Wood, Brian


2.3 out of 5

(3 books)

Star Wars Volume 1: In The Shadow Of Yavin

(Art by Carlos D'Anda, Ryan Odagawa and Gabe Eltaeb)

In the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin Princess Leia and Wedge Antilles form a covert X-Wing squadron to help locate a new base for the Rebel Alliance.  Meanwhile Han Solo and Chewbacca undertake a covert mission of their own, into the undercity of Coruscant.  Elsewhere, Darth Vader indulges his obsession with finding the one who destroyed the Death Star.

Although this series received some positive reviews, I hate reboots.  This series attempts a completely unnecessary reboot of the post-Episode IV timeline and that really irked me since Marvel did a perfectly good job of exploring this period thirty years ago (ironically, Disney has since rebooted once again, rendering this short-lived series non-canonical itself).  The truth is there are already too many stories exploring what Luke, Han and Leia were up to after 'A New Hope' and we really don't need any more, particularly since none of those characters is able to develop much as a product of their experiences because we know what they'll be like three years later in 'The Empire Strikes Back'.

On top of the lack of interesting premise is the fact that the thin plot doesn't actually go anywhere, with all of the threads remaining unresolved.  Now, I know this is part of an ongoing series, but would it really have killed them to script some kind of climax?

It's not all bad, of course.  Carlos D'Anda's artwork is stunning and the image of a massive Star Destroyer dropping out of hyperspace almost on top of some tiny X-Wings is awesome.  It was also refreshing to see Luke as a true rookie who has only been in the military for a short time and has yet to adapt to concepts like the chain of command.  Also, in the ragtag group of pilots that Leia and Wedge gather into Grey Squadron, there's definitely the beginnings of a certain group of rogues.

2 out of 5


Star Wars Volume 2: From The Ruins Of Alderaan

(Art by Ryan Kelly, Dan Parsons and Carlos D'Anda)

0 ABY.  Whilst Princess Leia goes in search of a new base for the Rebellion, Luke and Wedge undertake an undercover mission aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer.  Meanwhile, Han and Chewie  desperately try to evade the bounty hunters Boba Fett and Bossk on Coruscant.

This book sees many of the plot threads from 'In the Shadow of Yavin' resolved and, as a result, is far superior to that first incomplete-feeling book.  The problem is that the story threads are rather poorly edited together and, as a result, the book jumps around like crazy whenever you're just settling in to one or other of the storylines.  I can't help but feel that between this book and the first one, a bit of clever editing could have actually made for two complete but separate stories which would have been far superior.  The prime example of this is Han and Chewie's mission which, whilst being a fun bit of smuggler versus bounty hunter action, has nothing at all to do with the rest of the plot.

Of the two most gratifying parts of the book, the first is the full-scale space battle whose twist ending genuinely, and pleasingly, took me by surprise.  The second, as I predicted when I read Volume 1, is where Wedge decides to reorganise Grey Squadron into Rogue Squadron.  As a continuity stickler this did cause a slight problem (Luke was supposed to co-found it and it was supposed to begin as a Flight of Red Squadron) but not enough to really spoil this cool and previously unseen moment in Star Wars history.

Basically this book is far better than the first book but is still held back by some glaring problems with plotting.

3 out of 5


Star Wars Volume 3: Rebel Girl

(Art by Stephane Crety and Julien Hugonnard-Bert)

0 ABY.  To secure a new base for the Rebellion, Princess Leia has agreed to marry the crown prince of the planet Arrochar, however, the Rebels soon realised that the Empire's reach extends even to this seemingly-safe world.

On the surface of things, there's nothing wrong with this book and if you've not read a great deal of Star Wars stories, then you'll happily continue with that impression.  I, however, have read a great deal of the Star Wars stories and what I can say is that this one reads as a mash-up of storylines we've seen before but just not done quite as well.  Princess Leia's hand in marriage as a political tool is then entire focus of Dave Wolverton's novel 'The Courtship of Princess Leia' and the scheming surrounding a royal house considering joining the Rebellion was done far better by Michael A. Stackpole in the graphic novel 'X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess'.

In short, I wasn't terribly impressed with this book.

2 out of 5

Collaborations & Anthologies:

Star Wars Volume 4: A Shattered Hope (here)


Star Wars (here)