Dark Horse Comics and writer Brian Wood have teamed up to return comic book readers to the timeframe of the original Star Wars Trilogy with Star Wars #1. This debut issue picks up where the end of “A New Hope” leaves off and finds Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, and Leia Organa searching for a new base of operations for the rebellion. The situation turns dire, and a dark mystery might threaten the stability of the alliance.
The story of this first issue is very surprising. It’s not a huge, grandiose space opera tale, but a small story about Luke and Leia trying to determine where their lives are going. Luke wants to honor those who have fallen, while Leia needs to keep moving forward to provide stability for the rebellion. On the other side of the force, the imperials are trying to rebuild after the destruction of the Death Star.
The writing of this issue was really on target with the original Star Wars universe. It was the first time I’ve read something new from the franchise and actually felt like a kid again, watching Star Wars on VHS over and over. The characterizations of Luke, Leia, Wedge, Han, and of course Chewbacca are all faithful to the source material, but have Wood’s own take wrapped around them.
The artwork by Carols D’Anda was really strong for the most of the story. I liked his cartooning style on the X-Wing starfighters and each rendition of popular characters was inspired by the actors, but not completely dependent on them. The only design problem that I could pick out was with Darth Vader. There were a few panels where he was a bit too bulky or muscle bound, and his helmet was portrayed a little too aggressive. It sounds redundant for a character like Darth Vader, but for me it just wasn’t working all the time. But I still enjoyed the issue as a whole and I think that D’Anda and Wood make a good team.
Star Wars has been getting a lot of press since Disney acquired the rights and claimed they were going ahead with another film. I hope that they take a few notes from Wood’s playbook and stick to smaller stories about the characters, rather than overpowering battles with Jedi and robots.
This comic is worth a buy for any fan of Star Wars or any fan of Wood’s. Dark Horse published a comic titled Star Wars #1 and was able to rise to the occasion. The last panel has me intrigued enough to buy another issue, and this could be the start to a seminal run.