Comic Review: ‘The Last Jedi’ Adaptation #1

Published: May 9, 2018
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Gary Whitta
Penciler: Michael Walsh
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo

The Synopsis:

The Resistance has found Luke Skywalker! But the First Order is hot on their tail…and they are out for blood. Join writer Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY) and artist Michael Walsh (STAR WARS ANNUAL, HAWKEYE and THE VISION) as they take on the adventures of Force prodigy Rey, ace pilot Poe Dameron, and ex-First Order recruit Finn from the hit blockbuster STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – featuring never-before-seen scenes of your favourite characters

The Review:

For all my other reviews, I have always given a brief description of the story. However, for this comic it seems unnecessary. I am positive that anyone reading this review will have seen The Last Jedi at least once, if not multiple times already and I’m quite confident that the film tells the story far better than I ever could in words; so why try? And I suppose the same could be said for doing a comic book adaptation of the film, why try?

It has been a long-standing tradition of Star Wars, dating back to A New Hope, to have a comic book adaptation of a film release. Back for the original movie releases this made a lot of sense; VHS was not a household necessity, films took years to come onto television and the wait to watch a film again was a daunting prospect. The Marvel comic adaptations filled this void for fans. This is one of the reasons those comics are so loved by fans of that generation. Nowadays, we don’t have this issue, the home release of films is almost immediately after they’ve finished been shown at cinemas. So why do a comic adaptation? For the sake of tradition?

It goes deeper than that and for fans of the original Marvel adaptations and for me, the radio dramas, it is the extra parts, the things we didn’t see in the film that draw readers to these comics. For my review I will be looking at this aspect of the comic, as a review of the story, and thus in some ways, the film I feel should be for another review. It is possibly worth noting that I am still trying to come to terms with the film, which on the whole I enjoyed but the journey of Luke to his ultimate end is one that still doesn’t sit well with me, no matter how many times I watch the movie.

So, issue one… is a great issue. Gary Whitta has done an excellent job of writing a comic that delivers what it needs to, extra information. And not only that, but it carefully misses certain things out that had some fans in uproar to create a well edited version of the film.

The story begins with Luke’s point of view, of the force breaking through his wall that shuts him off from the force and telling him that someone is coming. Disney is trying to create a new set of heroes for the new generation, but starting the comic from Luke’s point of view, showing that this is still his story, was very pleasing to me, it felt right. My first question to arise was if the force can tell Luke this, why it wouldn’t tell Luke about Han’s death. To see Luke asking this same question further on in the issue was very well done and helps to relate the reader to Luke. Let’s be honest, it is Luke we all aspired to be in the original films, why not now?

We also see the start of the film from Leia’s point of view with her using seem good humour. And to the credit of Whitta, apart from this, most of the humour is left out of the issue. The ‘phone call’ between Hux and Poe is gone and the story flows better for it. During the battle against the First Order, we see name drops of Paige and Cobalt Squadron, little glimpses of extra detail.

But by far the best part of this issue was a single frame, with Chewbacca hugging Luke when he hears the news about Han. Memories of the hug in The Empire Strikes Back come flooding back and the moment between the two with them grieving for their friend is heart wrenching. It does make one question, why on earth was this not in the movie? For the few seconds of extra length for such a priceless moment.

The art for the issue is simple and some more detail would have been welcome. However, part of me did find myself thinking of the original Marvel series (which I’ve only recently started reading) and I can’t help but wonder if the style was chosen on purpose for this very reason. Added to which, readers are able to fill in the detail themselves, having seen the film.

What I liked about this issue, as fan of the Original Trilogy, was the main characters. By that I mean Luke and Leia. Of course, watching the films it’s the new kids on the block: Rey, Poe and Finn. But in this comic, it is very much the Skywalker twins, and for me, that’s what I want. I may not have been able to get it going to the cinema, but this issue, and I’m hoping this series, will be able to show me Star Wars with these characters at the centre, with the characters that I fell in love with when I was a young boy. Whitta has done an excellent job of adding in extra detail, as well as editing the story to please most fans. All I can hope for is that this trend carries on throughout the remaining issues. Star Wars has always relied on, “a certain point of view,” but this point of view, the view of the Skywalker’s, has this fan eager and waiting for issue two…

Availability:

The Last Jedi is a six-part series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $4.99.

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Mark 'Spooked Hippie' Alders
Mark’s day job is a primary school teacher, where in his classroom you will find life size cut outs of Darth Vader and Chewbacca, trying his best to educate the youth of today in the ways of the force.