Comic Review – Luke and Leia Seek Out a New Planet for the Rebellion in “Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories” #2

Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories debuted from Dark Horse Comics last month, replacing IDW’s Star Wars Adventures as an ongoing kid-friendly anthology comic book set in A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Each issue will deal with different characters in different eras across the Star Wars timeline, and this week’s Hyperspace Stories #2 focuses on Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa (twin brother and sister, though they don’t know it yet at this point) between the events of Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

The story begins with Leia and Luke setting out from the rebel fleet aboard a shuttlecraft in search of a new planet on which the Rebellion can set up a hidden monitoring post. They arrive at Banas, a frozen world populated by a blue rabbit-like alien species (though not the Lepi familiar to us via Jaxxon) and almost immediately find that it has an Imperial presence.

The secret siblings explore the main settlement on Banas while attempting to evade the Empire’s snowtroopers, ducking into a Lost & Found shop where the persnickety proprietor eventually helps them escape, though he refuses to take sides in the Galactic Civil War. Luke and Leia then must flee the town through the surrounding mountains, where they discover the real reason for the Empire’s interest in the planet, ultimately using the local environment and their own wits to defeat the enemy and return to the fleet. This issue was written by Cecil Castellucci (Star Wars: Moving Target – A Princess Leia Adventure) and as a story it works fine, but the dialogue between characters often feels extremely clunky and overly expository. The art by Megan Huang (Star Wars: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle) is cartoonish and loose, with the likenesses frequently looking off-model, but I think it’s appropriate enough for a comic like this one that is ostensibly aimed at younger readers.

I was pretty happy with Hyperspace Stories #1’s Anakin / Padmé / Obi-Wan tale, but issue #2 didn’t really do it for me overall. There were more than a couple moments where I was left scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly was supposed to be happening or why things played out the way they did, and I’d blame the confusion on clumsy or rushed storytelling in most cases. It’s nice that Castellucci made an admirable effort to have Leia and Luke spend some more time bonding together (in a purely platonic way, thankfully) between movies, and I liked a few of the quieter moments between the two as they reminisce about their very different upbringings on Alderaan and Tatooine, but something about the way this narrative is structured just doesn’t quite click. The way the pair uncover the Empire’s plan to use Banas’s natural resources to miniaturize electronic components and magnets comes across as awkwardly staged, and the climactic battle is a little confusing as well, though I suppose that would have more to do with the artwork. I understand that Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories is intended for kids, but it would be nice if it made sense (and was more enjoyable to read) for adults as well.

Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories #2 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.