Star Wars Annual #2

Star Wars Annual #2

Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Emilio Laiso
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Mike Mayhew

Star Wars Annual #2 is interesting as the main cover doesn’t show the main character. While Leia is definitely the key ingredient in the story, it’s Pash Davane that drives it along. Set on a planet called Skorii-Lei, Pash must decide which side she wants to stay on in the war. For Leia, that decision could mean life or death.

The main plot point of the issue is that Leia is wounded and holed up in Pash’s house. Thus far, Pash hasn’t chosen a side in the war. The Empire and the Rebellion have damaged her planet and cost her her job. Pash doesn’t see much of a difference between the two sides. They both have a cause with people willing to die for it and leaders willing to sacrifice the lives of others to achieve their goals. Part of Pash is drawn to help Leia, yet part of her knows that no good will come of it. In the end, there’s no easy choice.

Through Pash and Leia, Kelly Thompson explores some interesting ideas and viewpoints from within the Star Wars galaxy. She pokes at what the common person must see when caught between these two chaotic forces. The story explores the cost and the struggle of choosing a side and living with the consequences. The intellectual threads of the story are very rewarding, and I have to give Thompson high praise for eliciting such thought provoking storytelling through her dialog.

Thompson also does a good job with both characters. Essentially Leia and Pash are the only two characters in the comic, aside from Pash’s droid which is named Bruce. There are some other very minor characters, and some more recognizable faces show up later, but for the most part it’s just Pash and Leia. Leia’s characterization is a little loose from what we’ve seen on screen but not so far away as to seem out of character. More importantly, she has character. Leia is pretty feisty in this issue, dishing out blows and verbal barbs with ease. However we also get to see Leia being introspective and revealing a bit of the turmoil she lives with in the wake of Alderaan. On the flip side, Pash is an equally well developed character in that she stands well on her own. Like Leia, she can trade comebacks and take care of herself in a fight. She’s a quick thinker and, when motivated, can get stuff done. But she’s no fool. She knows there are consequences for any actions she takes, and she’s not about to be wowed by some charismatic face of the Rebellion. There’s an interesting dynamic between her and Leia.

The artwork by Emilio Laiso and Rachelle Rosenberg adds a nice dimension to the story. It has a very different feel from most comic which has a lot to do with the shading of the skin tones. There’s a lot of rounded edges and bright colors. Each panel is packed with tons of detail which gives readers plenty to lingering on. Early on in the issue is a cameo by the editor of the Marvel Star Wars comics, Jordan D. White. Overall, they do a great job of conveying the scenes, bring about a sense of action and movement, and highlighting the emotions of the characters.

While the Star Wars Annual #2 might not be a mind blowing story, it’s a solid standalone tale. The visuals and the story are both pretty strong and do a good job of making the comic worth the money. I give it a four out of five metal bikinis.

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Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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