CAUTION| Major spoilers for Star Wars:Force Awakens, Kanan:The Last Padawan and Journey to Star Wars:Force Awakens-Shattered Empire |CAUTION
The Force Awakens was a really well done movie. Though it was somewhat derivative of the original trilogy, I feel that familiarity helped ease the transition into the new movies. It’s already crushed most domestic records, and is well on its way to being the highest grossing film ever. When going to see Hateful Eight tonight, nearly a month after SW’s release, most showings were still selling out. Even without being a diehard SW fan I’ve still enjoyed most of what LucasArts has created in the life of the franchise, but the comics have never interested me all that much. Now that “The Sovereign Nation of Disney” owns both Marvel and LucasArts though, it’s allowed the top creators in the industry to tell original, canonical SW stories. Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka & Marco Checchetto is a four issue miniseries that follows two starfighters just moments after The Battle of Endor. The empire’s lack of upper-management hasn’t stopped the seemingly infinite amount of Stormtroopers, officers, crimson guard, etc. from oppressing the galactic population. The two pilots(Shara Bey & Kes Dameron) are a couple with a young son named Poe, who we know as ace x-wing pilot Poe Dameron thirty years later in Force Awakens. While he’s not featured in the comic, I mention him because I noticed a few interesting things that may relate to his and Rey’s family background. Now this is where we get into spoiler territory, you’ve been warned. In the story, Poe’s father(Kes) goes with Han Solo on mission while his mother(Shara) goes with Luke Skywalker. I had noticed that Shara Bey had the same haircut as Rey, as well as having a similarly spelled name(Rey/Bey). I began to suspect that Poe’s father would not survive his mission, leaving Shara widowed and in the company of the most powerful being in the known galaxy(Luke). Long story short, Kes does survive and reunites with Shara, but I’m still under the impression that Poe and Rey are siblings, even if Luke isn’t her father. I'm definitely looking forward to this storyline developing. The art in this book is some of the most gorgeous stuff you’ll find in comics today, but over-all the story(while well written) just doesn’t amount to much. The bigger surprise for me was actually Kanan:The Last Padawan by Greg Weisman & Pepe Larraz. Two creators I’m not familiar with telling the story of Caleb Dume(Kanan Jarrus), the only surviving padawan of Order 66. Some of you may recognize Kanan as one of the main characters of Star Wars:Rebels on DisneyXD. I haven’t watched the show but Clone Wars was an amazing feat in intellectual property adaptation, so I’m sure it’s of a certain level of quality at least. Luckily, the comic is pretty stand-alone from the rest of the story. It takes place right after the slaughter of the Jedi and follows Kanan as he runs from his former clonetrooper brothers-in-arms. This leads him into a life of piracy(see Han Solo) but really gives an introspective look at someone who has absolutely nothing left and isn’t safe anywhere in the galaxy. The character building is handled very well and really left me wanting to know more about his story. The art is a great cartoony style with a heavy line á la Paco Medina or Mahmud Asrur. Next, I’m going to start into the main books like Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Chewbacca which all have positive reviews, so that should make for a good second installment of this column.