All credit to series editors Bobby Curnow and Denton J. Tipton, it’s evident that IDW are of the mind that all Star Wars is Star Wars. The latest issue of their Forces Of Destiny tie-in series plunges into the heart of the prequel era with this tale from the Clone Wars starring Jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano and queen-turned-politician, Padmé Amidala.
The story opens in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, with Ahsoka in the middle of a sparring match with fellow trainee Bariss Offee (this in itself is a particularly bold choice for a comic aimed at youngsters, as readers familiar with the animated Clone Wars series have already watched the latter become a disillusioned terrorist, later in the war). As the training session ends, the two discuss combat strategy and its application in greater problem-solving, which then comes into play in the main thread of the story where Padmé asks Ahsoka to provide security assistance at a diplomatic dinner she’s hosting. Naturally, scenes occur…
Writer Beth Revis sets out the events and overall structure efficiently enough, but the dialogue here seems a little formal, even clunky, at times. Given the settings this is only to be expected, but it feels at odds with the action-panels on display. Valentina Pinto provides both the base artwork and the colours, all of which feels more at-ease in the Jedi Temple dojo than the penthouse suite of a politician. The core linework is stylised in a similar way to the 2003, 2D animated Star Wars: Clone Wars series, filled largely with the neutral hues of the characters’ surroundings.
Whereas Leia‘s and Hera’s issues of the Forces Of Destiny comics told stories separate from the animated micro-series, Rey’s was essentially two of those episodes bolted together. This time round, the action-segment of ‘Ahsoka & Padmé’ is based on the Disney Channel’s ‘The Imposter Inside‘ animation, with the rest of the comic providing much needed context.
All-in-all, the fourth Forces Of Destiny comic seems on-par for the series as a whole, but that series won’t be for all Star Wars fans. And after the superb work of the ‘Hera’ story, this issue won’t be, either. While it reinforces what we know about Ahsoka and Padmé, there’s little to grab hold of in terms of character development.
And between Zam Wessel from Attack Of The Clones, Cato Parasitti in ‘Holocron Heist‘ and now this, the shape-shifting Clawdite ladies seem to be getting a pretty bad rap, too. It’s like the Rodian bounty hunters all over again…
Don’t let this curmudgeonly reviewer dampen your enthusiasm, there’s plenty to love about Forces Of Destiny: Ahsoka & Padmé, available from your preferred comic retailer. Let us know your thoughts below!