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!
As I explained in my review of the first issue, I will not be doing a plot section for these reviews as we all know the story of The Last Jedi. These comics are all about the added parts that we didn’t see. Last issue was done tremendously well, with a complete shift from the film and telling the story from the point of view of Luke and Leia. This is also true of this issue but with Leia being unconscious, the newer characters have to take more of a lead and thus, the story returns to being much closer to the film.
Where Leia is conscious, Whitta has done a good job of adding little pieces here and there. When Kylo attacks the Raddus, the force connection between himself and Leia feels more concrete in this issue than it did in the film. Each call the others name and seems to harken back to The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke and Vader are communicating with one another at the end of the film. We also get a glimpse into Leia’s thoughts when she is sucked out into the vacuum of space. She is very stubborn that this is not her end, and who would argue with her? It is great to see this extra bit of detail, to know that actually Leia was conscious when she was in space, and whether by her will or pure instinct she was able to save herself. With such determination, it is hard to imagine the character not taking centre stage in Episode IX.
After this point, it is back to Poe and Finn taking the lead and this is where the story doesn’t verge much from the film. It was interesting to see that Holdo seems to be far fiercer in this than she ever did in the film, getting angry with Poe for his previous actions in issue one. She even tells Poe that Leia has a soft spot for him. Although perhaps only a small detail, it is interesting to think that if Holdo had had her way and put Poe in the brig, then her plan to save the Resistance would have probably worked!
The other part we get to see is Maz from her side of the communication with Poe and Finn. What was disappointing was that nothing was really shown, no detail to where Maz was. As chronologically this story takes place so close to The Force Awakens, I would have assumed Maz is trying to repair her castle. Surely, we could have seen this in comic form?
Not much is seen of Luke in this issue except perhaps one crucial point. Artoo explains everything to Luke and Luke realises that Rey is on the same journey that he once was. It’s taking the main drive of the story away from Rey and giving it to Luke. He begins to see himself in her, which I think is crucial and never truly comes across in the film. I’m hoping that means you get to see Luke in future issues really trying to teach Rey all the right things about the force, so when Yoda tells him he needed to also teach his mistakes, the message is far more poignant. Further to this, is the fact that Luke believes he is doing the right thing by keeping away from the problems in the galaxy. By showing that Luke sees himself in Rey, that their journeys are similar, you are also helping to show that history is repeating itself, that Luke is right to try and break this cycle to stop plunging the galaxy into war.
Although perhaps not as dramatic as the first issue, the second comic in this series adds lots of little extras that help to create a much more rounded story than the film. If like me, you are still trying to come to terms with the story and the character of Luke, these little things add an awful lot. It will be interesting to see how the next issue moves forward, particularly with Leia unconscious. I hope that Whitta continues to tell this story from Luke’s point of view and doesn’t start to hand more over to Rey, as he will obviously have to hand the reins over to Poe and Finn for the Canto Bight scenes. If I want to see the story from Rey’s view, I have the film. But for this fan, these comics seem to explain the story, and in particular Luke’s motives, in a way that is far more satisfying than the film.
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.