A long, long time ago, before Star Wars had yet to have its sequel trilogy, we had a bounteous expanded universe with numerous tales magnifying the Skywalker/Solo extended families. One of the oft-forgotten runs is the Legacy series from 2013 takes place 140 years after A New Hope, featuring Ania Solo as she works to salvage wrecks as a power sharing government between the Jedi Alliance and Galactic Alliance form with the Imperial Court. It’s an enjoyable, by-the-numbers tale that sadly has little reverence in today’s fanbase, yet remains worthy of exploration by current admirers.
Issues #1-18 reprinted in this Epic Collection assemble the 2013-14 run of the series just before the 2015 premiere of The Force Awakens, making this run the tail end of the Expanded Universe prior to it being retired as “Legends”.
The biggest takeaway from reading this series of issues nearly a decade out from its initial release is how focused the narrative storytelling is. It recognizes that the core mythos and tropes of the Star Wars universe are likely engrained in the reader, and little space is given to verbose exposition. All the recognizable visuals and designs are present, with more than a few nods to the Original Trilogy sprinkled throughout the text. Ania Solo is an interesting character that unfortunately found her potential eclipsed by those developed in the recent era of Star War continuity. As a longtime Star Wars fan, I am thankful to see her exploits available in a current trade.
Corinna Bechko and Gabriel hardman do the bulk of the scripting and handle it successfully, giving the protagonist and her gang of smugglers pitch-perfect characterization and intensity. Gabriel Hardman and Brian Albert this cover most of the pencil work, and their styles are a perfect contribution to the plot. The linework is simple and sketchy in its method to character design, but grand in its blocking and sequencing. The spacecraft and open spaces captured by the art were a positive for this arc, giving reason to reexamine numerous panels multiple times. While all the worldbuilding crafted for this book is well in keeping with existing Star Wars runs, the art was a pleasant surprise, and one of its most endearing elements. While there is plenty to love about this collection, it unfortunately falls prey to a larger problem many Star Wars books have in that it can feel indistinguishable from other stories in the universe. This may not be a problem for many fans of the series, but if you are looking for new ground to be broken, this trade will fall short.
The collection includes a series of beautiful paintings depicting the world’s traversed throughout the run, as well as sketches and biographic info related to some of its core characters. It’s been a while since I last explored this corner of the Star Wars universe, and I was thankful to have these supplementals. Considering that fact that this trade already includes more than 18 issues of this series, it’s a noteworthy bang for your buck.
It’s hard to know which Star Wars fans are clamoring for the Legends canon that appeared in print right before it was all swept away to make room for the Disney related content. One hopes that it isn’t simply completists that will find a place for this collection on their shelf, as there are more than a few character strokes and artistic flairs to justify a read by any comic fan. Knowing that Disney has found ways to weave past lore into the current run of movies, shows, and comics, one can hope that Ania Solo’s adventures may find their way (in some form) to the current galaxy, far, far away…
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