Sunday, 8 May 2016

Star Wars: Chewbacca Review (Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto)


Wyaaaaaa, it’s a Chewbacca (minus Han) solo comic!

Set in the wake of A New Hope, everybody’s favourite Wookiee crash-lands on some backwater planet while headed back to Kashyyyk on an important personal mission. As he figures out how to get his ride working again (it’s not the Falcon), he meets Zarro, a young girl who asks for his help in freeing her dad and people from enslavement. Chewie and his laser crossbow to the rescue! 

About the only thing I was curious about with this Chewbacca limited series was whether or not writer Gerry Duggan would translate his speech either as regular bubble dialogue between < and > or maybe as a translation box at the bottom of each panel (and what would Chewie’s voice sound like?), or just do his usual incomprehensible howling – and, in the same way Marvel kept Groot’s speech to just I Am Groot, it was the latter, which was probably the right choice. 

Having a completely unintelligible protagonist means you need a sidekick who readers can understand and who can provide comprehension through reacting to Chewie. Han’s off someplace else so it’s down to Zarro, who also doesn’t understand Chewie(!) but at least saves this from being a silent comic – which maybe wouldn’t have been the worst choice as she does get a bit tiresome with her chattiness. 

The story of Chewie saving a group of people from an evil miner isn’t the most gripping read and it’s completely disposable but it’s entertaining enough – maybe this was intended to be aimed at younger readers given Zarro and the simple story? Anyway, Chewie remains effortlessly likeable even if he feels like a supporting character in his own book. 

Phil Noto’s art is less detailed than it usually is and that, coupled with the soft colours, makes the visuals a good match for the light tone of the comic. I liked how expressive Noto made Chewie’s eyes – we might be completely in the dark with his howls but his eyes communicate a helluva lot. 

Chewie’s mini-series is completely irrelevant to the overall Star Wars saga but it’s a mildly amusing read and worth a look if you see it in your library.

Star Wars: Chewbacca

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