Star Wars Adventures #29 – Review

Well it’s official, the Journey To Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has reached its end. And putting the miles in for IDW Publishing’s turn at the wheel is Star Wars Adventures #29, the comic aimed at the younger end of the readership. This issue sees the culmination of a pair of three-part stories, ‘Ghosts Of Kashyyyk‘ and ‘Secret Agent Droids‘.

Our first stop sees us back on Chewbacca’s homeworld as the Wookiee races through the Black Forest in a bid to prevent the First Order from establishing an occupation. With the damage caused by the Empire still in living memory, our hairy hero is determined not to let history repeat itself. While Nautolan pilot Daz and her Resistance strike-team wait in the wings, they don’t have the lay of the land like Chewie does so all they can do is try and track his progress, ready to help at a moment’s notice…

The gloves are off for this finale, with the First Order Stormtroopers making their last, doomed stand. This means plenty of stark white armour and dynamic action shots, perfect for the strong, stylised artwork of Derek Charm to come into its own. Chewbacca also gets a helping paw from some liberated Wookiee prisoners as well as a flock of Porgs for full cuteness overload.

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While ‘Ghosts of Kashyyyk’ has been a lot of fun, readers could be forgiven for expecting more depth from a story told over 36 pages. John Barber’s writing is consistent throughout and he’s never stuck for fitting dialogue, but while this is a diverting adventure there’s little in the way of development at either a character-level or for the overall fight against the First Order. There’s the feeling that this could probably have been condensed to two issues with no loss of flow, which makes the final span seem a little like padding.

The second, smaller, strip sees the conclusion of ‘Secret Agent Droids’. On Garel, BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO have become embroiled in a plot to disable a communications tower, before the planet’s intelligence network falls under First Order control. A rebellious young Duros named Likana leads the way, able to slice into the system enough to cause inconvenience, but needing the droids’ cover to do the real sabotage. Meanwhile, General Hux is becoming impatient for results from his underling, Director Orlok.

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Michael Moreci’s writing makes more of the three-act structure here, with a definite forward thrust over the story’s issues. While this segment has run at eight pages each time, more has been done to build the characters of both Likana and Orlok, for what turns out to be a satisfying wrap-up. The Duros in particular makes for great addition to the Galaxy Far, Far Away, her expressive features a perfect match for Tony Fleecs’ cartoonish characterisation and Matt Herms deceptively simple colour palette. More of either character in future issues would be welcome, especially since it’s not stated how close to The Rise Of Skywalker this tale sits in the chronology.

Star Wars Adventures has proved to be at its best offering punchy, one-off stories that are written for the short format. While IDW can be rightly applauded for having their finger on the pulse of new Star Wars content, their longer-form material seems to expose the weakness of being bolted on to its screen siblings, rather than enjoying narrative interaction. For many readers this may not matter, but the title is almost 30 issues into its regular run and still feels like a side-project.

But if you’re just here for the fun, you’re in luck; IDW have brought plenty of that…

Star Wars Adventures #29 is available now from IDW Publishing and your preferred comic retailer.

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