Star Wars #4: In The Shadow of Yavin

Star Wars #4: In the Shadow of Yavin, Part 4

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Carlos D’anda
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Star Wars #4 kicks off with some fun as Han and Chewie escape pursuit on Coruscant. There’s wonderful artwork and some winding story threads that pack in a lot in just one issue. It certainly has the faster more intense vibe that’s often mentioned with Star Wars.

Skuldren: I’d like to take a moment to gawk at the cover. Alex Ross has been turning out some pretty nice cover art, but #4 is kind of striking for its composition. It’s not often that we get to see just Darth Vader and Leia together in a picture with no one else. Of course at this moment in time, a father and daughter moment wouldn’t be very friendly. Still, it makes for a cool image that not only looks nice, but makes you stop and think. Some of the best pieces of artwork are the intriguing ones.

The art inside the comic is just as memorable with some more gorgeous coloring from Gabe Eltaeb. The panels just feel alive and glowing with vibrancy. From the lively colors on Coruscant, to the glassy orbs of a Mon Calamari’s eyes, it does a wonderful job of bending the two dimensional barrier. One of the best examples was a small panel showing a flight of TIE interceptors launching from the hangar bay of an Imperial Star Destroyer. The TIE fighters are in crisp detail, but the Star Destroyer in the background is slightly blurred, giving the TIE’s a sense of popping off the page. It worked really nicely.

Storywise, this issue starts off with some fun moments. Han and Chewie flee from security forces and the Imperials, which of course brings some action. But it also features Chewie popping open the top hatch and taking some pot shots at the pursuing TIE fighters. Coupled with Han’s dialog, it was worth a few chuckles. I also like how it tied into Star Wars 1313 with the Falcon flying down a hole into the underlevels of Coruscant.

From there, the story dives into some more starfighter combat. However, it gets a little too jumpy as it goes from Leia being ambushed by Imperials, Luke back with the Rebel Fleet worrying about Leia, Mon Mothma, C-3PO and R2-D2, and a shot of Slave I that doesn’t make any sense. It slows down afterwards as the story shifts over to Vader and Deathstar II. This story shift brings in the introduction of a new character who is actually rather interesting even after just one scene. Standing up to Lord Vader can do that for a character. It’ll be neat to see what the future has in store for Birra Seah. Yet the story goes back to jumpy after that with an abrupt Vader in meditation scene, and finally another does of Leia in starfighter combat as they prepare a torpedo strike. All in all, I thought there was too much bouncing around without enough transition or information for each scene to still make a whole lot of sense. It hurt the story a bit.

Geralyn: Remember the main plot, the one about how the rebels need a new home?  The search has pointed to an Imperial spy in the rebellion so Leia’s taken extreme precautions to avoid leaks in their latest search.  Since Obi-Wan makes a ghost-voice appearance to warn Luke before  the scouting mission is fairly underway, we pretty much know there’s going to be another Imperial ambush waiting for them.  If you remember, Luke and Prithi were grounded for annoying Leia, but the really interesting development here is that Prithi hears Obi-Wan’s voice too.  That’s about all we get on that development because the comic makes another one of those abrupt jumps Skuldren’s talking about it.  This time it’s to Threepio and Artoo, and Artoo wants to access some data (most likely for Luke) that he doesn’t have the security clearance for.  Threepio is being annoyingly Threepio and we don’t find out what happens with that either.  Then we jump again to Leia’s group being ambushed by a Imp Star destroyer and Ties.  Back to Luke getting ready to climb in his X-wing and arguing with Threepio.  There is a lot of jumping around in this issue.  Also Vader fries yet another Imperial officer just because.

There’s a lot of mystery going on in this series.  What and who is Prithi and why did she hear Obi-Wan’s voice?  Is Vader taking a new apprentice in the form of Birra Seah, who happens to be strong in the Force?  Why is Boba Fett lurking about?  And why did Mon Mothma have all her calls held?  Curiouser and Curiouser.  It also left me wondering who in the heck are Han and Chewie going to run into next?  And, incidentally, how are they going to escape off of Coruscant?

Even with all the jumping around, abrupt scene changes and where did he come from appearance by Boba Fett, this was still a fun issue.  It definitely ups the intrigue ante of the plot as well as the dire straights the heroes are in.  I’m pretty much expecting Luke to ride to Leia’s rescue in the next issue.  I hope he does just so he can say neener, neener to Leia.  Really, why would you leave your Early Jedi Warning System connection behind?  How many death stars does Luke have to blow up anyway before Leia gets that?

Skuldren: In the end, I rate Star Wars #4 at a four out of five metal bikinis. The artwork was really good, but the story and pacing suffered a little from the confusion and abruptness.

Geralyn: I agree with Skuldren here.  The artwork is great and it’s an interesting story that leaves you eager to find out what’s next.  It does have the Original Trilogy feel to it, but this issue’s jumping around was a little too disconcerting.

Reviewed By: Skuldren and Geralyn for Roqoo Depot.

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