A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Gives ya goosebumps, doesn’t it? Especially, after the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer broke the internet, mere-seconds after its halftime debut during Monday Night Football – Does anyone even remember who played? Just to give those grossly-overpaid ballplayers their due, it was the Eagles 27 and the Giants 7; and – just as Jeremiah predicted, the ratings took a nose dive immediately after the trailer aired.
Then, chaos took the etherwebs by storm; movie sites crashed (as fans tried to buy advance tickets), grown men wept like babies – “The Dark Side…the Jedi… They’re real…”; the haters, too, came out, ratcheding-up their ridiculous #BoycottStarWars agenda, spewing their poisonous dark-sided racist propaganda all over Twitter, et al. Out of all of that, though, one thing is certain: Star Wars is back; and it’s bigger than ever!
Which, brings me to why I’m shouting-out, today. There’s more than trailers out there giving us clues for what’s to come; you may have heard about Star Wars: Shattered Empire??
Shattered Empire is a Marvel 4-part miniseries taking place during the last moments of The Battle of Endor. Written by Greg Rucka, Issue 001 was penciled by Marco Checchetto, colored by Andre Mossa, lettered by Joe Caramagna, and the main cover (pictured above) was done by Phil Noto; Jordan D. White did the editing. The header catagorizes this series as a ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’
Lieutenant’s Log: “It’s a trap!” You can almost hear Genenal Ackbar’s warning cry as Issue 001 opens. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are in the middle of their final battle, with Emperor Palpapine gleefully, if not arrogantly, anticipating Luke’s end. General Lando Calrissian, in command of the Millennium Falcon, is barreling towards the ‘fully operational battle station,’ with the hopes of billions riding shotgun, as he prepares to destroy this second Death Star, once and for all; and the Rebel Alliance is taking a pounding, as they engage Imperial forces, amidst the stars above the Forest Moon. Meanwhile, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia work frantically to overpower Imperial troops on Endor’s moon, as well, in their efforts to bring down the shield generator…
My Take: At the end of Return of the Jedi, we were left believing everything was fine; the Rebellion was victorious, the Galactic Empire was overthrown, Luke had defeated his greatest enemies and emerged triumphant, as a ‘true’ Master Jedi, and Han and Leia would finally be able to pursue their love for one another…
If you thought everything was hunky-dory, think, again. The Empire didn’t just topple over and gasp it’s final breath, as we were led to believe. And, Shattered Empire plays the continuing struggle out in grand Star Wars style, with artwork that matches the tone brilliantly. The Battle of Endor was a crushing blow, yes; but – there are ‘dark’ days ahead for our weary rebel friends.
In Shattered Empire, we’re introduced to new characters, as well. Making their debut is ‘Green Four’ A-Wing fighter-pilot Shara Bey and her husband, Sergeant Kes Dameron; each playing pivotal roles in the Rebel Alliances’ victory, as well as, in the events afterwards. I’m still not certain how they play a part in Episode VII‘s story, but I’m intrigued, nonetheless.
Overall: I really enjoyed this first issue of Shattered Empire. It’s great seeing the gang back together, again; well-mostly, as Luke and Leia are conspicuously absent, (aside from the cover and Luke’s lightsaber battle with Darth at the opening, they’re not featured). But, there are terrific moments: the dogfights over Endor, Luke escaping the Death Star in that Imperial shuttle, Han and Lando bickering (good-naturedly) over the damage to the Falcon, Shara and Des reuniting after the battle; and – the ending, here, really let’s the reader know that the dark times are far from over.
I thoroughly enjoyed the artwork in this issue! Everything was spot-on-accurate, right down to the damage to the Millennium Falcon and the Ewoks playing drums on those Stormtrooper helmets. The sheer detail and accuracy is just amazing; plus – as I said, the art is dark, setting just the right tone to this bittersweet victory. And, those battle scenes…AWESOME!
My Rating: I’m giving Shattered Empire 001 four stars, simply because Luke and Leia should’ve had more attention allotted to them; I mean, they were the main characters…amirite?
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone