Friday, September 11, 2015

Comic Review: Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1

In the new Star Wars universe, this is the first of the comics to cover ground after Return of the Jedi. In fact, it starts almost immediately after that, starting to move the story forward in the immediate aftermath of the battle of Endor, but despite finally moving things forward, there are a few issues with how it handles moving the story forward.

The main problem is the same one I had with the Princess Leia series: the beginning is dealing directly with a criticism of the movies, in this case referring to how the death of the Emperor does not mean the end of the Empire. It's a very legitimate criticism, and a good place to explore with a story. The problem is that this is all there is to the story, not serving as a setting or backdrop for another story, causing it to feel more like clean up work than telling its own story.

The other major element of the story is some connective tissue to The Force Awakens. Specifically, the main new characters in the story are Shara Bey and Kes Dameron, which is quite significant for the movie. While it could easily feel like forced backstory, trying to make everything feel connected, for the most part it feels like filling in background details that aren't necessary, but flesh things out a bit. Without having seen the movie, it's hard to know for sure, but so far it's giving off those vibes.

The art is mostly standard for the Star Wars books that have come out so far. While they don't look the same, they're mostly small variations on a theme, and this fits right in with that. What manages to stick out are the space battle scenes at the beginning, which are both huge in scope yet incredibly detailed. The majority of the book is not in space, however, causing most of it to look mostly like the other books in the Star Wars line.

This isn't one of the stronger openings to one of the Star Wars comics, but I'm still interested in following it further. I'll probably wait for the trade, but I've become a bit too much of a completionist for the Star Wars comics to let it slip out of my grasp completely.

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