One of the best things about comics is that they can tell unconventional stories you’d never see in any other format. Take for instance this week’s Star Wars, which makes R2-D2 the hero of the story. How the hell could Jason Aaron fashion an entire story around a robot that can’t speak English? Time to find out!
So what’s it about?
Why does this matter?
Jason Aaron is soon to be leaving this series and there’s a good reason fans are sad — the guy has done an excellent job. There has been a consistency to the last 35 issues that you just don’t see in comics these days. On top of that, he captures the voice of these characters so well!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a fun issue that’s somewhat silly, but also pretty epic in how it portrays R2-D2. The success of this issue starts with the captions, which explains to the reader as if from the R2 manual how the robot functions and what to expect from the model. Aaron utilizes this wonderfully to show how R2-D2 is very different from most R2 models and he defies all the odds. He’s heroic, stands alone, and is the underdog just by the very nature of his programming and makeup. As the fan favorite robot moves about the issue he surprises the Empire and the reader with how strategic he is when it comes to going to war.
The issue follows the character as he attempts to save C-3P0. Quickly readers will realize the little bot can do a lot of damage as Stormtroopers get their butts kicked (and killed) with ease. Aaron plots the issue well too, with action in a hangar bay, taking it to a robot junker scene, and even in a high-speed chase in space. If Aaron is attempting to write the primo R2 action story he’s done so here.
Salvador Larroca draws this issue and there’s some great imagery, especially the opening page of a Star Destroyer, throughout the issue. The skin on Empire character faces looks incredibly real for instance (colors by Edgar Delgado) and there’s always an interesting angle or layout to pull the story along.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those adventures that makes it so easy for the hero to win it all — there’s little to no stakes and therefore a lessened entertainment value. That’s already an issue with prequel comics like this since we know R2-D2 is never really in danger, but it’s magnified in this issue since he never gets into any trouble. I wouldn’t call R2 a Mary Sue or anything, but come on, make it a little hard for the hero to win the day!
Is It Good?
A perfectly fine done in one adventure with R2-D2 taking center stage. It’s about the best story you could expect with Artoo in the lead which, let’s admit, is all that matters to a true Star Wars fan.