Ten issues in and Brian Wood’s Star Wars persists in delivering the goods, and while this issue comes across as more of an effort to position our characters for the events of the next chapters, it was still a delight to read, with some beautiful artwork to complement the writing.
On an undercover mission, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles are hidden aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer – one tracking down the location of the Rebel Fleet. Whilst awaiting their inevitable upcoming battle, the two share a private moment that is both distant yet touching, highlighting the developing friendship between them. It is during this moment the moniker “Rogue Squadron” is raised, adding an origin element to the famous X-Wing squadron.
Meanwhile, Leia has stumbled across a derelict Star Destroyer among what’s left of Alderaan, where a former Imperial is in hiding, seeking isolation and forgiveness for his war crimes and sins. Han Solo and Chewbacca are still on the run from Boba Fett, during their ongoing challenge to escape from the Imperial Center.
There’s a battle incoming for our characters in this series, and about to burst. This issue was primarily written as a positioning piece, setting up for the events to come – and though these pieces are often dreary, Wood still manages to give it some life.
The quiet moment between Luke and Wedge is touching, and yet distant all at once. It feels foreign as we’ve always seen these two depicted as buddies in the Expanded Universe, so it’s a delight to see Brian Wood leap into the previously unexplored development of their friendship.
Likewise, the character development of Imperial Commander Bircher is great in this issue, though short. Newly introduced in this series, Bircher is an ace TIE Fighter pilot, but also aspiring and high in rank, seeing himself as competition for Vader in the eyes of the Emperor. Deluded by his ambitions and greed, Bircher’s hubris begins to shine through in this issue, signifying events to come presumably.
The artwork continues to be very good, with the team now fully into the swing of their own style, giving this series its own unique feel and look. The colors are rich and entrancing, and the character reactions in this issue are great.
There are a few renderings of Star Destroyers in the distance, specifically during the Death Star / Endor scene, in which they are completely out-of-scale. The cartoony rendering (even though a background feature) took me out of the moment of reading the comic, and was a little disappointing to see considering the previous excellent standards of this series.
Issue #10 of Star Wars, I believe, is primarily for the hardcore fans – and specifically the EU nuts like me. There are some subtle character explorations that this audience will love, and it ties in pleasantly with other Expanded Universe elements. That being said, I think casual comic readers might find this one a bit of a bore, and even non-EU Star Wars fans might find it tough to chew on.
Being a positioning piece, there’s not a lot of action, and the exploration is mainly within the characters and setting them up for future events. It’s worth a look if you’re into the Expanded Universe though.