Review: Star Wars: Invasion #2

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I’m still playing catch-up with my comic reading and reviews, so here is a rundown of the second issue of the latest Star Wars series from Dark Horse comics, released last week, August 5th.

star_wars_invasion_2.jpgWe start this issue with young Finn Galfridian trying to move a fist-sized rock using the Force while his droid, Prowl, looks on. Finally succeeding, he tells Master Skywalker of his hard won victor and after praising him, Skywalker then proceeds to lift the rock that was under Finn’s rock, it is the size of the rest of the hill, and sets it on top of Finn’s small rock. He then tells Finn, “Now lift YOUR rock again.”  Okay, right here I have issue. Even in the early stories, I do not believe that Luke was ever portrayed as one given to smug one-upmanship, especially when teaching.  This just rings so wrong that it brings me completely out of the story. If I am wrong, please point out the instance to me. It is something that the winey farm boy would do, not the seasoned Jedi Master.

Flash to a Yuzzhan Vong slave ship.  The Queen is trying to give her subjects medical attention, and is being denied that attention by her Vong captors.  Instead, one of their guards tells her that she is ordered to serve the commander.  The Queen, defiant, tells him she serves only her people, and to save her mother from a brutal beating, Princess Kaye quickly tells the guards she will go with them.

Back to Yavin 4.  Finn is still staring down the rock that Skywalker unearthed when a foursome of young people come up to him.  One of them tells him not to worry, Master Luke does that to all the new students (when?) except for Lowbacca, the Wookie member of the group.  Finn makes a dufus of himself in front of the beautiful girl, and when Finn asks the older boy if her and her are … the young man quickly replies no! She’s my sister! Gee, and her name is Jaina.  Anybody know the identity of this group yet? They then invite him to train. With lightsabers.  Over a maze-like series of roof tops which remind me of a map from one of the Jedi Knight games.  When the young girl tells him that he isn’t too bad, and tells him that Luke Skywalker is her uncle, the identity of the group is revealed. They are Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo, children of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo.   There is some discussion on the need to set aside anger and they are interrupted by young Anakin, who has been hearing some noises that may be a wounded animal coming out of a cave. Jaina tells him to stay away from it, but Finn tells them he will send Prowl in to check it out (Golly gee, look! I can see what my droid sees through these nifty goggles! You all will like me now, won’t you!)

While Finn is hanging out with the Junior Jedi Squad, his sister has been brought before the Yuzzhan Vong commander. He invites her to eat, and tells her he is impressed that such a small girl killed one of his warriors.  He cryptically asks her if she knows pain, and she replies that he has invaded her planet and destroyed everything she knows. She knows pain. When she asks him why they invaded her world, he tells her that it was not about her world, but the entire galaxy.  “We will destroy your machines. They are abominations. We will share our ways. We will share our beliefs. We will share pain. Like us, you will come to embrace it.” He then stabs her in the shoulder.  Well, that explains why the warrior in the first issue told her to stab him again.

Back on Yavin 4, Finn has sent his droid in to investigate the sounds in the cave. At first, it looks like it may be a small squall (a bunny) it turns out to be a giant horned beast that cases the droid out of the cave. Fin freezes, but the others go into pro-mode.  Jacen restrains the others from attacking the beast, seeing a splinter in its side, which he quickly removes. The creature stops his charge and retreats back to the cave, just as three Jedi Masters appear, Luke Skywalker, Kyp Duron, and Le’ung. Kyp ushers everyone back to the Temple, stating that they where preparing to set up safeguards on the cave.  Luke pulls Finn to the side and tells him that the creature was a Tukata, a force-sensitive creature the Sith used to guard their tombs. Finn confesses that he froze when the takuta attacked, and the others where ready. That’s just part of the  training, Luke says, nothing to worry about.  Then Finn tells him that if it had been Yuzzhan Vong, then he would not have hesitated.  Luke instructs him to go back to his training, and Finn starts staring at his little rock under the big one.

Meanwhile, Princess Kaye is delivered back to her mother. The merchant they had been trying to save is dead, and mother and daughter embrace to comfort each other in the lose of a friend.

Le’ung, Kyo and Luke are having a discussion on Yavin 4 in regards to Finn.  Kyp wants to use him as a powerful weaon against the Vong, Le-ung does not like the idea of Jedi as weapons, and Luke is telling them both that Finn’s training will NOT be rushed. (Wha?)  Suddenly, an unidentifiable person bursts in and tells them that the Vong have attacked another planet, they Jedi are needed. Luke orders Kyp to stay behind and take charge of the Academy and tells Le’ung to come with him.  Le’ung has some concerns about taking Finn into battle against the Vong (was this discussed off panel?),  but Luke says he must be allowed to confront his enemy face to face. We must rust in the Force.  Just then, a rock comes rolling into the room. Finn has freed his rock and is ready to leave with Jedi to battle the Vong.

I hoped that this story would strengthen the forest issue and help with some of the characterization issues, but I am afraid it didn’t.  The Solo children seemed thrown in just so they could say they had appeared, and Luke jumped between being a smart-ass jerk to a concerned teacher to self-contradicting shadow of the Luke we knew in other post movie series.  I could care less about Finn, and halfway hope he is killed and his sister is saved to become the new Jedi trainee.  In fact, her scenes with the Vong are the only ones I found myself enjoying.  We actually got a small glimpse at the Yuzzhan Vong culture, and we got to see that at least one of the Galfridian children cold show some fortitude.

The art in this issue bothered me as well. Le-ung’s race is that of a Pau’an and it seems that he is wearing the same clothes that where worn by another member of his race, Tion Medon, in the movie Revenge of the Sith, right down to the cane.  Likewise, Kyo Durron is wearing the same outfit that he is seen wearing in the New Official Guide to Characters and the Jedi Vs Sith Guide.

Finn’s sister’s scenes save this book from getting a score lower than one and a half out of five.

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