Publisher: Dark Horse
Reviewed by: Jonny Botsch
Remember when Star Wars was actually cool? I'm totally serious. Back before we found out Darth was an emo bitch named Anakin or before Boba Fett had a daddy named Jango…or before Jar Jar? Well, I do and so does Brian Wood. The wordsmith behind DMZ and Northlanders for Vertigo is the newest scribe in the SW universe and he's not writing some post trilogy adventure about Han and Leia's kids or a prequel abortion to somehow try and make sense of this jumble of continuity that dripped off of crazy old Lucas' beard. No way. We're talking a pitch perfect saga that fills in the gap between A New Hope and Empire. The Death Star has been destroyed but the Rebels are still on the run from the Empire looking for a base that will eventually be the ice planet Hoth. For now, this is priority number one. Leia is leading a team of X-Wing pilots to search out a spot that the Imperials won't find along with Luke and Biggs. The only problem is that one of the team is a traitor, selling them out to the Empire. So even though she's dealing with the destruction of her entire planet, cocky rank amateur Luke, and getting her squad some slick all-black prototype X-Wings, she still needs to snuff out the snitch. Meanwhile, Vader just lost the Death Star and the Emperor is none too thrilled. So he takes away Vader's personal Star Destroyer and tasks him with babysitting the next Death Star while it's under construction. Vader's Star Destroyer is now under the command of a new Imperial baddy who will likely be dead by the end of this series (since we never hear of him in the next movie), but that's what makes this so great. Brian Wood is steeping himself deeply in the golden age of SW and the force is strong with him. He's giving us enough new material to keep us interested, while not destroying our classic mythology. He's the strongest writer that Dark Horse has put on a Star Wars title ever, and they gave him a detailed and dedicated artist to work with. Sure, this is only the first chapter and there will plenty of chances for him to fuck it up, but you can always tell when you're in good hands, and so far it feels like he's done the impossible and pulled this franchise from the dark side. So the question is: what turned a jaded Star Wars hater back into a fanboy? What can I say? I got Wood.