Published: August 21, 2019
Cover Artist: Megan Levens
Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Megan Levens
Tales from Wild Space: “Win/Lose”
Writer: Shaun Harris
Artist: Manuel Bracchi
With hotshot Resistance pilot Poe Dameron captured by pirates, it’s up to BB-8—and Rapier Squadron—to save the day!
Last month saw two new authors to Star Wars Adventures, and I was really impressed by the quality of stories they brought, particularly the main story. This month sees a return of that author, Ian Flynn. The second story is by newcomer Shaun Harris. I’d usually be very nervous about a new author, but as with all things Star Wars Adventures, I feel I’m in safe hands.
The first story is ‘Kidnapped’. As I’ve mentioned, Flynn did an incredible story last month, one that had me really wanting more. ‘Kidnapped’ is in a much different time frame, taking part before The Force Awakens and focusing on Poe Dameron. As you would expect of a Poe of this era, he is cocky and very sure of himself. This allows Flynn to bring in some incredible humour, humour that made me laugh out loud on several occasions. What I also liked was Poe referencing his previous history: He talks about his family on Yavin 4, and lots of things that were featured in Marvel’s Shattered Empire. Reading this, you can see just how far Poe has come by the end of The Last Jedi and it’s good to have that reminder.
However, although this is Poe’s story, for me, it is BB-8 that steals the show. This story, and dare I say it, most from Star Wars Adventures, have a much greater focus on droids in the Star Wars galaxy. It’s one of my biggest complaints of Marvel, the books and yes, even the Sequel Trilogy; there is not enough droids. If you look at the Original Trilogy, it is the droids that lead the story, who help tell the viewer the story. Yet in most modern aspects of Star Wars it seems to get lost more often than not. Here, you get back to that ‘Original’ feeling, that it is BB-8 who is the real hero, who get our human heroes out of trouble. This is Star Wars and I like that Flynn gives BB-8 such a heavy focus.
Having reviewed the Poe Dameron series from Marvel, it was great to see Karé. With Poe’s references to his past, to having his old squadron from the young reader books, to pilots from other series, you get such a sense that this is some grand adventure, and we’re just seeing a snippet. I’ve said with Adventures that they always seem to short, yet Flynn finds a way to make it seem longer. Equally, this series will be a gateway to some younger readers, and so having references to other series I think is well done.
It might not have had quite the wow of last month’s story, but I still really enjoyed ‘Kidnapped’. And I say the wow of last month, but being an Original Trilogy fan first, it would be a story set in that era that would really captivate me. I’m sure there will be other readers who will find this far mmore engaging. In either case, I hope we see more of Flynn as he is a man who knows how to write good Star Wars.
The second story ‘Win/Lose’ is by Star Wars Adventures newcomer, Shaun Harris. The premise of the story is following a character called Bilk through a Dejarik tournament. On the way we meet Maz Kanata. Although there is no indication of when the story is set, with Maz present there is a very Sequel Trilogy vibe.
The question with this story is where to begin, because it is very busy, in a wonderful way. Being a Dejarik contest there is all manner of aliens and creatures, which creates a wonderful feast for the eyes. Manuel Bracchi does an impressive job of illustrating it all and guiding us through Harris’ story. Iit is a who’s who in Star Wars, and while I enjoyed it, I’m sure younger readers would enjoy it even more!
Maz is simply wonderful. She acts as you would expect, at times even emulating Yoda a little. And as you’d imagine from the wizened lady, everything is never quite as it seems. For a character that we don’t know too much about, these sorts of stories are perfect to really get a feel for the character.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did, and I really wasn’t expecting it to feel so…full. Although only a few pages long, this story feels a lot longer. There is a tremendous amount of art and writing that engulf you into the story and make you feel like you’ve had a full tale. Even with Maz in it, there was still an Original Trilogy feeling I got, from the setting, to the creatures, to the fact it was based around Dejarik.
Without question, the sequel era is the time frame I least like to read (and I’m not saying I don’t like reading it). It has been a while since Adventures focused so heavily on the era, yet it is still highly enjoyable. Both stories are full of humour, enjoyment and art that suits this series perfectly. Even with newcomers, this series goes from strength to strength. It’s great to see Flynn back again and I do hope Harris has more in store for us, as I’d certainly be reading it. I always look forward to this series because it is my time to relax. This is what Star Wars should be, adventures that our heroes go on and we’re along for the ride. When you then bring in droids, holo games from the movies and references to all the other areas of Star Wars, you’ve got to be onto a winner…
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.