Published: November 27, 2019
Cover Artist: Derek Charm
Ghosts of Kashyyyk: Part 2
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Derek Charm
Secret Agent Droids: Part 2
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Tony Fleecs
In this second instalment of a three-part story, the mighty Wookiee’s of Kashyyyk must defend their home against the armies of the evil First Order. Plus, R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8 team up on a top-secret spy adventure for the Resistance.
Last issue saw the start of the ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.’ It gave us the beginning of two-story arcs, both set in the sequel era. Admittedly, this is not my favourite era of Star Wars, yet the Original Trilogy vibe of both stories was inescapable. Barber and Charm set the scene for Chewbacca on his home world, and Moreci and Fleecs gave us, well, what can only be described as a sequel to Droids the animated TV show from the eighties. What more could any fan want? To say I’ve been eager for this issue would be an understatement, then again, I’m always eager for more Star Wars Adventures!
First up is the ‘Ghosts of Kashyyyk’ by Barber. Although this is Barber’s story, it’s Charm who has to really push himself to ensure the tale is told right. Apart from characters at the periphery of the story, all the talking is in a language we don’t know. It’s the art, Charm’s art, that really has to step up and guide us, as the reader. He does it brilliantly. You never wonder what is going on or what characters are trying to convey. Although Chewie and the Porg can’t be understood (and in Chewie’s case this might be a good thing considering the main audience for this comic!) but you know their intention. Equally, there are some wonderful panels that are just incredible. The main one, well, I can’t really give it away, but when you see it, you’ll know it!
And let’s talk about the Porg. Some people hate them and feel they should have all been roasted on Chewie’s fire. I’m not one of those people. They are humorous and seem very well placed inside the galaxy. I should probably note that my two-year-old daughter, who has yet to watch Star Wars, has a talking Porg that she carries around and I love it’ll be a gateway for her into our beloved galaxy. The Porg here is fabulous. He brings the comedy to an otherwise dark story. The expressions, the ill-timed talking, it works beautifully and I’m sure younger readers will be giggling with Chewie’s frustration at it all.
I said in my introduction that there is an Original Trilogy feel, and that really comes through with the First Order. Their control of Kashyyyk, the way they speak, their over confidence, it’s dripping with the taint of the Empire and I can’t help but draw comparisons. I like seeing these similarities, they remind me that even in a different time period, it’s still the same sort of tale we were drawn to all those years ago.
The second tale is the next part of ‘Secret Agent Droids’ by Moreci. I said at the start that this story is just like a sequel to Droids and I mean that as a huge compliment to both Moreci and Fleecs. Just like ‘Ghosts of Kashyyyk’, you have two people complimenting each other to bring a truly wonderful story. Fleecs art harkens back to the eighty’s TV show, and Moreci drops in the magic formula: eccentric droids; a young, new, selfless heroine ready to do her part; a cool-named villain with scars on his face, it’s all there. This maybe set in the Sequel era, but the overriding feeling of this story is that classic Droids cartoon. And I don’t know why I’m surprised, Moreci has a way of writing that is… just Star Wars, even in his own independent work. There’s a nostalgic quality that both Moreci and Fleecs are tapping into. You get a feeling that this is a work of love for both of them, and it shows.
Likana is a great heroine that fits really well into the story. Just like in Droids she is the hero of the week who helps the droids. For younger readers, she’s a strong, determined female for them to look up to and I like that her skills are with a computer. Star Wars has always been about strong female leads and Likana is certainly that. Her conviction of what must be done to save the galaxy is inspiring and I hope we get to see her outside of this story arc, I have a sneaky feeling she could become quite the fan favourite given the chance.
However, even with Likana as well written as she is, she can’t help but be overshadowed by a certain pair: R2 and BB8. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much while reading a Star Wars comic. These two together is simply wonderful. Whoever thought R2 and BB8 should not have much time on screen together was an idiot and needs to take a lesson out of Moreci’s book. This is pure Star Wars comedy; it’s not forced but feels perfectly natural and in keeping with the characters. I just wish we could have seen them even more.
I’ve mentioned Fleecs already, but his artwork really brings Moreci’s vision to life. I remember first reading Fleecs’ artwork and been blown away by his use of macrobinocular views on Hoth. Here he does it again, and I’m so glad he does. The action, the shots, you would think this man had illustrated for Droids. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, teaming him up with Moreci has been a dream come true for me, the work they’ve produced together has been jaw dropping.
There’s a lot more I could say about this tale, that I want to say about this tale, but I can’t spoil it for you! What I can say is that Disney need to sort out a BK2-Droids series (well that’s how I envisage the name anyway) and get Moreci and Fleecs on it. At the very least, a comic series. There is a reason the original Droids series is loved so much, and with BB8 thrown into the mix, it just seems to add something more, rather than detract. The fact that Moreci and Fleecs are able to tap into that, well, it’s great to be able to read the result.
I said a few months ago, that the calibre of writers and artists that are coming to Adventures is incredible. Now, the matchups between writers and artists is taking the series to even greater heights. This issue (and the last) show just how strong a story can be with the right pairing. With amazing writing and beautiful artwork, you just can’t go wrong with this series. Heck, my two-year-old saw me looking at the last issue and sat down next to me, captivated. I ended up reading both stories to her and she didn’t move a muscle. There is something so captivating about these stories for readers of any age; it doesn’t matter who you are, what Star Wars means to you, there is something here for everyone. These stories are to lead up to The Rise of Skywalker in their own way. Will they give us huge clues to the movies? I doubt it. Most of the lead ups to the previous two films did little to add to the film. Yet, in both these stories there is a sense of a much grander Resistance that has developed since The Last Jedi, that there is a war being fought, not a war lost. It is this sense that I think is really the ‘journey’ to Rise of Skywalker, the overall feeling of where the galaxy is before the film begins. Either way, I want more…. how long is it until issue 29? The answer is always too long!
Star Wars Adventures is an ongoing series available from IDW Publishing. This issue is available from all good comic bookstores in the USA and from Forbidden Planet in the UK. This issue retails at $3.99.