Issue #4 of Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy concludes the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jin, as well as giving readers a brief adventure with Tobias Beckett and his crew before the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The first story in this issue picks up where the last issue left off, with Ob-Wan and Qui-Gon visiting the Wookie home world of Kashyyyk to celebrate the festival of Life Day with the Wookies. Unfortunately, these events were interrupted when a group of Trandoshan hunters attacked the celebration, taking several Wookies and Qui-Gon hostage. Now it’s down to the young and inexperienced Obi-Wan to come up with a way of saving the day.
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Having been used to seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi as a confident and resourceful Jedi Knight, and Master, it’s interesting to go back to a time where he’s more unsure of himself, where he’s questioning what the best course of action is. It also interesting to watch Qui-Gon in a more active teaching role. There is ample opportunity for him to get out of this situation, to free himself and the Wookies, yet he chooses to take a less direct approach, to allow things to play out and allow his student to come to his own conclusions on how to handle things. It really shows how different the two are in their approaches, and kind of emphasises how things could have been different if Qui-Gon had survived the events of The Phantom Menace and was able to teach Anakin himself.
The second story shifts forwards in time to drop readers into an adventure with Tobias Beckett, the smuggler and thief that played a big part in shaping the young Han Solo. The story beings in medias res, with Beckett already having been captured and waiting for his partner, Val, to come and break him out. We soon discover that he’s gotten himself in trouble trying to get to an old friend who works for a crime syndicate, and then it’s down to him and Val to manage to make an escape with the alien.
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Unfortunately, most of this story is just really one long chase sequence, where the two of them run from one piece of trouble to another, having to either flee from their enemies or shoot their way out of things. Even the small moments of inner monologue from Val fail to really flesh out the story too much, because there’s just not really anything here. Unfortunately it feels like writer Jordan Clark had an outline for a story, but just wrote that outline into the issue rather than creating any real depth or moments of interest. This felt like an opportunity to flesh out some characters we didn’t know hugely well, but it really adds nothing of any real note.
Issue #4 of Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy has two very different stories within its pages, one where nothing much happens, and one where it’s non-stop but has no real substance. As such it leaves the issue feeling kind of flat and dull throughout. Hopefully things will pick up a bit in the next issue with whatever stories it brings.
Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy #4 is out now from IDW Publishing.