The latest issue of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy transports readers to the prequel era to witness senator Amidala and Anakin Skywalker get in trouble at a party, before taking us across time to the planet of Scarif, where a new Imperial commander is being assigned to a new mission.
The first story in this issue, ‘The Incident’, is written by Katie Cook and features art by Cara McGee, Britanny Peer, and Jake M. Wood, and is set on the peaceful world of Naboo. The story begins with Padme Amidala arriving on the planet following a long flight, looking somewhat worse for wear. Rather than getting refreshed at her accommodation she heads straight for the Annual Festival of Light party, dismissing her escorts so that they can go and get some rest.
Upon arriving at the party Padme finds that the host, Tomarian, has a Jedi escort for the evening; none other than Anakin Skywalker, who jumped at the chance to act as body guard at a party he knew Padme would be at. Whilst refreshing at the party a trio of criminals breaks in, gassing everyone except Tomarian, who they’re demanding delivers them some beskar. As she was in the bathroom at the time Padme isn’t knocked out, and is left alone to try and deal with the situation. Yep, it’s Star Wars doing Die Hard. Padme Amidala is now John McClane.
As this particular story is only a first part, with the conclusion to be delivered in the next issue, we don’t get to see Padme doing too much action, though knowing the character the way we do she’s definitely more than capable of taking on a group of armed criminals. She even has her own Al Powell in the form of a little astromech droid on the outside of the party she’s in radio communication with. I don’t think she’s barefoot though.
Whilst the first part of the story isn’t the most exciting one I’ve read in a Star Wars Adventures comic, the promise of what’s to come in the next issue is definitely an interesting one. I like the character of Padme, and getting to see her taking the lead in a story like this is a lot of fun. Hopefully the team are able to stick the landing on this particular tale.
The second story in the issue, ‘The Short Goodbye’, written by Casey Gilly with art by Butch Mapa, Charlie Kirchoff, and Johanna Nattalie, jumps forward a few decades, and takes readers to the tropical world of Scarif; as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The story centres on Captain A’Shar Farless, a young man fresh out of the Imperial Academy who’s found himself assigned to Scarif. After attending a brief speech from Governor Tarkin, a speech in which we see Lord Vader himself lurking in the room, Farless is given his new orders from Tarkin to whip the personnel on Scarif back into shape.
This is an interesting story, and despite being quite short you really get a good sense of the kind of person Farless is as he and Tarkin delve into his past at the Academy, as well as from the way he interacts with both his fellow Imperials and his droid. His droid, DT-JZ, is an interesting addition to the story. DT appears to be the same type of droid that we see Clone Force 99 fighting on Kamino in the first episode of The Bad Batch, and whilst it’s not been officially confirmed (as far as I’m aware(, these seem to be early iterations of Dark Troopers. If that’s the case, DT being a Dark Trooper that talks, and has something of a personality, makes this one of the more interesting droids in Star Wars for a while now. Sadly, we don’t get much of them in this story.
Despite being short, ‘The Short Goodbye’ is packed full of interesting moments. The backgrounds are full of Imperials doing neat little things, like Shore Troopers shooting at bottles, and cameo appearances, like Darth Vader, and virtually every type of Imperial we saw in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes an appearance somewhere here. Overall this proved to be a decent issue. Although slowed down slightly by the first story having to do a lot of set up, I’m definitely interested to see how that plays out in the next issue.
Star Wars Adventures: Tales of Villainy #5 is out now from IDW Publishing.