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THE STAR WARS #8 (review)

Review by Tony Pacitti

Writer: J. W. Rinzler
Artist: Mike Mayhew
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Cover Artist: Nick Runge
Published by Dark Horse Comics
On Sale May 28, 2013 

After a lot of build up and foreplay The Star Wars finally warps up with a genuinely exciting series of action sequences.

An improbably wookiee-led raid against the Empire’s battlestation, lightsabre swashbuckling, you name it.

If it’s a Star Wars third-act staple its here, and for the most part fairly satisfying. With no more time to tell a story the best thing to do is to just blow it all up. Mission accomplished.

Characters are, of course, still pretty thinly fleshed out. The tagline across the top of each issue’s cover–”Based on the original rough-draft screenplay by George Lucas”–is more of a disclaimer than a selling point.

The star-crossed lovers deal with Leia and Annikin still doesn’t feel earned. The wookiees’ successful Y-Wing raid is the definition of a stretch.

But honestly, all of that takes a backseat to Prince Valorum, the Sith Prince, waffling at the eleventh hour and helping Annikin escape.

It’s got echoes of Vader choosing his son over his master, but man, if a Sith Lord can’t take a bit of ego-driven ribbing from a jock with a cool facial scar, how are we the audience ever supposed to feel like he’s supposed to be any sort of legitimate threat?

For better or worse, this has been some pretty proof-heavy pudding. There’s lots to digest in these panels when held up against the six films. Apologists will be happy to use this as evidence that it was all there from the beginning.

Yes, a terrible romantic plot-thread has always been there, but where’s Jar Jar, nerds?

Binkses aside, they’re right.

As with all of J.W. Rinzler’s behind the scenes and archival books this is an interesting peek behind the curtain.

As stand-alone entertainment it’s pretty flat.

All of the exciting beats are too familiar and too easy to predict. An original follow-up based on the terribly pulpy end scroll on the last page might be fun given that it wouldn’t be beholden to any sacred, fanboy dead sea scrolls, but that seems highly unlikely given that Dark Horse’s tenure with Star Wars is winding down.

A lot of people will love it because they don’t think they’re allowed not to love a part of the Star Wars brand, but I really can’t recommend it to anyone looking for a good Star Wars comic.

I’ve said before, it’s a curiosity, and as such it’s mildly interesting. I’d say stick to Rinzler’s “Making Of…” books and and Ralph McQuarrie art collections you can find.

They all offer similar glances at the galaxy’s early stages with less of the groan inducing plotting or relationships.

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