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If you’re gearing up for Star Wars: The Last Jedi but have run out of things to read, the Legends timeline is a good place to read stories within the universe. They may not be in canon but they manage to capture the spirit of the movies and drop in some fun cameos and character appearances. The New Republic Vol. 3 is out this week and focuses on Rogue Squadron as well as a post Return of the Jedi Han and Leia story.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Wedge Antilles leads the Rogue Squadron into action and adventure! It begins with what should be a straightforward mission -but will a simple search-and-rescue end with a requiem for a Rogue? Then, meet the Empire’s answer to Wedge and his elite band of X-wing pilots: Baflying, Imperial fl ying ace! And his wingmen are more than a match for anyone! Will Fel be Rogue Squadron’s downfall – or could he be much, much more? Our heroes will face pirates, the vindictive Iceheart and an Imperial Star Destroyer! But their deadliest mission of all awaits: if the New Republic is to take hold of Imperial Center and turn the tide of war, Rogue Squadron must rescue former would-be Emperor Sate Pestage – the only trouble is, he’s wanted by the Empire for high treason!
Why does this matter?
Covering 19 issues (X-Wing Rogue Squadron #17-35), this thick collection offers a look at the Empire after it was put into shambles by the Rebellion. On the run, this series shows how the stories would have played out with the Rebellion in control. Rogue Squadron serves as a tactical team with no Jedi on their team, but a soldier style approach to the stories. If you liked Rogue Squadron you might like this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection contains 4 stories all centered around Rogue Squadron and with varying missions for them to embark on. The first story arc, which is the longest running story in this collection, is also the most interesting. It involves Rogue Squadron exploring a planet on the outskirts which contains an ancient Sith secret. The villain calls it Sith magic and it greatly complicates Wedge Antilles and his compatriots’ lives. How Sith magic works is interesting; though this is a Legends story that may not matter, but it’s still neat to see. The adventure grounds the team but since it involves a Sith there are also a lot of interesting twists and turns.
The second story in this collection contains some great dog fights for the space battle crowd. Artist John Nadeau draws ships and their choreographed battles very well. This story also weaves in some interesting reveals as far as who is really in power of the remnants of the Empire. Additional stories include bounty hunters and a covert ops style story involving Leia, Han, and Chewie too.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s hard to care about these stories and characters, especially if you haven’t read the volume that came before it, but also because we know it’s not canon. The Rogue Squadron is an interesting angle for a series, but much of this series doesn’t involve familiar faces or cameos.
This volume contains a very wordy style of writing to the point where, if you don’t care about these characters, you’re going to find it hard to be interested in all their yapping. The art is strongest when X-Wing dog fights are taking place though for some reason there are long stretches without a single battle! It’s a space opera to be sure, but with a lack of discernible characters, at least to a reader like me who really only knows the mainstays, it’s a slow and boring read.
Is It Good?
If you’re a fan of the movies but haven’t dipped into the Legends comics I’d stay away from this latest collection. There’s some great X-Wing dog fights, and some interesting threads to follow as far as Sith power and the Empire, but there isn’t enough to make this read truly worthy.
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