I’ve been decently happy with the IDW comics for Star Wars, generally speaking. I think it’s important to have all-ages comics in general, and that as I look back at a lot of my favorite comics of this year, I can’t really classify any of them as “all-ages.”
I’ve talked a lot about how comics used to be more accessible to younger readers, and although some of that is due to the fact that we used to have very different standards for what was “acceptable” for children to read (or at least, parents used to be less involved in what their kids got into), I do think that many mainstream comics are simply unsuited to children mainly due to the complexity of their ideas or plots.
Star Wars is no exception to this trend. Even the movies and TV shows seem increasingly dark and inaccessible to younger audiences. The Amazon reviews for Star Wars: Rebels, a CGI show that airs on Disney XD are full of the sentiment that the show is “great but not really for kids in spite of its appearance.” And I’d have to say I agree with that.
However, Disney has been trying to create more all-ages Star Wars titles, which I really do appreciate. This comic was a continuation of the Forces of Destiny animated shorts, which, in spite of their all-ages appeal, I was not a huge fan of. This comic, however, I actually really liked.
This story is a fun adventure with cute and engaging art (way better than what they used in the shorts, I think). It’s also an inspiring story for young people, about how if you fall down you should get back up again. Cliche? Sure, but it actually fits really well into the “Hope” narrative that Disney’s been really pushing with the Rebellion. Also cliche is actually fine if it’s well-done and this definitely is.
Honestly, this is a great comic for kids and I would definitely suggest it to anyone who is looking for an all-ages comic, particularly one aimed at girls (though, I’d argue that Leia can be an inspiration to us all).
Now, a quick section for the Star Wars nerds. Also, yeah, I have opinions on The Last Jedi, but for now we’ll set that aside and deal with this comic like adults. Full spoilers for the whole canon, you know the drill.
First off, Han is great in this, he’s perfect. And so is Leia. Honestly, my main issue with the Forces of Destiny shorts is that they sometimes feel tonally weird, like everyone is in character, but the all-ages thing is too obvious, and people are doing and saying things that feel unusual. This doesn’t feel that way. I think this manages to strike a perfect balance of it clearly being Star Wars, but also being a great all-ages story.
Also, Hera’s alive as of Empire Strikes Back, but I feel like I already knew that. Though, honestly, I’m beginning to resent how many leaks of whom from Rebels is surviving until at least what point I’ve heard so far, especially since I’m actively trying to avoid them. I still hear them all the time. It’s the single thing in the running canon I care the most about and it has more suspense than anything else because it actually has the balls to kill people off on a regular, not entirely predictable basis, stop ruining it by telling us everything! I already have to not watch the trailers because they’re literally just spoilers strung together for two solid minutes! You don’t believe me? We heard Kallus as Fulcrum in the trailer for the first half of season three and Thrawn on Atallon in the second one! They answered the two main suspense questions of the season in the trailers (I know because I always watch them after the seasons are over to make fun of how many spoilers are in them)!
Also especially since Hera doesn’t do anything in the comic except be there, it feels like she’s literally here to tell us she makes it through. Oh, and to scare us about Kanan since he’s conspicuously absent. I guess that sort of makes sense though? Salvage the small amount of suspense they have left? We know Hera makes it so, drive up the remaining suspense on Kanan? Look, I won’t pretend I’m happy about it, but it was nice to see Hera in this art style, she’s adorable. And it looks like she’ll be getting a comic of her own in this line, so that’s great too, I’m really looking forward to that.
Anyway, this comic is great and it was particularly endearing to see a story about Leia meant to help young women come out on the anniversary if Carrie Fisher’s death, it felt like a fitting tribute. I can definitely recommend this comic to anyone who is looking for a good all-ages comic, or a fun Leia story in general.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cover: 4.5 Stars
Art: 4.5 Stars
Plot/Relevance: 4.5 Stars
Dialogue: 5 Stars
(W) Elsa Charretier, Pierrick Colinet (A/CA) Elsa Charretier