If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’ve never been a comic book reader. I never had the opportunity to read them growing up, with the exception of some Barbie comics. However, my job as a youth/teen services librarian has afforded me the opportunity to read comics in collected editions. I started with The All-New X-Men in the fall of 2014. Now that Marvel has taken over (taken back?) the Star Wars license, I’ve been reading some of those. They have been doing an ongoing series set post Order 66 and following Rebels character Kanan Jarrus, as well as miniseries set around some of our favorite classic characters. I’ve read four volumes, so I thought it was time to review them.
Kanan: The Last Padawan Vol. 1
Kanan Jarrus has never been to Kaller, but that doesn’t mean the Padawan he once was hasn’t been there. Kanan was once Caleb Dume, apprentice to Master Depa Billaba, and when Order 66 is issued she orders Caleb to run. Run he does, but surviving on the run is harder than he thought. Caleb is about to learn who he can trust in the new Empire, and is on his way to becoming Kanan Jarrus, Jedi on the run.
I really liked that this gave us more of Kanan’s backstory. As a fan of Rebels it’s great to see Kanan/Caleb’s past and how he got to be the man he is in Rebels. Everyone has a past, and this is Kanan’s. This series has a lot of potential, and I liked it the most of of all the series so far.
Star Wars: Princess Leia
Set after the events of A New Hope, Princess Leia is a princess with out a planet, but not without a people. With the help of Rebel pilot and fellow Alderaanian Evaan Verlaine, Leia tracks down the members of her people scattered across the galaxy. The Empire is on their tail, but the two are determined to find their people and rebuild their culture.
I liked that Leia was the first to get her own series, and that we got to see her being the leader and princess we always knew she was. Her dedication to her people reminded me of Padme and her dedication to her own people in times of crisis. Leia is definitely her mother’s daughter. I also loved the inclusion of another female Alderaanian, and a Rebel pilot too! I’d love to do an Evaan cosply now, there are too few blonde characters in Star Wars, or in any fandom, so whenever I find one I can cosplay as without having to wear a wig I get excited (I’m planning a Duchess Satine cosplay). Alas, I think it was missing something. Maybe it was too short, or maybe it was something I can’t quite put my finger on.
Star Wars: Lando
Before he was the administrator of Cloud City and then a Rebel General, Lando Calrissian was scoundrel and a con man. Lando owe’s a great deal of money to a man that is not happy. To get out of debt, Lando puts a team together to steal a ship full of priceless art. But this is one heist Lando might not make it out of because this ship belongs to someone that will stop at nothing to get it back, not to mention it’s cargo isn’t just art. Something else is on the ship.
I liked that Lando got his own story, and that we got to see Lobot too. But I don’t know if I liked the story. It seemed to be missing something. I’m just not sure what. I would love to know how Lando came to own Cloud City. We know he “conned somebody out of it”, and I’m sure it’s a great story. So I’m kind of disappointed that wasn’t the story told.
Star Wars: Chewbacca
Everyone’s favorite wookiee also got his own series. Chewbacca is on a mission for the Rebellion, but on his way he crashes lands on a planet occupied by The Empire. While looking for parts to fix his ship, he meets Zarro, a teenage girl in need of help. Her father and many others are being enslaved by a cirme lord looking to sell the fruits of their labor to the Empire. Chewie isn’t going to stand for slavery, he agrees to help Zarro, even at the risk of his own life.
Chewie is a great character, and a great choice for his own series. He’s always seen as Han’s sidekick, but we all know there is more to “the big walking carpet” than that. He gets to shine here as a freedom fighter, and his personality is fleshed out. My only issue with the series is that Chewie’s speech wasn’t translated. I know we never get to see what exactly he is saying, but I would think that in his own story we would finally get a translation.
I hope these three aren’t the only three characters to get there own series. I would love to see a Han Solo series. Or even better a Han and Lando story with that famous Sabacc game.
I give Kanan: The Last Padawan Four Lightsabers and the other three titles Three and a Half Lightsabers.