Thursday, October 2, 2014

Comics Spotlight Review: Star Wars Vol 3: Rebel Girl


Star Wars Vol 3: Rebel Girl – Release October 1st

Review by Brian Novicki 
Brian Wood’s Star Wars is a series set shortly after Star Wars: A New Hope. The thrust of the series is the Rebel Alliance searching for a new base of operations after the successful destruction of the Death Star. Volume 3, Rebel Girl, begins as Princess Leia believes she has found this new home, on the planet Arrochar. The catch is she has to marry the prince of Arrochar if the Rebels are to be allowed to stay.

After reading the first volume of this series, In the Shadow of Yavin, I quickly dropped this book. The characterizations of people like Leia and Luke felt off and the pacing was extremely slow. In Rebel Girl Wood is able to move the story along at a speed that makes it much easier to read, but still misses the core of the characters. Luke spends the entire story angry and jealous over Leia’s upcoming marriage, to the point of getting his wrist slapped by Force ghost Ben Kenobi. Also, it’s just uncomfortable to read knowing that it’s his sister he’s pining for. He doesn’t know that at this point of course, but it’s an incredibly awkward storyline.

Adding insult to injury, Leia having to decide whether to marry for duty at the price of her happiness is a story that the Expanded Universe has already done in the novel The Courtship of Princess Leia. It’s frustrating to see that story beat reused, especially when it wasn’t done particularly well in the novel either.

Stéphane Créty’s art is at its best when he’s rendering familiar ships like X-wings and Star Destroyers. There’s a scene of X-wing flight training in a canyon that looks wonderful.  Créty struggles to capture the likenesses of characters from the films though. His Leia starts out looking like a generic woman and slowly evolves to look more like Carrie Fisher over the course of the book. The men are another story entirely. Everyone, whether a major character like Han or a minor one like Wedge Antilles, looks about fifty years old, and nothing like their actor. Now, I don’t expect comic adaptations to perfectly match the faces of actors, but when the only way you can tell characters apart from each other is by their hair color, that’s a problem. When many of your characters spend a lot of their time wearing flight helmets, that can make the story a bit hard to follow.

It’s hard to recommend Star Wars: Rebel Girl. Its story is predictable and its art is mediocre. Additionally, the upcoming Star Wars series from Marvel written by Jason Aaron will be taking place in the same time frame, post-A New Hope, and will likely benefit from a closer relationship with Lucasfilm through the newly formed Story Group. Unless you’re a Star Wars completionist, you’re better off waiting for that series to start in January.

Brian Novicki is a dear friend of the site and a sometimes guest on our podcast. You can find his work regularly on EUCatina.net

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