THE AWAKENING BEGINS! Lor San Tekka has been found and Poe Dameron is off to recover the missing link to Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. But his plan goes astray when the First Order intervenes on Jakku…Follow Poe Dameron’s adventures during the unseen events of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!
The first issue in The Awakening story arc begins on the Millennium Falcon, directly after the events of The Last Jedi. Poe, Finn, Rey and BB-8 are altogether in the lounge area when the conversation drifts to how Poe escaped the crashed Tie fighter in The Force Awakens. Poe agrees to tell the others what really happened on Jakku…
…The story flashes back to just before the events of The Force Awakens, with General Organa giving Poe orders to go and retrieve the map to Luke Skywalker from Lor San Tekka. Poe goes alone, so to avoid the attention of the First Order. Poe then outlines the first part of The Force Awakens and how he was found and captured by the First Order, before being rescued by Finn and stealing a Tie fighter. It was all going well until the Tie was hit.
Poe explains that although he was able to eject Finn from the Tie, Poe’s jacket prevented his ejector mechanism from working. With some good luck, he was able to get thrown from the Tie fighter before it crashed into the sands of Jakku. Wandering through the desert, Poe sees a speeder, not knowing – or caring- who it is, he grabs the owner’s attention. Not believing who Poe really is, Naka (the speeder’s owner) agrees to take Poe to town.
While travelling, the two are attacked by a clan. Poe talks his way to flying the speeder and with some expert piloting skills, he is able to stop the attack on himself and his rescuer. Arriving at the town, Naka introduces Poe to his friend Ohn Gos, who agrees to take Poe off-planet. Before he can go though, Poe visits Nima Outpost as it is the “big city”. Unable to find BB-8, Poe travels to D’Qar to report back to Leia.
Leia lets Poe talk about the mistakes of the mission, before informing Poe that BB-8 has been spotted on Takodana and that Poe must get there before the First Order…
A new story line, it can either be a welcome change to move on from the previous story or it can steer a series down a terrible path. Thankfully, the start of this new storyline is nothing but fantastic. To start the story at the end of The Last Jedi is such a clever and unexpected twist, that it actually took me a couple of moments to orientate myself to what was happening. It would have been such an easy option to start the issue at the start of The Force Awakens, but moving the series on past those events and then looking back in hindsight added a really interesting aspect to the comic. It also allows us to see the relationship develop between the three new main characters. Now of course I would have like to have seen this on screen, but to have it here at least is something.
The artwork in this issue is as always amazing, although I caught my breath with the double page spread of Poe’s recap of the start of The Force Awakens. Each character was well drawn, and as always Unzueta is able to capture the action perfectly. His design for the Blarina’s speeder was very cool and fits in perfectly with a galaxy far, far away. In fact, when Poe called over the speeder in the middle of the desert, I couldn’t help but be reminded of C-3PO in A New Hope calling out to the sandcrawler.
The issue doesn’t add any ground breaking revelations, it’s not really meant to. It is meant to fill in the blanks that The Force Awakens has left. Yet this is perhaps my only criticism of the issue. When going to get the map, there’s no mention that it is not complete or any explanation as to why it isn’t. Surely, when communicating with Leia, San Tekka would have said something, or he would have said something to Poe? I was hoping (perhaps a little too optimistically) that this would be answered, or at least addressed. Now of course, the easiest explanation is that we don’t know what story threads J.J. Abrams may pick up on in Episode IX, but I’m not sure he will with this. Which brings me back to a point I made in my last review, is this jump to start through the timeline of the new movies too soon? Would this not be better written when more=answers that fans want can be answered?
With only a minor complaint, this issue is a fun ride through the unseen events of The Force Awakens. For me, it reminds me of the radio dramas that filled in the blanks for so many fans for the Original Trilogy. As always, this series sets itself a high standard, that it continues to meet issue after issue and I for one cannot wait for issue 27…
Poe Dameron is an ongoing series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.