By Jason Aaron, John Cassaday and Laura Martin
The wild escape continues for the rebel crew led by Leia Organa! Issue #3 of Star Wars picks up with our heroes attempting to escape the indomitable Darth Vader and has plenty to love for anyone interested in reading a light story based in the post A New Hope universe. This is certainly not the deepest comic story but there are plenty of fun scenes and just enough references to the original movies to massage the nostalgia out of just about any Star Wars fan.
Jason Aaron’s story thus far has been pretty basic. There has been some justifiable criticism of Marvel’s return to Star Wars due to the simple plot but overall this is a fairly successful, all-ages story. Some of the scenes that have played especially well are the ones with Luke either doubting his ability to be a Jedi or showing his inexperience. Luke’s progression is arguably the most compelling story between Episodes IV and V and Aaron has written a solid beginning to explore why Luke needs a new trainer after the death of Obi-Wan. We still see flashes of the rural desert kid that Luke was before he met Obi-Wan and Aaron shows why force sensitivity alone will not be enough to overcome his nemesis, Darth Vader.
We also see a full range of Imperial vehicles in this issue which is always entertaining. Leia and Han driving an AT-AT through a weapons factory is certainly something we’ve never experienced before and a great way to include the excellent vehicle designs of the movies into the comics. It is also a great show of Vader’s power to have him single-handedly take down the massive AT-AT as the reader understands the AT-AT’s strength from the opening scenes of Empire Strikes Back.
This issue includes some a few scenes sure to elicit nostalgia for the original film trilogy. In particular, there is a scene that foreshadows the relationship between Han and Leia when their AT-AT is in danger and the final scene revolves around the dumping of a Rodian body in Tatooine’s Dune Sea, which is surely a reference to Greedo’s death in Mos Eisley. These are well-done homages to the movies that help make this an enjoyable read.
John Cassaday and Laura Martin’s art in this issue is probably the best part. The character art is nearly flawless. The action scenes are very well done and the destruction of the AT-AT shows raw strength from both the AT-AT and Vader. Martin’s coloring really stands out any time a lightsaber or a starship is in frame. It is really incredible what these two artists have done to re-create a universe that the readers know so well, and do it in a way that characters, vehicles, locations, and even extras are instantly recognizable.
This may not be the most exciting Star Wars story ever told, but let’s be real, if anything great happened between Episodes IV and V we would have a movie documenting it. This issue is a fun read and part of a solid re-introduction of Star Wars back into the Marvel Comics fold.