Star Wars seems to be at the center of the entertainment world right now with the conclusion of the Skywalker saga, the Mandalorian live-action series, and the coming Clone Wars and Obi-Wan streaming shows. Comic books have always been an important component for Star Wars first at Marvel where the limited series launched right before the movie hit theaters and was quickly upgraded to on-going after posting the biggest sales for a new series at Marvel in decades. After the post-Return of the Jedi slowdown they cancelled the series and after a few years Dark Horse took up the mantle and created a wide variety of series and introduced many expanded universe characters that still are fan favorites to this day. When Disney purchased the Star Wars brand it was just a matter of time until the comic book rights reverted back to Marvel, also owned by Disney, and when they started publishing again it was with a bang.
Star Wars #1 originally picked up after a New Hope ended and featured one of the best cliff-hanger ending of the decade, Luke facing Vader with lightsabers drawn which was way sooner than any fan had ever thought they would meet. That kicked off the series and over 75 issues readers were treated to many highs (and a few unfortunate lows) as the time between A New Hope and Empire was detailed and expanded. Marvel choose to end that series as they prepared to chronicle the time between Empire and Jedi, the Han Solo-free years that proved so difficult to create stories for during the original run.
Thus we once again get a new Star Wars #1 but this series doesn’t really start after The Empire Strikes Back but rather during the ending of that film. Luke has been rescued from the bottom of Cloud City but has not yet had his missing hand replaced when the first issue begins. He is not handling the events of the film well, the calm Luke of the film who puts his arm around Leia as they watch Lando and Chewie leave to search for Han is not there yet. He is shocked at the discovery of who is father really is and has a scene very similar to one shown in the Vader comic book series when he found out the name of the pilot who destroyed the Death Star. Very cool.
Otherwise this first issue is kind of a drag; yes there are doubts about trusting Lando and Luke is very angry but it kind of felt like a slog for the most part. You keep waiting for something exciting to happen but it doesn’t, this is a much slower series then the last one and it shows. I am curious as to how they will explain a number of things that always bugged me about this time period; how did Luke complete his training to be a Jedi Knight, why did he never confront Yoda about the truth of his fathers identity and why did it take so long to “find” Han when everyone seems to know how had him and where he was bringing him? The series has potential since it is the first series to have a completed saga to play with but right now it doesn’t have the hook that the last series had at the start, lets see where it goes over the next couple of issues and if they can get their swagger back.
Star Wars #1
Marvel Comics – $4.99