Ricky Church reviews Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #1…
For the first time in the new Star Wars canon, journey with us into the time after the end of Return of the Jedi! Writer Greg Rucka (PUNISHER, WOLVERINE, Gotham Central) and artist Marco Checchetto (AVENGERS WORLD, PUNISHER) take us past the destruction of the second Death Star into the chaos of a Shattered Empire.
With just under 100 days until Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters, the marketing campaign for Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now in full swing. The latest piece of the campaign is Marvel’s comic Star Wars: Shattered Empire, a miniseries set in the 30 year gap between Return of the Jedi and the highly anticipated sequel.
Rather than jumping ahead a few years, the introductory issue takes place during and immediately after the Battle of Endor. For anyone who has seen Return of the Jedi a million times, it is very fun to see the same events play out through the eyes of other people. In this case we’re introduced to Rebel pilot Shara Bey, who helps escort the Millennium Falcon to the Death Star’s core and Luke Skywalker to safety as he makes his escape from the fully armed and operational battle station. It’s a very entertaining insight into the Rebellion’s finest hour.
Writer Grek Rucka nails the classic Star Wars feel with snappy dialogue and good characterization. Shera has some very good interactions with new and old characters alike. Lando Calrissian’s brief scene is very much in character and funny while you can almost hear Harrison Ford’s voice whenever Han Solo appears. There is also a fairly major name drop for anyone who’s been following news regarding The Force Awakens’ new characters. While there may not be much in the way of character development at this point, Rucka displays an excellent handle on the galaxy far, far away.
Marco Checchetto’s art is equally as great. His facial expressions really stand out throughout the issue, particularly whenever Shara looks concerned or Han shows off his trademark smirk. Checchetto’s chaotic depiction of the battle above Endor places you right in the thick of it as well. Looking at TIEs or X-Wings getting destroyed up close will make readers feel as if they’re watching the battle on the big screen again. This is also due in no small part to Andres Mossa’s gorgeous colours throughout this sequence and the rest of the issue.
Shattered Empire’s first issue offers plenty to see and good characterization of new and old players. Its ties to The Force Awakens are intriguing and are sure to only get bigger in the coming issues. If Rucka can continue with his great writing, we’re going to have a great Star Wars story on our hands. Consider this miniseries a snack to tide you over before the big, juicy dinner awaiting you.