What a time to be a Star Wars fan! After all those years of being tortured we finally get what we deserve – and by the boat load. There’s a huge gap of time between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens that needs filling in and Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 begins by addressing the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Endor.
This first issue begins right in the middle of that final battle Star Wars fans have watched hundreds of times, only from a different perspective. In the opening pages we’re introduced to a handful of new rebels and learn about how they contributed in destroying the second Death Star. Right away, Rucka makes readers feel at home in a universe they have likely been obsessing over since their younger years.
At the Endor celebration hosted by the native Ewoks, Lando and Han share a moment where Han reacts to learning what happened to the Millenium Falcon during the battle and it’s a scene I’ve personally wanted to see since I was about six years old. All our favorite characters and creatures appear (or at the very least poke their head in a panel) and it’s a delight.
Amidst the familiar faces are two new heroes, a couple trying to figure out what life after the war might be like, and they serve as our window into this next chapter for the galaxy. The fight is not over for the Rebel Alliance as there are still Imperial forces posing a threat and there will be plenty more action before a gray-haired Han and Chewbacca show up back “home.”
Not much is revealed or answered in this first issue, but the introduction of what’s in store is more than enough to excite readers. There’s also a bombshell moment involving where the last name of one of these new rebels implies a connection with a character in Episode VII. Unless you’re one of those people who somehow has the strength to not read or watch anything about the upcoming movie (bless you).
However, there are a few forced (no pun intended) moments within the pages of Shattered Empire #1. An exchange between a new rebel pilot and Luke as he exits the Death Star, for instance, seems unnecessary. Han’s introduction is spot on, coming right in the middle of and argument with Lando, but a mere four pages later the dialogue coming out of Han’s mouth seems unsuited for the character we’ve dissected and admired for decades. Otherwise, the writing is overall fun and fitting, making it easy for readers to pick up events right where they left off in the movie.
Shattered Empire #1 looks like it was a lot of fun to draw and color. I imagine that Checchetto and Mossa are fans and their contributions are yet another essential layer to this book’s feeling of homeliness and comfort within the Star Wars universe. Taking iconic Star Wars images, characters, and moments and adapting them to new mediums is no easy task, but they pull it off with ease.
Shattered Empire #1 lives up to the standard set by other high-end expanded universe titles of the past. A great introduction to what will hopefully be a wild ride as readers see how the end of The Empire transitioned into The Force Awaken‘s ominous First Order. This comic is a must-read for Star Wars fans, especially those who know exactly how many days there are between now and December 18th.