Rating: 4/5 – A Stand Alone Tale Starring Ben Kenobi.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
After an extremely strong first six issue storyline, Star Wars takes a breath to tell a stand alone tale starring Ben Kenobi. In the previous storyline, Luke Skywalker came across an old journal belonging to Ben on Tatooine, and issue seven of Star Wars tells a story based around an excerpt from one of those journal entries. Although it lacks the same excitement and surprises that the first six issues delivered, reading a story about Ben living on Tatooine provides backstory to a time that can definitely be explored within the Star Wars Universe.
Tatooine is going through one of the worst droughts in years. The lack of water is trying for the people of Tatooine, especially the moisture farmers who have the difficult task of producing enough water for people to survive. Adding to the problems, Jabba has sent out a group of thugs to impose a “water tax”. Although at first, Ben is hesitant to help in order to not risk his anonymity, but he’s eventually forced to take action when a young Luke Skywalker gets involved. Writer Jason Aaron and the editors at Marvel have found creative ways to expand the Star Wars storylines in new and exciting ways. Although one could say that all these coincidental meetings of major Star Wars characters seem forced, the writing makes it all seem so natural. The idea of Ben seeing Luke prior to Star Wars Episode IV makes sense, and Aaron does a wonderful job of making the interaction subtle, yet effective.
The other change besides the storyline in issue seven is the art. Simone Bianchi steps in for John Cassaday who still provides the cover. Star Wars is known for its Universe looking worn and used and Bianchi captures that look brilliantly. Tatooine isn’t pretty. It looks and feels dusty and hot. Smoke and dust clouds follow vehicles and people whenever they move, and the market place is packed with people when Ben encounters Jabba’s thugs for the first time. Bianchi captures the atmosphere, although he tends to lose a bit of the character work with Ben. There’s a few panels where Ben looks different from one panel to the next. Although Bianchi isn’t drawing Ben as realistic as Cassaday does the other major characters, you can still tell it’s him and when his pencils get to be a little loose, there’s a noticeable difference in his appearance.
Overall though, I enjoyed this latest issue of Star Wars. It shines a much deserved spotlight on Ben Kenobi’s time after Order 66 and the elimination of the Jedi. Although this is just one excerpt from the journal, I’m hoping Aaron and team keep going back to it as there seems to be so many stories waiting to be told.. It would be fun to see different fill-in artists telling stand alone stories after each major story arc. That would allow a wide variety of talent to play within the Star Wars Universe, while having the honor of providing an important piece of Star Wars history.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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