One of the coolest aspects of Star Wars comics is how they can reveal new details about classic characters. Marvel’s stories are in canon, and this week Yoda gets new adventures thanks to his first miniseries by the publisher. It’s the start of a ten-issue series that will explore different periods of Yoda’s life. Written by Cavan Scott with art by Nico Leon, expect to see Yoda fight, which is exciting given how little he fought in the movies.
Set during Yoda’s time on Dagobah, Star Wars: Yoda opens with Yoda hearing a voice. It’s unclear who it is, but it’s likely a Force ghost who trained under Yoda. After a slightly playful interchange from the reluctant Yoda, the story cuts to the Outer Rim planet of Turrak set long ago. Somehow the events taking place all lead to a lesson Yoda once learned. A time isn’t given, but we soon learn this occurred when Yoda was a grandmaster sitting on the Jedi Council of Coruscant.
Old to be sure, but spry and capable of fighting, Yoda sets out to help what seems like a random but peaceful people. We learn they live in a coastal town that is attacked by pirates. Yoda arrives late amongst rubble but makes short work of them. There’s plenty of action here, with great ideas by Scott and perfect execution by Leon. Yoda looks badass and does so many things in this action sequence, you’ll be hooting and hollering.
The story here is relatively simple, but works thanks to seeing Yoda out of his element and maybe even reluctant to get back to his Jedi duties. This is a version of Yoda that wants to protect people and has proven he fully can, maybe even with ease. He’s not young, but we see him happy for a moment. That’s a rare thing for the character.
The why behind Yoda’s choice to help seemingly random people is missing from the narrative. Likely there’s some answer, but without knowing why the events seem arbitrary or lacking. It reads like Yoda is going because he’s bored, or maybe he doesn’t trust another Jedi to pull it off. Knowing his true motivations will likely be a big reveal later, but it makes this adventure’s stakes lower than they need to be.
Leon is backed up by color artist Dono Sanchez-Almara, and the art is fun when it needs to be but also dark and edgy. Much of Yoda’s fight sequence takes place at night and the play of shadow intermixed with the bright-looking aliens he’s helping makes for a good juxtaposition. Yoda always looks accurate, which is surprisingly rare when you look at the body of work featuring Yoda.
Star Wars: Yoda #1 is a compelling start to a new series exploring Yoda as a character. As the starting issue, it’s fun to see Yoda experience a bit of joy while showing off his power and impressive fighting prowess. Throw in a bit of a mystery in his later years, and there’s plenty here for casual fans and hardcore fans to love.
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