Star Wars #2 picks up immediately where #1 left off. Though the standard was set high in #1, #2 comes oh so close to meeting that bar.
OBI-WAN NEVER TOLD YOU…
**MARVEL STAR WARS SPOILERS BELOW**
The story on Cymoon 1 continues. To quickly recap, the Rebels (high off of their victory in the destruction of the Death Star) move to take down a major weapons facility of the Empire. Darth Vader shows up to ruin the party.
Luke and Vader begin to square off with a Lightsaber duel. I wonder how long-time Star Wars fans will react to this. My entire life, I’ve known that Luke’s first duel with Vader came during The Empire Strikes Back, after Luke had gone to the Jedi Master Yoda to begin his training in the ways of the Force. It felt raw and genuinely fearful. This was Luke’s premature decision to go and take down Vader to save his friends, long before he was ready to match the experience, power, and pure dominance of Vader.
According to the new Star Wars cannon, Luke and Vader have now met before. Maybe I’m just an old school fan that happy with the way things were, but this slightly bothered me. Luke has had his Lightsaber for all of what, two months? He turned it on briefly in A New Hope. Has he been training somehow? He hasn’t met Yoda yet. Kenobi has passed on into the Force. Luke hasn’t even used the Force at this point (aside from the Death Star run in which Kenobi was guiding him). In this fight in #2, it is clear that Vader could crush Luke like a Trade Federation Battle Droid. Luke can’t hold onto the blade, he isn’t very athletic yet, and isn’t in the same universe as Vader.
Going back to Luke not being able to hold onto his Lightsaber – Vader Force-pulls it away. While holding it, Vader gets distracted and claims that he has seen it before (spoiler! It was his weapon before he became Darth Vader). He has no inkling that Luke could be his son and I guess why would he? He had no knowledge that his child(ren) survived Padme’s death. It just seems that this minor plot point could have a ripple effect that makes The Empire Strikes Back’s first encounter less intense or credible.
That being said, I like that Vader’s dominance is shown. The story nails down the fact that he is the baddest dude in the galaxy and that if you cross him, you’re done for. I can absolutely make this story fit into the cannon, even if I preferred it without the duel.
Luke feels guilt as he allowed many slaves to be killed by Vader’s Storm Troopers. I thought this was a nice callback (in a minor, minor way) to Anakin’s slaughtering of the Sand People on Tattooine in Attack of the Clones. It helps to build Luke’s character and further reinforce the need to get better and to become the Jedi the galaxy needs.
Han, Leia, and the R2-D2 take over an Imperial Walker as the ensuing battle takes place. The banter that goes between these three shows the superb writing and knowledge of the source material from the author. They really know their Star Wars. At one moment, Leia says that she could just kiss R2, much to Han’s annoyance.
The story is shorter than the first part of the series, but that just leaves me counting down until March to read the next. As in the first part, the artwork and color setting are beautiful. There are slight moments when Vader and Leia do not have a consistent look, but it’s only minor. Overall, Marvel has a best seller on its hands.
Star Wars is heading in the right direction. Don’t let my score take any enthusiasm away, I loved it almost as much as I do a 10.
+ More gorgeous artwork
+ Character dialogue is superb
– Luke and Vader encounter before Empire
– Slight inconsistencies in facial artwork
Josiah LeRoy is Geekiverse’s Senior Editor. He is really excited for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He hopes a Star Wars/Avengers crossover happens one day.