Star Wars comics review: Yoda 1

Star Wars joins Puzzle & Dragons – Sith and Jedi Battle through Exclusive Dungeons. Image courtesy GungHo Online Entertainment.
Star Wars joins Puzzle & Dragons – Sith and Jedi Battle through Exclusive Dungeons. Image courtesy GungHo Online Entertainment. /

Yoda is being taught a lesson.

Not one of physical prowess–we all know that the Jedi grandmaster is capable of kicking anyone’s butt in a fight. No, Yoda is reflecting on lessons of the mind: lessons of peace, harmony, and patience.

Star Wars: Yoda (2022), a new comic miniseries, promises to tell a part of Yoda’s story that fans haven’t seen before. What did Yoda do on Dagobah before Luke arrived? How did he prepare to teach another student the way of the Force after being alone for almost 20 years? And has Yoda always been that sassy? (The answer to the last question is yes. Yes, he has.)

Told in three arcs over ten issues, Star Wars: Yoda follows the titular character as he reflects on his past adventures in order to remember important Jedi lessons. The primary story is set on Dagobah right before Luke arrives, but the majority of the comic will be set in flashbacks. Three different writers–Cavan Scott, Jody Houser, and Marc Guggenheim–will share adventures from various points in Yoda’s past.

Yoda #1 is an explosive start to this miniseries. Written by Cavan Scott with art by Nico Leon, this first issue makes it clear that Yoda will be essential in expanding fans’ knowledge and love of the famous Jedi.

Scott does an incredible job of encapsulating Yoda’s essence in his dialogue, especially that classic Yoda wit. Not only is he able to perfectly capture the Yoda we know from The Empire Strikes Back, he crafts an image of a Yoda in his prime: confident in the Force and secure in the ideas he stands for. “Wherever the Force leads, my place is,” he says.

The flashback story Scott weaves is a familiar one: Yoda departs Coruscant to aid a persecuted people in the Outer Rim. Even Yoda says, “Seen events like this before, I have.” However, this tale seems refreshingly new, in part because of the art by Nico Leon. He brings us to the bright world of Turrak, to a village located right on the water. The Scalvani are a peaceful, purple-hued people who are fighting against the red, many-toothed Crulkon. Leon’s art clearly delineates good from evil while also being just fun to look at.

While some elements of the story are new, some are not. Locations such as Dagobah and the Coruscant Jedi Council chamber are immediately recognizable in Leon’s art. It is also clear from the style and color of the Jedi robes that the flashbacks of Yoda #1 are set during the time of The High Republic. Since Scott has written Yoda for The High Republic before, it’s no surprise that his arc of Star Wars: Yoda takes us back to this era of the Jedi.

The mastery of color by color artist Dono Sánchez-Almara also brings the comic to the next level. A shift in color distinguishes the present story on Dagobah from the flashback to the planet of Turrak. Darker earth tones and abundance of shadows give way to vivid blues and greens bathed in bright daylight. Later in the issue, smoky reds of destruction are the perfect backdrop for Yoda’s vivid lightsaber. Artist Leon captures Yoda’s fighting style in the arcing sweeps of green–the Jedi is almost a blur from his quick movements and deliberate slices.

The delightful combination of art and story make for a highly entertaining first issue. A perfect starting point for fans who have wanted to get into comics, Star Wars: Yoda will help newer comic readers familiarize themselves with the medium and enjoy the story along the way. The Yoda presented in this miniseries may seem different to fans who have only seen the Jedi grandmaster in the original trilogy and the prequels. He is sharper, more involved, and just as witty. Some may think this portrayal of Yoda takes away from his serene wisdom, but Star Wars: Yoda shows us the work it takes to achieve such greatness.

Star Wars: Yoda #1 is out now at your local comic shop or on ComiXologyYoda #2 releases on December 28th.