Ever since Disney acquired Marvel and the Star Wars property, fans have been eagerly waiting to see what Marvel would do with the franchise.  Major Spoilers was fortunate enough  to get a chance to read Star Wars #1 early and has been eagerly waiting to bring you this review!

Star Wars_1_coverSTAR WARS #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Cassaday
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Laura Martin
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel 
Cover Price: $4.99

Previously in Star Wars:  The Galactic Empire has suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Rebellion, losing their ultimate weapon: The Death Star.  Now the Rebel forces are gathering for another attack as the Empire prepares to make a stand.

I THINK I KNOW HOW THIS ONE ENDS

Star Wars #1 is a huge deal in the comic community.  Marvel reacquired the rights to publish in continuity stories and brings Jason Aaron on to write the main title.  Many were pleased with what Dark Horse did with the franchise so seeing Star Wars back in Marvel’s hands is both exciting and nerve racking.  Will they mess it up or create something completely new and amazing?  Well…

Taking place after Episode IV, the Rebellion is in full swing after recently destroying the Death Star and dealing a devastating blow to the Empire’s plans.  This is very much an introductory issue and while little setup is given (or needed), we see Han Solo acting as Jabba the Hutt’s intermediary between the Empire.  Of course, this is a huge ruse to infiltrate and take out one of the Empire’s operating stations.  Luke and Leia pop up, there is some fighting and Luke finds the station is secretly being used for other, more nefarious means.  Jason Aaron proves that he knows the Star Wars universe very well and is able to write each character distinctively.  It’s near impossible not to hear the character’s voices as you read the dialogue and the issue very much feels part of the movie universe.  That’s problematic though, as it pushes Aaron into a corner.  Characters make strange choices in context because Aaron can’t deviate from the movies.  Why doesn’t Vader Force choke Chewbacca rather than crushing the tower Chewie is sitting in, especially after awesomely using two Stormtroopers as human shields?  The answer: because Chewie can’t die.  And that’s my biggest problem with this book.  We know how the story ends for these characters, so the stakes aren’t high enough to create enough tension or make the reader care.  The cliffhanger promises an altercation between Luke and Vader but is it something I need to see again?  I might like to but I know neither one will get hurt. That doesn’t happen until Episode V.  There are some good moments and humor, my favorite being C-3PO’s concern over the Millennium Falcon constantly being mistaken as trash.  It’s a decent issue and Star Wars fans won’t find much to gripe about but there is no reason to read it, other than to read yet another Star Wars comic.

STAYING TOO FAR INSIDE THE LINES

John Cassaday’s art in this issue suffers from what I call having to “stay too far inside the lines.”  Clearly using photo reference, Cassaday limits and hurts his work by making his character’s faces look exactly like the actors who portrayed them.  This leads to facial expressions and angles that look odd to downright horrible.  If he had allowed himself some more wiggle room, I believe Cassaday would have turned in some much better art, but sticking so close to photo references made the issue suffer more than it should and is not what I expect from a top tier book.  There is little flow to action and figures are stiffly posed, making scenes boring at times.  Cassaday does draw some amazing machinery and space vehicles though.  All the ships and vehicles have an insane level of detail and look exactly like the movie counterparts.  It’s not enough to save the book unfortunately and the art was certainly one of the least enjoyable aspects of the comic.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE

Chances are if you’re a Star Wars nut, you’ll be buying this regardless what I write.  Hardcore fans are sure to enjoy but I don’t think the average reader or fan will be blown away.  It’s a decent story but its fault lies in the lack of tension or stakes due to taking place in the middle of a story we know the ending to.  We know who lives, dies and is brother and sister, leaving little new territory that Aaron can take us.  The art is extremely poor and not what I expect from a high profile book and creator.  Don’t believe the hype surrounding Star Wars #1 and its selling of a billion, gazillion copies in the direct market.  It pains me to say it but it’s just another mediocre Star Wars story and can be skipped.

Ever since Disney acquired Marvel and the Star Wars property, fans have been eagerly waiting to see what Marvel would do with the franchise.  Major Spoilers was fortunate enough  to get a chance to read Star Wars #1 early and has been eagerly waiting to bring you this review! STAR WARS #1 Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: John Cassaday Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos Colorist: Laura Martin Editor: Jordan D. White Publisher: Marvel  Cover Price: $4.99 Previously in Star Wars:  The Galactic Empire has suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Rebellion, losing their ultimate weapon: The Death Star.  Now the…
Star Wars #1 is a disappointing start. With an average story and bad artwork it fails to live up to the hype.

Star Wars #1

Writing
Art
Coloring

Star Wars #1 is a disappointing start. With an average story and bad artwork it fails to live up to the hype.

User Rating: 4.13 ( 8 votes)
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The Author

Wilson

Wilson

One of the two idiots of Shock 'N Awe Toy Reviews, ever since he was young, Chris has sided with super-villains. At age 8 he became a Decepticon sympathizer. When he turned 18 he left home to become an Agent of A.I.M. He quit at 21 (the costumes were too stupid) and devoted his time to all things geek. His hobbies include making aluminum foil hats, magic, taxidermy and music. Oh, and reading comics. Lots and lots of comics. More nonsense can be followed at @scaabs on Twitter and his YouTube channel, Shock 'n Awe Toy Reviews.

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11 Comments

  1. Alisha
    January 14, 2015 at 9:32 am — Reply

    “We know who lives, dies and is brother and sister, leaving little new territory that Aaron can take us”

    This is why I’m waiting a while until they have rebuilt a new Expanded Universe. I mean, sure, I love Star Wars like Chris Hansen loves telling people to take a seat right over there, but one of the best things about the previous EU was the stories that didn’t focus on the cast of the films and looked into the many other corners of a galaxy far, far away.

  2. January 14, 2015 at 10:23 am — Reply

    Unfortunately this seems to be exactly what I thought it to be: Familiar, safe and nothing new. I understand why they went this route, but it offers nothing to people who already saw these adventures over and over and over again. For someone new, I think this could be great.

  3. January 14, 2015 at 1:56 pm — Reply

    This is why I don’t like stories that fill the gaps between movies, especially when they involve the main characters. The Clone Wars cartoon is a good example. Little of the stuff that Anakin does on that cartoon fits with the way his on-screen character acts, so it all seems forced, no pun intended. In my mind, Darth Vader and our heroes never come close to meeting each other between Episodes IV and V, otherwise it would have been in the movies, or a movie in itself. The story in this book feels forced too. Thanks for the review. I’ll leave this #1 to the rabid collectors.

  4. January 15, 2015 at 12:24 am — Reply

    Personally, these ever-rare Cassaday interiors are cause for celebration, and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. And Aaron won me with the pitch-perfect voices and the little moments. I’m also not bothered by the convention that canon material dictates which characters will be safe. When a comics superhero proper “dies” we all just roll our eyes, anyway – but the reality of perpetual publication doesn’t reduce my enjoyment of Batman or Wonder Woman issues. Indeed, I specifically *want* these characters to continue on for my reading enjoyment.

    • January 15, 2015 at 3:29 am — Reply

      I agree that argument of knowing that certain characters are going to make it regardless what happens isnt really a valid criticism in these kind of stories. I’ve never heard anyone say that, lets say, Batman comics are boring because of course Batman always survives, they are not just gonna stop making Batman books because they sell.
      One has to be aware of this kind of conventions when it comes to big franchises, applying this kind of criticism in some franchises and ignoring it in others seems strange to me.

  5. Perry Taliaferro
    January 15, 2015 at 9:59 am — Reply

    Wait, Chris, so your biggest complaint is that you already know that the characters can’t die? Didn’t you know that going in? I am sure you did, didn’t you? ;-) Sorry, my man, but that is like me, a person that can’t stand Lima Beans, going to a restaurant, ordering a dinner that I know will be loaded with said Lima’s and then complaining that I hated my meal because it had Lima Beans.

    And, like another posted alluded to, you must not enjoy any books featuring Batman, Spider-Man or any other company owned creation for the very same reason. Batman isn’t going to die and if he does (IE: Morrison), he will certainly return in a very short time. So, can there be no good Batman books out there for you? I ask because maybe there is not. :-) Does knowing the characters fate ahead of time, your obvious biggest complaint with this, dictate that the story is already flawed for you?

    Look, I have no problem with anyone not enjoying this book … giving it two thumbs down, three out of ten stars, one slice of meatloaf (or whatever grading system is used) … and I haven’t even read it yet so I can’t say one way or the other, but to make your biggest complaint one that you knew ahead of time, seems like a pointless review to me. Almost like you went in with an agenda from the start. Maybe to shake things up? Maybe? I don’t know. But hey, perhaps it would have just been easier to avoid the Lima beans and ordered something different from the menu?

    Still, while I am left somewhat confused by this review (the first I have read from you), I look forward to seeing more of your stuff

    Peace and happy reading,
    Perry

    • January 15, 2015 at 2:01 pm — Reply

      I think people are getting hung up on the characters dying aspect, and while that’s somewhat of a problem it isn’t my main aspect of the problem of knowing a story ahead of time. The problem here is it is limiting Aaron a little in storytelling and as I said, in turn has characters act strangely. And the comparison to a regular comic like Batman is a little different for me. Yes I know Batman can’t die or will be back, but I don’t know how a particular arc will end. This, to me, is taking a completed story and adding in sections later (if that makes any sense).
      Just because that was my biggest complaint with this book doesn’t mean it is with other stories. Not all stories like this bother me. I like Clone Wars a lot. But there were other characters who were new. I was eager to read this but wasn’t planning on reviewing it or buying it. An advance copy happened to come into the store, we dropped everything and read it and I felt an obligation to get the review up ASAP, since know one had claimed it. Remember, 2.5 out of 5 isn’t a bad score, it’s middle of the road. Not great, not bad but meh as the cool kids say. The art was the worst part of the book and brought the score down the most. I realize I’m in the minority here because almost everyone else I’ve talked to loves it.
      Believe me, I in no way had a previous agenda/thought in mind. That would be irreslonsible as a reviewer and I take this job very seriously. And that’s what I treat this as: a job. Sure it’s on my free time but you have to treat it that way in order to stay committed. I try to be as honest as I can with reviews. In fact, I have a problem of liking almost anything I read. It’s not until I look at it again with a critical eye that I notice things.
      I apologize to everyone for the long winded response but wanted to clear the air and clarify my thoughts. Clearly that was a flaw with my review that didn’t come across. I appreciate your (and everyone’s) feedback and hope you continue reading my articles in the future. I love hearing reader feedback and encourage everyone to participate. Hell, rip into me if you feel, it will be fun:) again, thanks for reading everyone!

      • January 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm — Reply

        Thanks for taking time to answer so thoroughly, Chris. I, for myself didnt mean to sound too harsh and I agree on most things you said, just wanted to point out a thing that sometimes bothers me in reviews and in peoples talks in general, not just this review. Have good one, I wont stop reading reviews or anything. :D

      • January 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm — Reply

        I appreciate your response. I didn’t mean anything personal by my counter-criticism, and I’m certain we can agree to disagree. Cheers.

        • Chris
          January 16, 2015 at 9:32 am — Reply

          No need to apologize at all guys! I was in no way offended or thought you were being harsh (one of the things I hate about electronic communication, tone/intent can be misinterpreted). I love interacting with readers and having discussions as well as getting other’s opinions on books and encourage it greatly. As Matthew loves to say, and told me on Facebook, your milage may vary. Everyone had great responses, you guys are awesome!

  6. Ted Tyszka
    January 18, 2015 at 1:04 am — Reply

    While I haven’t read this book, yet, I get the feeling that when I do, the question that will constantly nag at me will be WWJD — What would John (Ostrander) do?

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