Star Wars No. 1 (2020): Luke Struggles with his destiny in the aftermath of Episode V

Photo: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The first issue in the second volume of Marvel’s Star Wars comic is out. We take a look at how the events of Episode V have affected Luke and the Rebels.

Star Wars No. 1 starts a new volume in Marvel’s flagship title of George Lucas’ space opera. The new series, which is being written by Charles Soule, with art by Jesus Saiz, picks up shortly after the turbulent end of Empire Strikes Back.

In contrast to the propitious first issue of the previous volume, this one mirrors the uncertain future of the Rebel Alliance that Episode V left off with.

This dark turn of events is evident most of all in the Rebel’s great hope, Luke Skywalker. The hero that destroyed the first Death Star is still reeling from the most staggering news that any great protagonist could be startled with.

His nemesis, Darth Vader, is his father.

Of course, this isn’t exactly shocking news to us, but look at it for a moment from Luke’s perspective.

Imagine that the guy who has murdered your mentor and some of your best friends, who has pursued you with a Terminator-like relentlessness, is the also the same one that helped create you. That’s the kind of news that could mentally scar anybody.

And Luke isn’t an exception. In fact, it has shaken him to the core of not only who he is, but what he might become.

While Luke is wrestling with this revelation, things aren’t looking too bright for his peers. On the heels of losing one of their own at Cloud City, the Rebels are being pursued by a formidable new threat, Imperial commander, Zahra.

As dangerous as Tarkin, Zahra shows that she is not to be trifled with, after she manually takes down a fleeing X-Wing with one of her Star Destroyer’s turbo lasers (pg. 15).

As if this wasn’t enough to contend with, there is serious tension among the Rebels inner circle as both Chewbacca and Leia are bristling with outrage towards Lando Calrissian, who they feel betrayed them and his close friend, Han Solo. Chewie is especially upset, and at times one gets the expectation that Lando is on the verge of losing his arms in one of those infamous Wookie rages we’ve heard about.

Yet, despite the palpable animosity in the air, the heroes all realize that you have to pick your battles, even if that means sometimes fighting side-by-side with people who you despise as much as you do your enemies.

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Returning the focus back to Luke, we see his frustration as he struggles not only with the debilitating news of what Vader revealed in Cloud City, but also with the loss of his hand. Because this story takes place mere moments after his rescue, Luke hasn’t had time to be outfitted with his new robotic appendage yet. So, as one might expect, he isn’t feeling complete.

However, this moment of inadequacy leads up to one of the most impressive displays of the Force that Luke (or any Jedi) has ever done.

With his crew facing down a squadron of TIE fighters, and being unable to shoot them, Luke reaches out with the Force and takes control of the enemies fighters (pg. 24). This is made all the more impressive when you consider that Luke is still a novice in the Force. But, it does beg to question how come other Jedi haven’t utilized this tactic more often? Forget dog-fighting and missiles, when you could just use telekinesis or Jedi mind-tricks to take down enemies fighters.

Afterwards Luke tries unsuccessfully to communicate with Master Yoda via the Force, and in his frustration lashes out cracking  the transparisteel pane in his quarters. Interestingly, this scene mirrors a similar one aboard the Executor when Darth Vader discovers that the young rebel who destroyed the Death Star was a Skywalker (SW v.1 No. 6 pgs. 20-21).

In the final scenes we see Luke revealing his inner turmoil to Artoo. Luke’s infectious optimism is gone, and so is his confidence in the Rebellions future. He feels betrayed by some of the people he thought he could trust.  But  worst of all, Luke’s suffering leads to doubt, and that doubt leads him to question whether he might also end up following a similar path as his father.

Truly these are dark times and Yoda’s warning to Luke about not having been ready to confront Vader rings truer than ever. But it’s these moments of greatest tribulation that helps to shape our protagonists the most, that is, if it doesn’t break them in the process.

So, did you think of Star Wars No. 1? What were some of your favorite/least favorite moments? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Meanwhile, if you’re looking for your next Star Wars comic fix, issue # 2 of the new series arrives in stores on January 29th and Darth Vader # 1 v. 3 debuts February 5, 2020.