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‘Star Wars: Age of Rebellion’ TPB (review)

Written by Greg Pak, Jon Adams,
Marc Guggenheim, Simon Spurrier
Art by Chris Sprouse, Matteo Buffagni,
Marc Laming,
Jon Adams, Andrea Broccardo,
Caspar Wijngaard,
Emilio Laiso, Roland Boschi,
Marco Turini, Ramón Bachs

Published by Marvel Comics

 

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion proves why Greg Pak is one of my favorite Star Wars comic book writers.

Pak consistently nails one of the most important elements in writing: character voice.

I can clearly hear each Star Wars performer delivering Pak’s dialogue.

Each story in Age of Rebellion is a vignette from a different character’s point of view of the heroic Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire.

Points of view from all sides; the Rebellion, the Empire and those exploiting the epic conflict – Princess Leia, Grand Moff Tarkin, Han Solo, Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian, Jabba the Hutt, Luke Skywalker, and even Darth Vader.

Concise and character driven plots give us deep insights into how each character came to important decisions during their off-screen adventures between each Original Trilogy film.

Whether it’s Han Solo needing to be convinced to become a permanent part of the Rebellion after clearing the way for Luke Skywalker to blow up the dreaded Death Star or discovering how Wihuff Tarkin came to be the callus and respected officer the Emperor holds in high esteem. Higher even than Darth Vader.

I especially applaud Pak for succeeding were most comic book writers fail; keeping Boba Fett a mysterious bad-ass by giving him four whole words of dialogue in his entire issue. This proves once and for all that Boba Fett’s power is in his actions, not his words. Darth Vader is executed equally as well. Each word Darth Vader utters is used with laser precision and a terrifying mystique is created through the eyes of those who must serve under the Dark Sith Lord.

The artists vary from issue to issue between Chris Sprouse, Marc Laming, Marc Deering, Karl Story and others. Each approach is distinctive and supports the accompanying story seamlessly, adding a perfect tone.

Each story concludes with a thoughtful article written by various writers that highlight how the subject of each story has made an impact on them personally, pop culture-wise and/or to the world at large. This is an excellent touch and makes the overall story experience more complete.

The final issue is a collection of three charming short stories: “The Long Game” by Simon Spurrier, “The Trial of Dagobah” by Marc Guggenheim and “Stolen Valor” by Jon Adams.

The appropriately named “The Long Game” follows Assassin Droid IG-88 through a machine’s cold view of existence. Time is an irrelevant concept as a machine has infinite patience while hunting its prey.

“The Trial of Dagobah” gives us a view into what life was like for Jedi Master Yoda before Luke Skywalker’s arrival to fulfill his destiny.

Lastly, “Stolen Valor” is Archie Comics-like on the surface, but its message is deep and thoughtful as we travel with Rebels Pilots Biggs and Porkins on a much-needed vacation before the events of Star Wars.

There’s not an epic story being told here.

At least not in the traditional “everything has been leading to this moment” sense. The common thread is intimacy, getting to know each character on a personal level. I seldom see this done well in Star Wars.

This isn’t done well.

It’s done superbly.

 

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