Set between the movies Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Dark Horse’s Star Wars series brings back old characters from the original trilogy into a brand new original story. All of the classic characters are represented: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, even Boba Fett makes a guest appearance. The Rebel Alliance searches for a new home base. However, with a traitor within their organization, can anyone be trusted?

Star Wars 5 coverSTAR WARS #5
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Carlos D’Anda
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Editor: Randy Stradley
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Star Wars: Han Solo and Chewbacca are on the run in Coruscant after a failed secret supply mission. They fly deep into the planet’s underground to escape Imperial forces. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker has been grounded for disobeying direct orders from Princess Leia. When he receives a warning from his old Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi that Leia is in danger, he and his fellow Rebel pilot Prithi must disobey orders once again to rescue the princess. Leia and her team of secret X-Wing pilots are exploring the galaxy for a new Rebel base. They are ambushed by two Star Destroyers and a fleet of TIE-fighters. Realizing the Imperial spy revealed their location, Leia and her pilots make one last stand against overwhelming odds.

X-WING AND TIE-FIGHTER BATTLE 101

Brian Wood’s Star Wars #5 continues the Rebel Alliance’s search for a new home base as well as the traitor in their midst. The comic focuses on four stories. Leia and her X-Wing pilots makes a grand stand against a powerful Imperial fleet. Unless you are an expert in space dogfighting, the dialogue in this scene sounds like gibberish. Still, it is an epic battle that conveys lots of action and suspense. When Leia orders her X-Wing pilots, Wedge and Tess, to abandon her when she is gravely injured, they decide to stay. Leia grows as a character when she realizes that following orders may not be the best action during war. The search for the Imperial spy adds a mystery to the plot since Leia knows from the previous issue that he or she is among her secret X-Wing team. If I had to guess though, I am sure it is not Luke or Wedge. Meanwhile, Luke continues his mission to rescue the princess, even though he is defying her orders again. It is good to see Luke going to action as he was very absent in the previous issues. Luke represents the polar opposite of Leia in this series. He is impulsive and reckless, going by instinct even if it means breaking the rules. These traits are similar to his characteristics in the movies, which allows Star Wars fans to associate the comic book with the classic trilogy. In another part of the galaxy, Han and Chewbacca hide out from Boba Fett in Coruscant’s underground. Through the pair, the comic explores areas not seen by fans, like the shady underground or Coruscant’s sanitation department. Plus, they are hunted by Boba Fett and Bossk, which is a great nod to the Clone Wars series. Finally, Darth Vader oversees the construction of the second Death Star. This is the weakest storyline among the four. It is mostly dialogue with no action. It does not relate to the other three stories and seems out of place.

SPACE BATTLES AND UNEXPLORED TERRIANS

Carlos D’Anda’s Star Wars panels are well crafted, science fiction masterpieces. The battle between the Imperial fleet and X-wings is a little chaotic. Even with great visuals and dialogue, it is still hard to distinguish each X-Wing since they all have the same color scheme and design. I also did not realize it was Leia’s X-Wing that got hit by Imperials until after the battle. However, the chaotic scene did not take away its grand scale and immense action. Also, Han and Chewbacca hiding in an underground Coruscant cantina resembles the Mos Eisley spaceport scenes in Star Wars: A New Hope. I like the throwback art since it adds nostalgia to the comic.

BOTTOM LINE: STAR WARS AT ITS BEST

There are a lot of stories to juggle in Star Wars #5. Brian Wood does a good job balancing his characters and plots, creating an epic tale that is a joy to read. With masterful art from Carlos D’Anda, this series continues to be a must read for all Star Wars fans.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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The Author

Kevin Mak

Kevin Mak

Kevin has been reading comics since he was twelve years old. Since then, he has survived three DC Comics Crisis (Identity, Infinite and Final), several horrible comic book movies, and many, many brand-wide crossover events. His favorite pastimes include writing, sketching and shattering other people's perceptions. Kevin is currently a recovering Star Wars fan and Japanime addict.

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