Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassaday
Colorist: Laura Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Like the rest of the right-minded population I’m a big fan of the original Star Wars trilogy. And like many I found the prequel trilogy to be a huge disappointment. So I have been waiting a very long time for a worthwhile addition to the Star Wars mythos. Hopefully that tells you I’m not particularly easy to please when it comes to my Star Wars entertainment so I am extremely pleased to say that for people like me waiting for the kind of high quality addition that the original trilogy deserves you don’t have to wait and hope for the upcoming Force Awakens. This first issue of Marvel’s Star Wars is pure gold.
In case you don’t know, this series is considered an official part of the new Star Wars lore and is perfectly slipped in between episodes four and five. So it let’s us enjoy those classic characters right in their prime without interfering with the original movies or spoiling anything about what happens after episode six.
It really is a shame that I have to keep this short since this is a slug fest because I could go on for a long time about how great this comic is. But in brief:
Right from the first page they immerse the reader in the classic Star Wars experience. The first page gives you the familiar blue words “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Then you get the big opening logo which kicks in the theme music in your head on page two and it’s followed up with the scrolling introductory words on the next page.
The art is fantastic as John Cassaday’s work always is. Not only do all of the characters look just right but the settings match the movies exactly and the action pops. I do worry, though, about whether Cassaday will be able to keep up on a regular schedule as he’s fallen behind on other series in the past and it would be a real shame and almost sure drop in quality if they had to replace him for any issues.
Aaron’s writing is just as stellar as Cassaday’s art. He navigates the potentially tricky task of fitting it in to the canon while still giving an instantly interesting story and writing the characters all exactly like the movies.
Marvel’s Star Wars #1 is a perfect immersion back into the classic Star Wars story that’s brand new and yet nostalgically familiar at the same time. I’m even excited about the rest of the Star Wars’ character series they previewed in the back pages. If they’re near this good then we fans will be in for a treat.
This is the part of the review where I normally list the downsides but honestly there aren’t any here. My only concern is if they can keep it going as great as it’s started. Please Marvel. Please keep it this good.
– Bill Janzen
Born this very day twenty years ago, I was a child of the prequel trilogy. Born to mediocrity. Growing up, I loved everything that was Star Wars from the original films that I wore out on VHS on down to the expanded universe novels. Then when I got older I started to develop this strange affliction that I’ve heard referred to as “taste.” Suddenly, the prequels didn’t seem so good and the novels weren’t what I had thought they were. Since this moment, I’ve seldom enjoyed Star Wars the way that I had when I was a kid. And the comics never quite cut it for me, no offense to Dark Horse, even with some solid efforts like the otherwise exception Rebel Heist by writer Matt Kindt.
Reading Marvel’s Star Wars #1 is as close as I’ve felt to being a kid and watching A New Hope for the first time. The feeling isn’t exact but it’s close enough that when I flipped to the double-page splash of the title and then hit the opening crawl I felt a tinge in my heart. This was going to be Star Wars the way I remembered it, not what it had become.
As Bill indicates, the issue itself more than lives up to those opening moments of grandiose joy. Cassaday nails the visuals of the universe, making it appropriately grimy and run-down so that the world feels lived in and otherwise authentic. The likenesses are pitch-perfect, if wholly unnecessary because there are times where things can feel stiff or the facial expressions may appear limited. At least for this issue, Cassaday avoids the likeness trap that plenty have fallen into in the past. The writing follows a similar note with Jason Aaron just nailing the voices of the characters. This sounds like George Lucas’ screenplay for A New Hope with a slight dash of the seriousness that would come in later with Empire Strikes Back to bridge the gap between those two movies and their different tones.
The best and most accurate thing I can say about this book is that it’s Star Wars with no ifs ands or buts about it.
– Mark Stack