Page 45 Review by Stephen
"Threepio, you worthless rust bucket, you better not have damaged my ship."
"For once, sir, the Millennium Falcon appears to be in good working order.
"As we hoped, Chewbacca was able to pilot us undetected through the moon's orbital field.
"At present, the Falcon and I are safely hidden amongst the extensive refuse fields that surround the factory.
"If I may say so, Captain Solo, I do find it rather disconcerting that your vessel continues to be so easily mistaken for garbage."
"You'll be garbage if you mess this up, Goldenrod!"
Judging by the myriad reprints required for the issues contained in this first trade since Marvel re-took control, it would seem the appetite for all things Star Wars remains undiminished. It remains to be seen whether such faith is justified on the film front, but I think we can now conclude this run of comics is indeed a worthy addition to the canon. I remember all too well going to see the first of the second trilogy of films and coming away from the cinema probably more disappointed than on any other occasion. Actually, if we're being honest, Return Of The Jedi wasn't that great, either. I mean, could they really not have come up with a different plot than another Death Star needing destroying? And Ewoks, sigh, really not that much better than Jar Jar Binks, frankly. And yet, still off I trotted to watch them all...
Anyway... comic readers of a certain age will remember a UK title called STAR WARS WEEKLY, which ran for a considerable period of time immediately after the first film and featured the further adventures of Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, C3PO, R2D2 et al in various adventures, pursued all the whilst by Darth Vader. It was actually rather good, featuring decent writing by, amongst others, Roy Thomas and great art from the likes of Howard Chaykin. Also, being published as it was by Marvel, it had great back-up strips reprinting classic material such as Adam Warlock, Guardians of the Galaxy, Deathlok and Micronauts. For those of us thirsting for more lightsabre-wielding, blaster-frapping, outer-space wise-cracking antics, it was perfect.
This title is basically yet another extension of that original franchise and cast. Obviously Dark Horse started doing exactly the same thing a couple of years ago with the STAR WARS material penned by Brian Wood. I have no idea whether that now will be considered canon or not. Or any of the other Dark Horse material covering several time periods spanning thousands of years in Star Wars history. Or indeed the original STAR WARS WEEKLY material. Does it even matter, really?
This tale is set almost immediately after the end of the first film. Our chums have a mission to fulfil which naturally involves ridiculous personal and collective peril, implausible hokey plot twists and of course much lightsabre-swishing, blaster-waving and never-ending threats of personal violence directed at C3PO from Han Solo, sick and tired of Threepio's verbal diarrhoea. They haven't even waited five minutes to break out the big bad guns either as Vader is back by the end of this first issue, though the clue is in the background of the cover, I suppose, which does indeed make me think it will be much like the STAR WARS WEEKLY run with the continual cat-and-mouse chase of our pals trying to stay one step ahead of Vader, whilst getting neck deep in whatever various near fatal shenanigans the current plot arc throws up.
The humorous dialogue is certainly on point, and after the first somewhat flimsy issue plot-wise, which is basically a throwaway adventure simply allowing every character to be wheeled out to say hello, things start to build up nicely in terms of storytelling. The art, well, for the second time in recent years Cassaday seems a bit stilted and flat, frankly, following on from his three issues opening Rick Remender's UNCANNY AVENGERS before he left that title. I dunno, maybe it's just not floating his artistic boat, but it all seems a far, far cry from his PLANETARY days. Strange. I note Stuart Immonen has now picked up the pencils (as with #8) and it is a vast improvement.
Will I continue reading this title? Probably. Will I be daft enough to go see the new film. Certainly.