Ten issues in and Brian Wood‘s Star Wars persists in delivering the goods, and while this issue comes across as more of an effort to position our characters for the events of the next chapters, it was still a delight to read, with some beautiful artwork to complement the writing.
On an undercover mission, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles are hidden aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer – one tracking down the location of the Rebel Fleet. Whilst awaiting their inevitable upcoming battle, the two share a private moment that is both distant yet touching, highlighting the developing friendship between them. It is during this moment the moniker “Rogue Squadron” is raised, adding an origin element to the famous X-Wing squadron.
To put it mildly, the previous issue of Brian Wood‘s vision of Star Wars was a disappointing installment in the series. While the latest seventh issue of the new Dark Horse line doesn’t see a return to the form seen in the first five chapters, it is much better than #6, and establishes several new elements and movements that begin to move the story along again.
Within the Rebel Alliance, there is a spy of some kind, betraying information to the Empire – the sabotage is preventing the freedom fighters from finding a new base of operations, finding them limping through deep space. While returning to Tatooine to finally lay his aunt and uncle to rest, Luke proposes a covert mission to Leia, in which he and Wedge will infiltrate the Star Destroyer that keeps intercepting their efforts.
While the first five issues of Brian Wood‘s Star Wars "self-titled" series from Dark Horse have been spectacular, the latest chapter seems to take an unusual turn, as the story delves from what felt and seemed to be an inevitable conclusion to a transitional tale.
Stranded in the middle of space, Leia’s small stealth group of starfighters float helplessly – after being discovered by an Imperial fleet and attacked, the group retreated blindly, resulting in the Princess’ X-Wing sustaining extensive damage, and with her dangerously wounded. Luke, along with new friend Prithi both rush to the rescue of the stealth group – but the Empire is on to them, and it is only a matter of time before that Star Destroyer shows up.
The new Star Wars series has brought with it some substantial character-focused content, highlighting elements (both emotional and transitional) that have rarely been opened up in previous Expanded Universe media. This has been a welcome breath of fresh air – though with issue six, the writing is relatively void of this content. Though we follow a spacewalk-based rescue (which is actually pretty damn cool) revolving a dilemma into a tactical advantage (also cool)”¦ The action is then followed by a sequence of events that do very little to wrap up significant elements and instead act as lackluster teaser material for the next installment.
The penultimate issue of Brian Wood‘s Star Wars puts the chief characters into position for their finale. Continuing directly from the previous issue, Wood and the artistic creative team maintain their high standard in focusing on the heroes and villains of Star Wars not long after the events of A New Hope, and this time, we also get to see a cameo of Boba Fett!
On a mission leading a group of her stealth Grey Squadron, Leia and her team are detected by an Imperial fleet, including an Interdictor Star Destroyer preventing them from leaving the system via lightspeed. As they are overwhelmed by TIE Fighters, the group fights against the odds. But in these precarious maneuvers, their actions could end up resulting in disastrous consequences for them and the Rebellion.
Star Wars #4 Written by Brian Wood
Art by Carlos D’anda
Colors by Gabe Eltaeb
Cover Artwork by Alex Ross Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 10, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
Brian Wood‘s new Star Wars comic book series is refreshing. It feels to me, as a longtime fan, that the saga is going through a rebirth, what with the new Sequels coming, Lucasarts switching to licensing only, and this ongoing series continually smashing expectations. With Issue #4 of the new Dark Horse series, straightforwardly titled Star Wars, we continue following the heroes and villains from A New Hope in the weeks following the Battle of Yavin.
Princess Leia, leading the stealth X-Wing unit of Grey Squadron, is focused on the mission of finding a new base for the Rebels, while also aiming to uncover the alleged Imperial Spy in their midst. But while on their first mission, Leia’s detachment is caught in a targeted firefight with Imperials, indicating the Imperial espionage could be deeper and closer than she previously anticipated.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, grounded from the elite stealth squadron due to his cockiness at letting the "man who destroyed the Death Star" hero-worship go to his head, receives a message in the Force from his spiritual mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, warning him of the danger Leia is encountering; but is surprised to discover he is not the only one who hears Kenobi’s voice from the grave”¦