Spoilers for Star Wars: The Storms of Crait, The Last Jedi, Leia: Princess of Alderaan…
First off, let me be honest – I am not your typical comic book consumer. I have a decent collection of issue No. 1s of several of Marvel’s modern Star Wars line, but given my three padawans at home (7, 5, 1), well – many of you know that drill…
In fact, the only reason I purchased Marvel’s Star Wars: The Storms of Crait was to understand Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi better. Having already listened to and enjoyed the audible version of Leia: Princess of Alderaan, I wanted to revisit the salt flats of Crait. That and the front cover (shown above)…
While I am not sure I garnered any significant additional understanding of TLJ, I did enjoy the comic and the many tie-ins to the previous canon. My quarrels with the book are slight.
Covering all bases…
The front of the issue — a Marvel one-shot that would fit in with a collection of TLJ movie posters — was impressive to these old eyes. It features an authoritative Leia Organa and a lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker. Both twins (who, naturally, do not yet know they are siblings based on the post-Battle of Yavin, pre-Empire Strikes Back timing of this adventure) are made to look like their mom and dad.
Leia’s form-fitting outfit harkens back to Padme Amidala’s Attack of the Clones attire, while Luke’s wind-blown, baggy, proto-Jedi gear portends both an Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader vibe.
The crawl at the beginning, which I know to be a Marvel convention, explains:
Ever since the destruction of the evil Galactic Empire’s Death Star and the Battle of Yavin, the rebels have been on the run, in search of a new location to hold their base of operations. Rebellion hero Princess Leia of Alderaan has made the search her personal mission with the help of her friends Luke Skywalker and smuggler Han Solo.
Frankly, and even though we’ve seen this search for a base storyline over many episodes of Star Wars Rebels, I was all in, espcially the photo-realistic art in the book starts off with a squadron of X-wings and the Millenium Falcon being pursued by dozens of Tie Fighers.
Continuing to Crait
Luke, Leia, and Han escape from this initial skirmish — of course — and make their way to the Rebellion’s temporary home of Baraan-Fa. This battle sets up a mentoring moment between Mon Mothma and Leia, who is given command of the mission to find a new secret base of operations for the Alliance.
For that seemingly dull task, Luke is along for the ride and isn’t too happy. His first trip to Crait seems to remind the still whiny Young Skywalker of his 19-years on Tattooine.
Meanwhile, Luke reminds Leia of a simpler time.
“You remind me of me, before I saw the things I’ve seen,” she says to her new friend. “I hope you don’t change too much when you experience the galaxy.”
The bottom line
Without giving up the entire plot of the issue, Star Wars: The Storms of Crait is worth your time, but it’s probably a book that you will enjoy more for its cover and the minor Easter eggs it provides, than its overall story.
Unlike some very astute Star Wars consumers out there, this aging fan enjoyed the art and its many callbacks to Original Trilogy moments (as well as some publicity stills, previously mentioned in my Twitter feed).
Writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, as well as artist Mike Mayhew, certainly kept my attention during my initial forray. However, I have read — and enjoyed — the comic twice already, and I am pretty sure it’s now going into storage.
- Puzzle piece moments including pit/battle droid hybrids, V-4X-D ski speeders, Imperial speeder bikes, and one pretty decent walkway with no railings. Also, it looks like Luke and company were the actual set dressers for The Last Jedi.
- Hints of romance between Han and Leia. I like it when Mr. Solo gets jealous.
- An awkward moment — particularly for the omniscient reader — between Luke and Leia.
- Wedge Antilles being a badass.
- Salt-dried corpses; very reminiscent of the charred, Pompeii-like bodies of Star Wars Rebels “Twilight of the Apprentice.”
- My own first exposure to Scar Squadron – I’d like to know more about them… Back issues, please.
- Nods to Ralph McQuarrie’s original Stormtrooper design.
- A decent lightsaber duel.
- Some pretty good in fight Prequel Jedi-esque shade thrown by Luke (a la Obi-Wan).
- Princess Leia’s marksmanship (as described in Leia: Princess of Alderaan). Again, badass.
- I’d seen and read this elsewhere: Leia should act more like she’s been on Crait, previously. Leia has been there before; in a significant moment in Leia: Princess of Alderaan and hardly mentions it.
- Dune worms. I’ll repeat that. Dune worms. They serve little purpose.
- The villain’s wishy-washy arc. Snooze.
- The salt-dried corpses were set up, why not show some actually “being made.”
- Why does EVERYONE who tries to win over Leia use Alderaanian wine? It’s morbid, man.
- Some inconsistencies in Wedge’s personality
- “I know…” should not be uttered by anyone in any Star Wars canon materials ever again. Period.
In any case, after this re-introduction, I’ll for sure keep reading Star Wars comics.
My rating for this particular issue: 3/5 stars.
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