Ricky Church reviews Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #2…
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.
While books like Star Wars: Aftermath or Lost Stars have given fans a look at the long term effects of the Empire’s defeat at Endor, Marvel’s comic series Shattered Empire continues to examine the state of the galaxy in the immediate aftermath of Palpatine’s death. The second issue of the series takes place a couple weeks after the battle as the Rebellion, slowly trying to turn into the New Republic, mops up Imperial forces as they attempt to regroup and exact revenge with Palpatine’s posthumous orders.
Rebel pilot Shera Bey is still the focal point of the series as we follow her through her experiences in the final days of the war. Though she doesn’t get as much development in this issue as she did in the last, she continues to be an interesting character, one with an intriguing relationship to a well-known and favourite character from the Original Trilogy, as well as another from The Force Awakens.
Princess Leia gets a good spotlight in the issue as she undertakes a diplomatic mission to Naboo. The idea of Leia on her mother’s home planet is a fascinating prospect; I wonder whether or not she knows she’s standing in her mother’s old throne room. It’s also a good reminder that Emperor Palpatine hailed from Naboo. That’s one historical fact about the character that is usually forgotten so it was pleasant to hear the queen talk about the shame they’ve had on Naboo for spawning such a tyrant. It will be interesting to see how much this may affect Leia; it’s not enough to have Darth Vader as her father, but the Emperor coming from her mother’s home as well would be quite tough to accept.
Rucka nails Leia’s characterization as well as the others. His writing draws you in and he also conveys what the post-war galaxy looks like perfectly. Marco Checchetto’s art is equally good; his depiction of Leia is spot on and the detail in the issue’s battle sequence looks great. The visual of an AT-AT crashing through a downtown square while multiple Rebel fighters swarm it pop right off the page. Shattered Empire continues to look amazing and evoke that classic Star Wars feeling.
The only downside is for those who have read Star Wars: Aftermath or Lost Stars; those readers know the cliffhanger ending is a bit of a fake-out, but it still doesn’t take away from the intensity of the story. The Empire’s retribution knows no bounds and it will be interesting to see how this affects the Empire’s downfall and the relationship between Shera and Leia. Shattered Empire #2 is a great book any Star Wars fan will enjoy.