Tom Taylor’s contributions to the Star Wars universe are quite impressive, as he delves into into hero and villain personalities very well. His latest work is collected this week in Age of Resistance: Heroes which focus on Rey, Rose, Poe Dameron, Finn, Maz, BB-8 and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Each story offers new wrinkles to the respective character’s journey while offering new interesting worlds and aliens to the rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe. What isn’t there to love?
This book is really five solo issues focusing on Rey, Rose, Poe Dameron, Finn, and then a grab bag with three shorter stories featuring BB-8, Holdo, and Maz. Each story truly offers a fun experience delving into who these characters are. I felt like I knew Finn, Rose, Rey, and the rest a little bit better when all was said and done.
Finn’s story reveals a very bad day for Finn when he was still a Stormtrooper as he’s asked to eradicate a species that’s in the First Order’s way. He, of course, decides to save the creatures. Rose’s story reveals where she came from and how her homeworld and parents were uprooted by the First Order. It’s a good story that ties into her character traits in The Last Jedi. Poe’s story reveals how he’s a great pilot before joining the resistance. The New Republic is what sprouted up from the end of the Empire and it’s neat to see the Alliance symbol on the pilot’s jackets. As the story goes Poe is forced to chase down a ship that has stolen something from the New Republic. The chance involves some tight maneuvering and close calls which we all know Poe is great at evading. Taylor does a good job with Poe’s voice too which seems natural and suits the character. Rey’s story is a lot of fun, taking place between Force Awakens and The Last Jedi revealing how her and Chewie inadvertently help release slaves. This story introduces a wild alien and world as well as a junkyard world that comes with a twist.
The anthology issue is a lot of fun too. Maz is particularly interesting and it’s fun to see how her relationship with Chewie is reflected upon. BB-8’s story is a fun one showing how the little droid is capable of big heroic acts even if it doesn’t align with the Resistance’s plan. It slightly irked me Leia says there’s a Robot Resistance, but I guess robot is an okay vernacular? Finally, Holdo gets a little adventure revealing how she was pulled into the Resistance’s plan. We also learn why her hair is purple, which might ease anyone who was wondering about that.
Many different artists contributed to this book starting but Ramon Rosanas draws the four main stories. Rosanas draws a detailed looking world and the characters from the movies are nearly photorealistic. It’s not done in a creepy way though and it’s close enough to make it feel like extensions from the film. Aliens and ships look fantastic throughout. Ramon Rosanas draws a photorealistic looking Poe which jives well with the usual look Marvel goes for with Star Wars comics. There is a very clean style at work here that suits the scenes with ships and space backdrops. A subtle planet in the distance helps add scale and perspective too as needed. There are also colorful aliens–some of which will be very familiar–as well as good use of lighting in Poe’s helmet and other dramatic moments.
Aside from Leia using the word robot my only gripe with this collection is the Poe story. Sadly there really isn’t much here. Poe is dying to fly at the start and soon is but for what seems like the wrong reasons. That’s fine, but much of the issue is reduced to a chase and not much more. There are fun sights to see and close calls that keep the action interesting enough, but there isn’t anything beyond the surface level to dig into we couldn’t have already gathered. The reveal at the end is cute, but again, it adds little.
The Age of Resistance Special is drawn by Matteo Buffagni who draws an excellent Han Solo, Elsa Charretier draws the Holdo short which jives well with the spunky nature of the character, and finally, Javier Pina draws the BB-8 story and his style suits the detailed robot focused story. Frankly, the art team on this book is one of the best yet for these Star Wars one-shot collections. Really no complaints!
Marvel Comics has been very good to Star Wars fans of the new and old films and this collection is yet another example of that. Each story adds to the character development of the characters, allows us to experience more stories for our favorite characters, and truly gives them all more purpose. This is must-read Star Wars comics.