Dark Horse Comics: “Star Wars” #’s 2-3


Human Heroes
What happens when a teenage boy, who always wanted greater things, becomes the savior of planets? Most of the guys I knew in high school couldn’t handle being named captain of the football team without their egos exploding all over the lunchroom cafeteria. So often we read, hear, or see stories of young men and women who accomplish great things and gain celebrity but we don’t think about how that drastic change of status would impact them. Luke Skywalker has gone from Tatooine farmhand to Death Star Destroyer and these two issues of Star Wars from Dark Horse begin to explore how these events influence his behavior.

Luke has gotten cocky with Wedge and disrespectful to Leia. Wedge is keeping a close eye on this young pilot out of worry while Leia has to deal with his behavior as the leader of her new covert team. Leia is also grieving the loss of Alderaan in her private moments and we get a glimpse of how devastating it would be to lose your home to the actions of evil men. We see how capable a leader she is, even though she is young, when she decisively deals with her friend, Luke, by grounding him from flight after he disobeys orders. Star Wars sets up one of the strongest female characters in film or literature and this series is building on that legacy.

What I love about these two issues is that we get to see a side of these heroes that we didn’t really get to see in the original trilogy. They are human beings who are under unbelievable pressure from an impossibly bleak situation and these circumstances would take their toll on anyone, even heroes. Heroes rise to meet the conflict of great and terrible situations but they still have their problems and struggles just like anyone else. How we deal with struggles like grief, loss, fame, success, and trials are what make us who we are and these two issues set up the exploration of who these two people are in the midst of these more personal conflicts.

Don’t forget the action!
But fear not! While Leia and Luke are wrestling with inner and relational turmoil, Han and Chewie are in the midst of a good, old-fashioned scoundrel fight and chase scene on Coruscant. These scenes are written and drawn in a way that takes you back to all of the great action sequences we are used to with this franchise.  Han and Chewie banter back and forth in the midst of what should be a stress-filled situation giving us the playful action we have grown to love from this franchise.

What about the villain?
What would a story be without a great and capable villain? With Darth Vader out of the Emperor’s good graces and on the Death Star overseeing construction, we get to know a very capable and meticulous military leader, Colonel Bircher. We haven’t seen him in action yet but we know he is a confident and imposing presence who wants to make a name for himself in the Empire. He is now suited up to head out with a squadron of Interceptors and I am sure a great battle scene in which we see his abilities is in our near future.

Here comes the awesome…
These two issues are definitely setting up the next few issues so they are not fantastic stand-alone issues. But they are setting up for some great character exploration in the midst of the action that is on the horizon! I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next.

What did you enjoy about these issues? How do you think the characters will develop and interact with each other in the coming issues?

 This is part of an ongoing look at Dark Horse Star Wars and you can see the first discussion here.