Luke’s Rebel mission takes a back seat on a journey from the Force. Available now from IDW Publishing and Disney, Star Wars Adventures: The Weapon of a Jedi #1 adapts Jason Fry’s 2015 novel. Written by Alec Worley and illustrated by Ruairí Coleman, the issue takes place somewhere between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Chris O’Halloran and Amauri Osorio provide colors and lettering respectively with design help from Germany’s 49 Grad Medienagentur company.
No classic Star Wars adventure would be complete without the usual suspects of Luke Skywalker, C-3P0, and R2D2. The gang’s all here in this issue. But here, Luke isn’t a Jedi quite yet. He has visions from the Force and senses things he doesn’t quite understand. So, when one Rebel mission is thwarted by an Imperial blockade, Luke follows the signs to the planet Devaron.
In fewer than forty pages, Worley and Coleman include two epic battles and carefully placed flashbacks that don’t slow down the pace. Other than a couple superfluous captions, everything is in service of character and plot. Worley’s script allows Coleman to show off the vastness of space and give us the action sequences fans expect.
Artistically, Coleman copies the aesthetic of the original trilogy with a Silver Age drawing style. That is: line work is thin, there’s lots of cross-hatching, and inks are blotchy. Moreover, Coleman makes full use of page space with plenty of master shots and POVs to heighten the tension in action sequences. It’s so aesthetically satisfying and a fitting homage to the original trilogy.
Maintaining the homage is O’Halloran’s color palette. Earthy green, ruddy yellow, and deep Navy blue dominate in diluted hues. Nothing stands out as being particularly warm or cold, saturated or de-saturated. It’s familiar and so cool precisely because it doesn’t change or try to “fix” the tried and true Star Wars formula.
However, my one nitpick is that Osorio overuses special effects. It felt as if the letterer was trying too hard to evoke the sound effects of the films. Otherwise, Osorio’s font choice and dialogue placement complement the overall style well.
Regardless, as a peripheral fan of the Star Wars franchise, I see this issue for what it is: good nostalgic fun. I may not be invested in the series’ continuation, but I can appreciate this as being accessible to newcomers and another item in a seasoned fans’ collection. Star Wards Adventures: The Weapon of a Jedi #1 is an adventure indeed.