Marvel’s reaching a milestone issue with Star Wars this week as its in-canon series reaches issue #25. Written by Charles Soule, the special issue features four stories that span different eras. Specifically, one set during the prequel era, one following the events of Revenge of the Sith, and two others set around the sequel trilogy. The series also honors some of its best artists which include Ramon Rosanas, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Will Sliney, and Phil Noto. Can it live up to the expectations, or does it fall flat?
Overall, this is a fun and entertaining collection of stories. It opens with “The Lesson,” drawn by Ramon Rosanas with Rachelle Rosenberg on colors. A somewhat younger Anakin spars with Obi-Wan in a courtyard. The training has them fighting with their lightsabers, which prompts Anakin to ask why Jedi use lightsabers. For that matter, why don’t they use lightsaber technology to make other weapons? Obi-Wan has a good answer, one that is likely similar to those who fight with swords in medieval times.
The idea of Kyber Crystals being used for other weaponry is also a neat one, which doesn’t disappoint with a visual idea that’ll give readers a chuckle. That and the idea of a weapon for the Jedi is explored well via dialogue.
Rosanas draws a great action sequence told via a double-page layout. Colors by Rosenberg are a bit subdued, giving the story a monk-like feel. Rosanas does a fantastic job capturing a slightly younger Anakin then we’re used to seeing, and the backgrounds evoke a zen-like feel.
Next up is another story also titled “The Lesson” which reads like a good tale to pair with the first as it features Darth Vader fighting the Emperor. With art by Guiseppe Camuncoli, this is story is a treat as we rarely–if ever–have seen Darth Vader spar with the Emperor. Cast in reds amongst a burning city–inks by Daniele Orlandini and colors by Arif Prianto–there’s a lot of kinetic energy thrown around visually. The Emperor comes off as a man possessed by a demon, which suits his uber-evil nature. Leave it to Soule to remind us there’s a bit of Jedi still left in Darth Vader.
Kylo Ren gets the next story with art by Will Sliney and colors by Guru-eFX. Titled “See you Around, Kid,” the story features Ren seeking what he describes as a ghost. This story is a fun way to show Kylo Ren visited some iconic locations and is set between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. Sliney draws Ren with an intensity that suits Adam Driver’s depiction. He’s also carved up like a block of wood and looks formidable. Soule has the audacity to take out a recently revealed location from a Disney+ show as well. Ultimately this tale is rather simplistic, but it gets its point across that Ren is as riddled with anger and frustration.
Wrapping up the anthology is “A Eulogy for Snap” featuring Poe Dameron. This story is set after the Battle of Exegol that served as the climax of The Rise of Skywalker, honoring Temmin “Snap” Wexley (played by Greg Grunberg) who died in the battle. It’s moderately exciting to see a story taking place after the final film, although it’s a rather tame and dare I say boring tale. Poe Dameron and a few other pilots from their squadron pour one out for Snap and give their regards and share a few memories. It’s an odd thing to devote five pages to such a small character, but I’m sure Grunberg will appreciate it.
Also, it happens all the time in comics, but there are a few characters on the cover who do not show up in this issue. It makes the final story seem a little misguided, considering a story focused on Grand Inquisitor would have been a delight with the Obi-Wan show recently concluding.
Star Wars #25 features a good selection of stories that range from great to skippable. The majority are good, though, and each story has something for fans to enjoy across the Star Wars films. You can’t go wrong with two good lightsaber battles, and most fans will highly enjoy most of this anthology.
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