Star Wars: TIE Fighter #5 Review

Written by Jody Houser
Art by Roge Antonio and Juan Gedeon
Color by Arif Prianto and Dono Sanchez-Almara
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99

This was a new series that blasted out of the traps with a lot of fanfare and a TIE-in book (get it?). That said there were two
reservations I had with it. The first was that it was a mini-series. The characters assembled had a lot of variety and initially were of the cut-throat Imperial recruit type. The second was the way the issues were separated into a main story and a back up. There was always a
nagging feeling that the main story was cut off just as momentum was building. At the start this felt like leaving the audience wanting more, but as the mini-series continued it felt less like that and just an irritation. Will this issue close the series with a bang or a whimper? Let’s find out.

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Spoilers ahead

Okay, this was not an enjoyable issue. One problem with doing a book based upon the villains of a saga is that although you can inject a little bit of a human element into them, in the Star Wars saga there
is very little to redeem the Empire as an institution. So to underscore their distinction with the Rebel Alliance you really need to continually press their villain status. With this series, as with much of the recent Imperial-based Star Wars output we get a real effort to make us see things from the “Imperial perspective”.

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The first problem with that trend in this particular closing story is that there is very little to differentiate these Imperials from Rebels. You could do a straight swap and put these characters in X-Wings and it
would basically read the same way as a Rebel tale. The second problem is that this means the dichotomy between good and evil, Space Nazis and Rebellion gets watered down.

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This isn’t a civil war where there is good and bad on both sides. This is a battle against a cruel regime. There needs to be much more done in stories like this to press home the fact that while characters may have redeeming features they are always operating within an evil, corrupt, tyrannical dictatorship. Doing this without falling into caricature villains is difficult, but caricature is better than bland which is what was offered up this issue. Houser can do better than this and has done in much of her Star Wars work.

Final thoughts

Great cover, solid art and bland story. A series that really got me excited with the first couple of issues fizzles out like a TIE Fighter in battle with a wing missing. There was a fundamental flaw with this series that isn’t new to the modern Star Wars canon. Maybe that flaw is more
of a Story Group decision but unfortunately it reflects on the tale
told here. A very weak finish which undermines the stronger early issues. Disappointing.

5.5/10

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