Annuals are hard to predict. Both DC and Marvel have a habit of trying to tie an annual into a current storyline. The problem with this is that if you’re not current with the story then it feels disjointed and loses the desired impact. I felt this way with 2015’s Suicide Squad Annual – it was alright, but just alright. When I picked up the flashy new STAR WARS ANNUAL #1, I was cautious yet still optimistic (because Star Wars… duh).


STAR WARS ANNUAL (2015) #1 written by Kieron Gillen



The Star Wars Universe is overwhelmingly expansive. Oddly enough, we only get snippets of this whimsical galactic fairyland through the common film/television outlets. We see the most well known characters and places while much of the rest turns into a revolving background. In the STAR WARS ANNUAL #1 we are treated to a rarely seen aspect of the conflict between the Empire and Rebel Alliance: espionage.


Eneb Ray is a deeply embedded operative working undercover in the Imperial bureaucracy on the Coruscant, the capital of the Empire. Coruscant is seen several times in the prequel trilogy. It’s as a massively urban planet with a fog of aerial traffic, the Jedi Temple, Senate Chambers, and activity around the clock. Seeing this ‘everyday life’ viewpoint of life on the busy capital was fascinating to me. Eneb is a believable character in an unenviable situation. The only familiar face is Leia, who is only featured as a hologram. I’m glad they limited her involvement to that so emphasis wasn’t taken away from Eneb and the other spies.


Readers are treated to Eneb’s thought process throughout an opportunistic plot at assassinating the Emperor. Adding his internal monologue was perfectly subtle; it enhanced the spy’s character without derailing the momentum of the story. Other characters are introduced just enough to make their fates believably tragic for Eneb. Palpatine is delightfully evil (as always). It’s so easy to read his lines in that trademark twisted growl of his.


The artwork is quite good. Interior work by Angel Unzueta brings life to character features while downplaying the technical flash that could come with views of Coruscant. I almost wish we could have seen more of that flash, but then the ‘underbelly’ feel of the environment wouldn’t have been as believable. I’m not at all familiar with Unzueta or Gillen, however, my enjoyment of this issue will certainly keep them on my radar.


My rating of STAR WARS ANNUAL (2015) #1 is 8 out of 10.


8 out of 10


Star Wars fans – pick this one up! You will definitely appreciate what it has to offer.

Non-Star Wars fans – please reevaluate your the priorities in your life.

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