This is the second comic in the five-week Forces of Destiny series. These comics focus on various Star Wars heroines from different time periods, from both the films and TV shows. This one focuses on Rey, the main character of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
For anyone who has seen the Forces of Destiny animated shorts, the first thing I’ll say is that I’ve enjoyed the comics far more. They’re still definitely aimed at an all-ages audience, but I think they’re better written and I wasn’t particularly fond of the art style used for the animated shorts.
This story takes place during the events of The Force Awakens, after Rey first finds BB-8 and is about how she’s managed to survive living on Jakku. It’s a cute story, though I don’t think it’s quite as inspirational or touching as the previous one about Leia. That being said, I think it’s a great all-ages comic and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I think I actually liked it a little more than Rey’s parts of the Star Wars: Adventures comics.
I really enjoyed the art in this comic, it’s cute but the action sequences are still well done and the coloring is great, and I do enjoy getting any expansion on anyone from the sequel trilogy, since we don’t know much about anyone besides Poe and Phasma.
The major Star Wars fan section of this review will be pretty short, as these comics haven’t really done anything to plot intensive, but spoiler warnings for the whole canon, just in case. I will mention The Last Jedi, for example.
As I said, I like getting to know Rey better, as honestly we still don’t really know her that well from the movies. I do have some questions about her backstory as of The Last Jedi, which this comic has only solidified. We see her parents flying away in a shuttle after selling her, but in the movie Kylo claims that she somehow knows that they’re dead in “pauper’s graves” on Jakku. He implies that he has that information because he found it in her mind, but she clearly remembers them flying away and leaving her behind, so how does she also know that they died and where they’re buried, but not them coming back before doing so? She built her whole life around the idea of them coming back, so if they’d done so, I assume she’d at least remember it happening.
Of course, it’s totally possible Kylo is lying to her. I mean, what motivation does he have to tell her the truth? Kylo’s actions seem written to be intentionally unreadable in that scene so there’s no point in expressing an opinion on how honest he’s being in exact words or even in spirit. Maybe everything he says is the truth and he thinks he’s helping her. Maybe he’s lying but thinks he’s doing so to help her by freeing her from her past. Or maybe he’s lying to manipulate her. Or maybe he’s doing some combination of all of these. There’s no way for us to know and we’re not meant to at this point. I know we’d seen her memory of Rey’s parents leaving before, but seeing it again reminded me of how confused I was about that versus what Kylo tells her in the new movie.
Setting that aside, I’m really looking forward to the next comic, because it’s about my favorite rebel, Hera Syndulla. Honestly, I think Hera could have a comic line of her own and I’d definitely read it, but I’m happy enough that she’s getting one of these. Of course, if I had my way, they’d make some of these for the female villains, but I suppose Pryce, Phasma and Ventress don’t really qualify as “role models” for young women.
This comic is definitely a great all-ages comic, particularly for girls and young women, but I have actually been enjoying these stories just as a Star Wars fan, and I am really looking forward to the next issue.
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
Art: 4.5 Stars
Cover: 4 Stars
Plot/Relevance: 4.5 Stars
Dialogue: 4 Stars
(W) Jody Houser (A/CA) Arianna Florean