Published: September 11, 2019
Cover Artist: Margaux Saltel
The Right Wrong Turn
Writer: Delilah S. Dawson
Artist: Margaux Saltel
In this story set before A New Hope, Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her young life: teaching Amilyn Holdo how to drive a speeder! But both learn an important lesson after finding themselves in the dangerous lower levels of Coruscant.
It’s no secret that every month I look forward to my monthly dose of Star Wars Adventures more than any other comic, but goodness me, this month is something else. My biggest complaint about Adventures (in fact I’m pretty sure it’s my only complaint), is that the stories are so good that I want more. This month sees a change from the regular format of two stories and instead, we are treated to a full, single story. Not only that but it’s girl power time! The author is Delilah Dawson: no stranger to Adventures, just released Black Spire and wrote the vastly underrated Phasma novel. And then, to top it off, is the artwork, which is drawn by Margaux Saltel. If you’ve read the Adventures Annual, I’m sure you were transported to another realm looking at the artwork that Saltel provided for the second story, it was simply astounding. To see her in Adventures so soon is just fantastic. Put these two ladies together, writing a story (a full story) set before A New Hope, I mean, could you ask for anymore?
The answer is no! I have to begin with the artwork by Saltel. In my review of the Adventures Annual, I said that Saltel’s artwork could easily grace that of any toddler’s picture book; I mean this as a huge compliment. The seemingly simplicity of the panels that are drawn are just breath taking, they don’t go into huge amounts of detail but show you exactly what you need. It’s easy to follow the story and the action. And the colour? I can safely say I have never seen colour used so effectively in both helping to tell the story nor to support the images drawn by Saltel. Everything about this story visually is sheer perfection and I’m in awe of Saltel. Her work is so unique to Star Wars yet harkens back to the sort of stories I was raised on.
With this incredible art, comes an incredible story. Having a full-length story really benefits this tale and this could be the proof that IDW needs that the stories they publish hold up well with the extra space. It allows Dawson to tell the story she wants without having to rush and allows Saltel to really show her craft.
The main focus of the story is the relationship between Holdo and Leia. Having read Claudia Gray’s novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan, where these two characters first meet, it was great to see this story build on it. From how Holdo looks visually, to how her character is, it all fits in with what has come before. Leia is still the unsure one, never quite knowing what Holdo has planned; Holdo being the impulsive devil-may-care one. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two and one that I’ve always been surprised has never been explored further. Dawson makes full use of it here and just like her artistic partner, there is not a word out of place.
As with all Adventures there is an underlining message here that seems quite poignant. The message is relayed through Holdo, who as in the Gray novel, hides a lot of her wisdom behind a rather strange and weird character. The message looks at how the higher classes rule the lower, yet don’t actually know what the lower classes need. Not that I want to start a big political debate within the confines of Star Wars (I’m pretty sure a lot of us read Star Wars to get us away from such things), but with the problems of Brexit and how certain politicians don’t seem to be representing the people, it was hard not to see the symmetry. This story would work as a great way of helping young people to understand what some of the problems facing our political systems are, something I’m sure Leia would fully approve of!
What can I say? This really is what Star Wars Adventures is about. Quality writing, quality artwork and a message for younger readers to think on. Every month, Star Wars Adventures seems to attract some of the best writers and artists in comics, who in turn, produce some of the best stories set in a galaxy far, far away. As I mentioned at the start, this is all about girl power. Dawson and Saltel make an incredible combination and leave a lasting impression with a story that works so beautifully. The main characters also make a great combination being so different and I’m glad Dawson decided to go back to this intriguing relationship. This comic is girl power through and through, from the writers and artists, to the characters. This is Star Wars at its finest and if you have young children, essential reading. I hope we see this duo back very soon!
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.