It’s hard to believe the next Star Wars movie is only a few weeks away, but Marvel Comics is well aware, and you can be sure comic book tie-ins are on the way. Out this week is a “Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which tells a tale that presumably sets up the next film. Expectations are high for the new film, but what of this tie-in? How much can we really expect?
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Written by Ethan Sacks who did a great job with Galaxy’s Edge with art by the ever-impressive Luke Ross, it’s quite clear Marvel is putting their best Star Wars creators on this book. The obvious answer to the question is it matters because we get to experience new stories with Leia, Rey, Rose, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, of course!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens on an alien world of giant insects called Tah’Nuhna who have become a target of the First Order. Hux is leading the charge and he’s very unhappy they’ve allowed a Resistance fighter reprieve even though they’re a neutral planet. In these first few pages, Ross and Sacks do a fantastic job creating a sense of wonderment with the aliens and also a sense of doom as Hux lays down the law. The universe is no safer and the First Order is possibly more dangerous, and reckless, than ever.
Much of the narrative follows Leia who is attempting to empower the Resistance. Familiar characters pop up, including Rey who has a fun action scene involving an alien threat. Similar to The Last Jedi, other Resistance characters like Poe and Finn are on a mission of their own attempting to grow their resources. It’s a delicate time for the Resistance and it’s pretty clear this segue to the film is building their powers up enough to have a fighting chance in the next film.
By the end of the issue, it’s made clear who the main threat is and there’s a familiar Mon Calamari connection by the very end. There really is something to love for everybody, whether you love certain characters, all of them, or Star Wars lore. Every character has ample things to do or say and it’s nice to see the exploration of new worlds is not forgotten either.
As I said above Ross does an impeccable job capturing the wonderment of alien worlds and the space opera of Star Wars very well. He’s backed up by Lee Loughridge who gives the book a whimsical feel that’s lighter and almost like a memory. I’m also partial to the rendering of the characters as they aren’t awkwardly photorealistic, but so close it feels like the film.
The issue ends with some extras including script and sketches with notes by Ethan Sacks. There’s also a promise for answers to the questions this issue raises, which is something you don’t normally get in a comic book series. Sacks’ notes in particular help shed light on their approach and what they were going for.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m confused about how this book depicts Rey. She doesn’t seem to have control of her powers like she did at the end of the last film. She may be on the edge of being a Jedi or a Sith, but there isn’t much to go on. Most of what we see of her is being frustrated and annoyed as she battles a pointless alien beast. She comes off as somewhat childish and not the confident character we remember in the films.
Is it good?
This four-part series gets off to a great start, reminding us of the First Order threat while delivering on Star Wars themes we’ve come to love. Star Wars: Allegiance is a great mix of new and old in what makes Star Wars so great.