JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE

It was easy to frown upon Disney when they made their $4 Billion galactic conquest with the purchase of Lucasfilm. Regardless of how well they did with their last $4+ Billion splurge (Marvel), Star Wars is sacred ground for pretty much all of geekdom. I cringed at the thought of the relentless mouse empire taking over a galaxy far, far away. Three years later, I’m happy to admit that I may have judged them too quickly.

Since that time we’ve seen a resurgence in Star Wars everything (not that it ever went away). Knowing more movies were on the horizon was enough to build (cautious) excitement but that wasn’t enough for the suspiciously-evil efficiency of Disney’s marketing. A little later we got the new animated DisneyXD series, STAR WARS REBELS. It started out a little goofy… then it quickly found its footing and turned into a worthy entry to the Star Wars Saga. Minor updates about the movie were gradually released to whet our appetite. New merchandise with unfamiliar characters flooded stores like a maliciously deliberate tease. Throughout there were superbly composed trailers for THE FORCE AWAKENS released that periodically incited a riot of anticipation. Now we’re two months away from a new era of Star Wars! My first showing tickets are pinned to my fridge ready to be redeemed. Before the movie hits you can peak into what happened after the fall of the second Death Star in Marvel’s four-part series…

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE

Cover from the final issue (my favorite cover art of the four)

SHATTERED EMPIRE (written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Phil Noto and Marco Checchetto) picks up right where Return of the Jedi stops. The war didn’t end with the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star. Think about it – the Galactic Empire has ‘galactic’ in it for a reason… it’s flippin’ huge! Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the fighting would continue throughout the galaxy as the Imperial war machine churns on without Palpatine at its head regardless of their ‘loss’.

Through a four issue arc we’re treated to the characters we know and love while being introduced to a few new players. Rebel Alliance pilots Shara Bey and her husband Kes Dameron are used to illustrate the desire for a return to normalcy after the supposed fall of the Galactic Empire.

I found it refreshing to have a look at the smaller aspects of the Star Wars universe that are normally glossed over in the traditional properties. Unfortunately, the concept isn’t properly expanded upon which turned it in to a bit of a hindrance. Shara and Kes are both likable in their own right, however, the short story arc doesn’t give readers enough of a chance to become attached to either of them especially when the core characters share the page. SHATTERED EMPIRE would have carried more emotional weight if we had the opportunity to become emotionally invested.

With that said, there’s still plenty to like in SHATTERED EMPIRE. The art is phenomenal. Phil Noto and Marco Checchetto do a fine job bringing life to the war-weary Empire. There are a few issues when in regards to the portrayal of the core cast but it is easily compensated with the intricate battle scenes. My favorite part is the attack on Naboo; it was one of the few points where tension was successfully created. The final issue was sadly the weakest (especially following the third issue which was the strongest by a healthy margin). It left me with a “is that it?” aftertaste.

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE is worth a read for any Star Wars fan. Even with its shortcomings, it succeeds in building the excitement for Episode VII higher than ever. My rating is 7 out of 10.

7 out of 10

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1 Comment

  1. […] already done a write up of the full SHATTERED EMPIRE storyline so I won’t go too deep on this one. The series was good, not as great as many Star Wars […]


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