The Rebel Alliance is on the run and based on the opening crawl of Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1 our fearless resistance fighters are scouting out a new base of operations. Even though they destroyed the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin, the rebel base was compromised, and now in the aftermath of their greatest victory, Leia, Luke, and Han are about to explore the viability of the dead planet of Crait. Could the lifeless planet be the next home of the Rebel Alliance?
Leia is feeling optimistic. Crait is home to a former mining facility that has a network of pristine abandoned mines. Her contact, Trusk Berinato, has dubious loyalties, but her father, Bail Organa always saw the good in him, so Leia has chosen to see the good too.
Naturally, everything does not go according to plan. Deception, lightsaber battles, and a continued search for a base ends the exciting comic.
I must say this now, I am a huge fan of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I thought it was great, and I loved the direction the story is going, and I look forward to Episode IX in 2019. With that being said, let me deconstruct this comic, and why I think it is phenomenal. The planet Crait only gets a dozen minutes of screen time at the end of The Last Jedi, and we are left wondering what brought the Rebels to this planet in the first place. Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1 is the start of this explanation.
Something that I have come to realize in the last little while is that Star Wars is not just confined to the movie theatre. From comics, television, and theatres, Star Wars is an evolving story that requires an appreciation for the multiple media forms. As much as I enjoy going to the movies to watch Star Wars on the big screen, reading the comics helps provide richer and deeper backstories that would be cut from a final film product.
Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1 lets us explore the Star Wars saga when Han, Luke, and Leia were young and still finding their place in the galaxy. Writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker have crafted a story that feels like every other Star Wars story, the Empire in pursuit, the hope that the Rebellion offered, general themes throughout the world of Star Wars, but we get more depth and exploration of well-known characters like Luke and Leia.
Luke Skywalker at this time is a young boy, free from his farm life on Tatooine, and a hero from the Battle of Yavin. Sure, he has a lightsaber, but he is still an impulsive young man, far from a Jedi Knight. He wants to fight the Empire, and the idea of hauling supplies and scouting things on Crait, annoys him. Even though Han advises him to “enjoy the moments” Luke is not ready to relax. He wants to be shot at because if he is not running from, or fighting the Empire, Luke only sees the boredom that was his life on Tatooine
Leia dominates this comic. Her trust in Trusk Berinato, and her willingness to give him a chance even though Mon Mothma advises against it, shows us readers that Leia Organa is willing to risk it all to help the Rebel Alliance, and give everyone a chance to do the right thing. She ends up being wrong about her father’s friend, but this is not a Leia story, it’s a story about Leia, Luke and Han. The three of them together are enough to support and rescue each other when needed.
All three bring a different quality to the story. Luke is the hot head impulsive kid, Leia is the young leader who is trying to do the right thing, and Han is the experienced rogue of the galaxy. Together they make an impressive team. What the writers have done, is remind us that Luke Skywalker is not perfect, especially in his youth. His desperate need to be active is a great counter to the belief that Luke Skywalker was always a wise sage of the galaxy.
Besides the further development of our favorite characters, Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1 provides some amazing artwork by Mike Mayhew. Throughout the comic, we have many close-up moments on the characters, and in those moments, we get depth and reality to the comic faces. I didn’t feel like I was looking at a drawing, the human quality came through the pages. I empathized with these characters more because the artwork is incredible.
While readers are rooting for Leia to be successful, it’s the battle between a squadron of stormtroopers named Scar Squadron, and Luke Skywalker that lets us explore in depth through a storm on Crait – an actual storm and a storm of emotion in Luke. The lead stormtrooper is brandishing a lightsaber and in the ensuing battle, Luke shows a sign of aggression and anger, something that a Jedi does not show, but a young kid would. He defeats the trooper, and for Star Wars fans, it is a nice way to show how Luke Skywalker has been building on his Jedi skills before Empire Strikes Back.
If you are looking for more Star Wars, pick up this comic, and dive into the world of Crait, and learn why the Rebels went there in the first place. I look forward to more stories in the future with this series.