Sunday, 27 December 2015

Star Wars: Shattered Empire Review (Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto)

Ugh, there are Ewoks in this thing - AND Naboo! Wait, come back, they’re only brief appearances (at least they didn’t show us any Gungans)! 

Set directly in the final scenes of Return of the Jedi, Shattered Empire follows Rebel pilot Shara Bey as the Rebellion continues to fight the suddenly leaderless Empire. Who is Shara Bey? Her hubby is Kes Dameron. That’s right, these are the parents of Poe Dameron, Oscar Isaac’s character in The Force Awakens. Pretty tenuous link for a “Journey to The Force Awakens” tie-in but then such is the nature of cash-grabs! 

There’s no real narrative to this one, just a series of fragmentary stories involving Bey and characters from the original trilogy. She joins Han and Chewie on a mop-up mission on Endor which is ok but I felt it was only there because people love Han and Chewie and any excuse to put them in a comic! 

The Empire hatch a dastardly plan to create extreme weather on Naboo in an effort to destroy it. Is it bad that I was rooting for them to succeed? (No more Gungans!!) Leia and Bey go to stop them. Meh. Then to finish, Bey, Luke and Artoo (in yet another superfluous role) go to save a couple of magic Jedi trees - ooo! Yeah, it was pretty lame. 

The stories are completely disposable but they underline the basic (and obvious) premise of the new movies, that just because the Emperor and Darth Vader were killed doesn’t mean that the Empire was defeated. And even though we meet Poe Dameron’s parents, that’s about the only real link to The Force Awakens here and it’s not even relevant to the movie!

While Greg Rucka’s script was decidedly workmanlike and forgettable, Marco Checchetto’s artwork was absolutely stunning. All the classic Star Wars designs are rendered beautifully along with the characters and the book looks absolutely amazing throughout (even if I got awful Phantom Menace flashbacks from the Theed Palace and the Darth Maul vision Leia has there). 

Also included in this volume is Mark Waid’s Princess Leia #1 (the worst of the new Marvel Star Wars titles) and Star Wars #1 from 1977 which is just ok - we all know the story!

Shattered Empire isn’t a memorable narrative but it’s a perfectly satisfactory Star Wars experience for fans thanks to Marco Checchetto's stellar artwork.

Star Wars: Shattered Empire

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