You couldn’t start a Star Wars reboot off better than with Darth Vader going toe to toe with Han, Luke, Chewie, Leia, C-3P0 and R2. Essentially it’s an action sequence with character moments—the best parts of the Star Wars movies, but is it good?
Star Wars #3 (Marvel Comics)
The first story arc essentially ends here, which means writer Jason Aaron’s first Star Wars work lives and dies by the end of this issue. The issue opens where we left off, with Vader in pursuit of an AT-AT that’s being driven by Han Solo and Leia. Meanwhile Luke Skywalker is zipping around on a speeder bike after facing Vader head on. It’s a classic example of the stakes being raised to 11 and the characters figuring out how to escape by their witty dialogue and fast thinking.
Essentially Jason Aaron has crafted a long action sequence over these first three issues, which isn’t bad exactly, but it also feels a bit decompressed. We aren’t delving into Star Wars politics thank god, but we’re also not delving deeply into character or plot. It’s a fun little ride, but luckily Aaron ends this issue with a big promise and he effectively sets up Luke’s story moving forward. Darth Vader is given a new mission and goal in regards to Luke; meanwhile, Luke is at a perfect place for Vader to swoop in and take him. Essentially Luke isn’t so sure he ever can be a Jedi, which makes sense considering post-A New Hope he wasn’t much of a Jedi just yet.
In one of the bigger action scenes of this book I can’t say I was very captivated though. There’s a point where Vader attacks the AT-AT head on…but there’s absolutely nothing stopping him. Seeing him slash at the legs isn’t very dramatic, even if it means potential doom for Han and Leia, and it comes off as melodramatic if nothing else. Aaron attempts to kull up the Death Star chase sequence by having Vader chase Luke who’s on a speeder bike, but there isn’t enough room for it to do anything more than a promise of an interesting conflict. It doesn’t help the drama of the moment that Vader isn’t seen after he enters his speeder ship.
By the end of the issue however I can’t see anyone not being excited for what is to come. There’s a promise of sorts from two angles that should get anyone who’s a Luke fan excited. We have Darth Vader on one end wanting to turn Luke into a Sith simply to show to Obi-Wan he failed, and on the other Obi-Wan may just be able to continue Luke’s training from beyond the grave.
The art by John Cassaday is great if not exceptional, especially when it comes to drawing all the ships. He ends Darth Vader’s scenes on an incredible note that’s both dramatic and foreshadowing of what is to come in the films. There is one odd panel where Darth thrusts a stormtrooper off a ship that’s more comical than dramatic, but all in all it’s another great issue from the artist.
Badass shot there.
Is It Good?
If you aren’t giddy about seeing another awesome action sequence in the Star Wars universe steer clear. Anyone looking for a deeper meaningful story should look elsewhere, but there are some great tidings for future stories set up here for that audience.