Well, the temperature may drop as Autumn comes clomping through the door but the countdown to The Rise Of Skywalker is heating up, as IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures #26 brings us a pair of stories from the sequel-trilogy era…
First out of the gate is ‘Life Lessons’, from the title’s dream-team of writer Cavan Scott and artist Derek Charm (with series regular Tom B. Long bringing his usual clarity and precision to the lettering, of course). This takes place at Luke Skywalker’s island retreat on Ahch-To as he trains Rey in the ways of the Force. A recurring theme throughout the saga, Rey has demonstrably great ability but lacks patience, wanting to advance her training before she’s ready and running headlong into danger as a consequence.
Although he’s a recurring writer for Star Wars Adventures, it’s not often we get to see Cavan Scott playing this far down the timeline. Although Chewbacca features in ‘Life Lessons’, the dialogue comes (by necessity) from Rey and Luke, and Scott captures each of their exasperated natures well here. But he also keeps the lightness of touch that comes bundled with Luke’s newly facetious nature. The characters in the story behave like the characters we know from the movie, while also filling in just enough of the gaps to earn a place in the lasting canon.
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Derek Charm’s excellent art is another part of why this works so well. Bold, almost minimalist, characterisations combine with a carefully chosen earthy colour palette and subtle texturing to bring Ahch-To to life – a comic rendering but one which is entirely in-keeping with the planet we’re familiar with. Meanwhile, the tight framing and expressive movement means this pops right off the page, really taking advantage of the medium.
It’s a credit to all concerned that the narrative itself is a basic one, yet still feels worthwhile in its telling.
Over in the ‘Tales From Wild Space’ segment, Emil Graf placates his sulking droid CR-8R with a short story of a pilot who got lost in the dark. That pilot is Tallissan Linta (‘Tallie’ from The Last Jedi), trying to find her way out of an ionized gas cloud after a Resistance training mission is called off – and managing to help another lost pilot in the process.
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While the structure of Adam Christoper’s script is somewhat linear, the dialogue flows well considering stretches of this are the central character talking to herself. But in all honesty it’s a refreshing change to see a Resistance-era tale that doesn’t center around Poe Dameron (as much as we all love Oscar Isaac here at STT Towers).
What’s perhaps more notable is the selection of vivid hues used by artist Megan Levens – the blackness of space has never looked so atmospherically colourful. While the linework and shading is more detailed than the previous entry, it carries a similarly striking tone and propels the whole thing forward neatly.
Neither of the stories in Star Wars Adventures #26 are particularly groundbreaking, but both sit very well against the backdrop of The Last Jedi. With so much new content ready to be unleashed in the Galaxy Far, Far Away (and at various points in the timeline, to boot), a reminder that the Skywalker Saga is about to come to a close on the big screen is no unwelcome thing…
Star Wars Adventures #26 is available from IDW Publishing and your preferred comic outlets. Be sure to come back after reading and share your thoughts in the comments below, or though our social media channels!