It’s always the way. No sooner has Hallow’een come and gone, pumpkins vanish from the shelves to be replaced by tinsel.
And the Galaxy Far, Far Away follows suit (in its own way) as Vader’s Castle draws to a close and the journey to The Rise Of Skywalker begins. Star Wars Adventures #27 is the bearer of that torch for IDW Publishing, as their flagship Star Wars title gets into an Episode IX mood ahead of the film’s December release.
While this comic carries its trademark duel storylines, the ‘Wild Space’ wraparound for the second of these has been put on carbonite. Each of the tales here is the beginning of a three-parter, set after the events of The Last Jedi, following different groups of characters.
To begin we have ‘Ghosts of Kashyyyk’, opening aboard the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca, Nien Nunb, Terbus the Porg (they’re naming the Porgs now, everyone. Only a monster can fail to be moved by this) and a new human addition in Beaumont. Accompanied by Nautolan pilot Daz in her X-Wing fighter, the group have come to the Wookiee home planet to help fight against the First Order’s attempt to establish a base. This is easier said than done, naturally, but once on the ground Chewie is able to rally help…
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Derek Charm creates the artwork for this 12 page segment, always a welcome presence with bold, stylised characterisation and colour-work. It’s to Charm’s credit that he can even make earth tones so dynamic, and his capture of movement with trademark tight framing is a joy to see.
‘Ghosts Of Kashyyyk’ is written by John Barber and for the first page and a half it appears that the story will only feature alien dialogue (Shyriiwook, Sullustan and Porg-shieks), placing the emphasis on visual storytelling. And then Beaumont begins talking. And then Beaumont doesn’t stop. Beaumont is very much A Talker. This isn’t a fault of the strip – indeed it’s very much the point – but the fact that the newcomer’s eager, stream-of-consciousness narration wears on his teammates is a good indication of the overall character. Beaumont will be played in The Rise Of Skywalker by Dominic Monaghan (Lord Of The Rings, Lost) and it’s unclear how many of the film’s 153 minutes will be available for his chirpy commentary.
The second leg of the issue brings us Michael Moreci’s ‘Secret Agent Droids’, a title which sets out its stall with unerring efficiency. The story takes places on Garel at the planet’s main spaceport as Poe Dameron and General Organa prepare for an undercover mission. Leaving the ship, Leia’s last instruction to R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8 is to “stay out of trouble”, a task which has traditionally proved impossible for all concerned. When Artoo picks up a nearby distress signal calling for Resistance assistance, the droids decide that helping would be the most beneficial course of action. Threepio is the voice of caution of course, but he’s easily persuaded to tag along…
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Providing pencils and inks for this outing is Tony Fleecs, last seen in these pages bringing Lando to life. While human likenesses are loose here, renderings of the central robots are a straight callback to Nelvana’s 1985 Droids cartoon, and all the more enjoyable for that. Matt Herms adds deceptively simple colour to the illustrations, capturing the Garel nightscape in graded blues and purples while keeping the detail crystal clear.
Although Star Wars Adventures #27 wears the official banner of “Journey To Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker“, neither entry within its pages feels like a direct lead-in, more something to paint texture between Episodes VIII and IX. And that’s fine, not least because it’s great to see BB-8 hanging out with classic characters for a change.
The countdown to December has begun, and the atmosphere at Set The Tape Towers is growing more excitable by the day.
Star Wars Adventures #27 is available now from IDW Publishing and your preferred comic outlet.