By Lewis White
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a few months away, the countdown really starts to begin. Disney started off by releasing prequel books and merchandise to boost anticipation with the recent 'Force Friday'. Now they team up with Marvel for Shattered Empire, a prelude to the new film, filling in the 30-year gap since Episode 6. This four issue series features characters from the original trilogy, and introduces us to a few new faces – including one we may be lucky enough to see on the big screen.
We get to see just how good Shara is, and witness her piloting skills as she takes down many of the other side in battle. Once planet-side, she is congratulated by many, though the festivities are yet to come for her. The celebrations continue around her, with classic characters Han Solo, Chewie and C3-PO and others taking part. Meanwhile a worried Shara hurries through to the medical ward, where she finds the partner she has been searching for: Sargent Kes Dameron.As issue #1 begins, we have a wide shot of the battle of Endor, with a small glimpse of the fight between Luke and Vader. This time though we view the battle from a new perspective: Shara Bey, a rebel alliance A-Wing pilot code named 'Green-4'. This raises the stakes by allowing us to see first hand just what it was like to be in the fighting.
Kes is the husband of our main protagonist, and our link to The Force Awakens. We already know from multiple sources one of the fighter pilots in the film is called Poe Dameron – so naturally it catches any fan's eye to see Poe's name mentioned in the comic. This would lead us to believe Kes has a relationship of some kind with Poe. Perhaps Kes is Poe's father, or some other relative – we can only guess.
After a bit of catching up between the two lovers, a well timed interruption by Solo calls for Kes to rejoin the rest of his strike team after their night of partying. We get some rather funny interactions with a group of ewoks who have found their way into their ship just before a new battle commences between the rebels and the surviving stormtroopers on the planet. This battle is not the final resolution, and the classic line “It's not over yet” is given. The issue ends with a leering 'to be continued'.
This comic features incredible splash pages by Mark Checchetto, which does show off the classic space style battles. However, this comic is more of a wartime romance for die-hard fans needing to fill the blanks between stories, rather than an extravanganza of action packed fight scenes on every page. This feels like a slow burner with more character development than a constant page flipper. It also won't answer all your questions, and will leave you wanting to find out more in future issues. Overall I found this to be an entertaining read with a lot of serious and funny moments for fans to enjoy.
Lewis has discovered the wait is excruciating for Doctor Who each week.
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