Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Jesus Saiz, R. B. Silva
Release Date: January 1st, 2020
After the Rebellion has suffered the beat down of all beat downs on many fronts in The Empire Stokes Back, Marvel reboots their flagship Star Wars book that will follow Luke’s path to becoming a Jedi master, as well as the Rebel’s plan to save Han Solo. Let’s travel to a galaxy far away and see what happens in the immediate aftermath of The Empire Strikes Back!
Star Wars has been a huge part of my entire life. I was eight when The Empire Strikes Back came out. The period of time in between Empire and Return of the Jedi has always been of interest to me. I always wondered, how did Luke go from a cowering, sweaty novice force user, to a Jedi Master with a cool green lightsaber? I guess now we’ll get to find out.
Charles Soule picks up literally right after the movie ends. Luke is still in shock over the loss of his hand and lightsaber, as well as Vader’s revelation that he is Luke’s father. We get some nice flashbacks that show these events. They work well both as a recap and set up. All the characters look fairly lifelike to their actual movie counterparts. Luke looks the most different to me. Luke on the cover doesn’t look like Luke in the book. Not a huge deal at all, but we are talking about one of the most famous actors in the history of movies.
Soule does a good job of introducing what will likely be a huge list of characters. My only minor gripe is when Lando is talking to Chewbacca he refers to Han as “Han Solo”. Han isn’t even in this book yet and his rescue will likely play a big part in this series, but using his whole name when talking to Chewie felt awkward and forced.
I really liked the fact that for a brief moment Leia, Lando, and Chewie actually thought about going after Han right away. Their reasoning for not is explained and makes perfect sense.
This whole issue is basically a giant space battle. The rebels are trying to flee Hoth and get through the Imperial blockade while the Millennium Falcon will soon join in the mayhem. The art and coloring in the whole space sequence are outstanding. It makes me feel like I’m literally in the battle. As I was reading this the first time I felt like I couldn’t get to the next page quick enough. I had to know what was going to happen next. Then, however, I felt a a major disturbance in the force, as it were. We all know that one of the most famous quotes in movie history is “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Yoda said this to Luke after he couldn’t raise his X-wing from the swamp on Dagobah. So, after leaving Dagobah without completing his training, getting a beat down from Vader, losing his hand, dealing with the shock of learning who is father is, it’s REALLY hard to believe Luke could use the force to basically take out a whole squadron of Tie-fighters. I think that Luke wouldn’t be in the physical or mental state to “do” this. It’s a real stretch, and the only real part of the issue I didn’t like. Others may see it as the complete opposite. That Luke did in fact “Do”, and used the force to destroy the Tie-fighters. That’s a reason I like comics. They’re subjective. It’s up to the reader how they interpret what they’ve read. And while that part of the book is a concern for me, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book.
Despite a few minor issues in how I may have chosen to interpret this issue, Charles Soule has given us a fine introduction into this period of Star Wars history. It takes a lot of guts to write this period of Star Wars history, so I give him a lot of credit.