It’s been 32 whopping years since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was released. 32 years since the death and destruction of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. But Skywalker and crew didn’t live happily ever. As part of the journey to the next record breaking movie this December, Marvel Comics fills in the gaps between the two major events with Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Shattered Empire.
Written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Marco Checchetto, their story drops us off during the last few moments before the destruction of the repaired Death Star. Newly introduced fighter pilot Shara Bey is introduced as she escorts Luke when he exists the doomed moon-sized battlestation. As she joins the celebration down on Endor with the rest of the rebels, they quickly realize that the war is not over. And something is lurking just on the other side the Forest Moon. Lieutenant Shara Bey joins Han Solo and her husband Sergeant Kes Dameron to find out what exactly the Empire has up their sleeves. The war isn’t over and no one is getting their happy ending just yet.
Out of all the Marvel Star Wars books I’ve read so far, this is the one I’m most excited to continue reading. Maybe it’s the fact that the movie is coming out in just a few months or maybe it’s my inner child just not wanting the story to end just yet. This issue feels the most real to me. It doesn’t feel like filler material but rather real canon that will have real impact in the movies. I’m hoping the characters introduced will be in the movies in some fashion. It’s also nice to know there are stories in the universe that don’t always revolve around the force. Stories that focus on the rebels, the empire or Wookies! The art by Marco Checchetto is also fantastic. I love the look and feel of the full page space battles. Lots of grey and dull oranges makes it feel like Star Wars.
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It’s too early to see exactly where the story takes us to make a valid opinion. But to me the first issue is a blast. As I mentioned, out of all the comics released so far, this is the one that feels and looks like Star Wars. I’m going to keep buying the issues and I suggest any fan do too.
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