoping the resolution is substantial. It would be nice to feel they are a more serious threat this time around. Maybe this break is actually a good thing.
- One of the children from the second group comments on hating how Yoda talks. I’m right there with you, friendo.
- If the preview for issue #30 is any indication, it seems things are about to get weird fairly quickly.
Published by: Marvel Comics
Release date: January 25, 2017
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Coloring: Edgar Delgado