As January comes to a close, IDW Publishing brings us another two self-contained tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away aimed at the younger reader, with Star Wars Adventures #6. In keeping with that demographic slant, this month’s strips centre around characters who are both still figuring out how things work, both metaphorically and literally.
The issue’s main 14-page story is ‘Rose Knows’, a sequel trilogy-era piece following everyone’s favourite behind-the-pipes technician Rose Tico, from The Last Jedi (and taking place shortly before the film). As the Resistance settle in to their newly acquired cruiser, The Raddus, various crew-members busy themselves with the preparation of the ship. Meanwhile, Rose spends her downtime studying the support documentation, with a view to pre-empting future maintenance and repairs.
When a reconnaissance-run by pilot Poe Dameron alerts the attention of a First Order patrol, a malfunction with the ship’s doors means a squadron cannot be launched to assist him and the cruiser’s crew become isolated from one another. And as everyone is working with new systems, Rose has to race against the clock to translate the Mon Calamari schematics in a bid to save the best pilot in the Resistance…
Yes, this is a parable about always reading the manual. That may not sound particularly exciting, but any older readers who’ve been called to ‘have a look at a relative’s computer’ will know the value in the lesson.
Written by Delilah S. Dawson (author of the Phasma novel, and ‘The Best Pet’ from Star Wars Adventures #5), the dialogue is sharp without being silly, and the presence of Rose Tico and Poe Dameron allow for plenty of wry quipping. Derek Charm’s illustration is definitely on the cartoon-y side of graphic art here, but perfectly suited to the story being told.
For those among the audience who’ve also read the Star Wars: Cobalt Squadron and Bomber Command middle-grade novels, we also get to put a face to the name of Commander Fossil, confirming that she definitely wasn’t a background character in the last two saga movies. The relationship built up between Rose and her sister Paige in those books also comes through, although the latter is still crying out for her own feature outing.
Following up Dawson’s lead is the six-page ‘Tales From Wild Space’ feature, ‘Podracer’s Rescue’, set on Tatooine and following Anakin Skywalker in the days before Qui-Gon Jinn came to his workplace looking for parts. Constructing a pod in his spare time, young Ani’s acquisition of an ideal power cell is almost immediately offset by a swoop gang tearing through Mos Espa, damaging the power generator of the local medical centre. No prizes for guessing which common component needs replacing outright…
As before, there’s definitely more of the allegory than the adventure about ‘Podracer’s Rescue’, but Shaun Manning’s writing is translated into bright, punchy visuals by Chad Thomas’ lines and Charlie Kirchoff’s colours. Apart from anything else, this has Anakin as a young boy, so most readers will know what they’re getting from the outset. For the record, he doesn’t even say “yippee”, here.
IDW’s Star Wars Adventures line continues with confidence in issue #6, filling a gap in Lucasfilm’s literary arm that Marvel (presently) can’t. It’s a big galaxy and there’s always room for fun…
Star Wars Adventures #6 is available in print and digital formats from your preferred comic outlet. How do you think the series is progressing and which characters would you like to see appear? Share your thoughts in the comments below!