Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Star Wars Rediscovered: Heir to the Empire Part 1 Review




"Fear and anger are slaves of The Dark Side..."


Welcome to Star Wars Rediscovered and my review of Heir to the Empire. Read on after the break to find out what I thought of this series. 

Writer: Mike Baron, Timothy Zahn
Artist: Fred Blanchard, Oliver Vatine
Colourist: Isabelle Rabarot
Cover Art: Mathieu Lauffray


Cover Art

I am not a fan at all of the cover art to this collection. Luke, Leia & Han all look slightly like monkeys, which is never a good look. The muted colours work quite well though and helps to give a moody tone to the series.

Plot

The first issue starts with the new formed New Republic trying to find new allies and the remnants of the Imperials under the leadership of Grand Admiral Thrawn determined to defeat them. Thrawn travels to the planet Mrykr in order to persuade the Jedi Master there to help him find the Emperor's secret artifacts. He manages this thanks to a pair of creatures that push back the Force which amazes the Jedi Master and the promise of Luke, Leia and her children to do with how he wishes. Our heroes meanwhile travel to the planet of a Republic friendly race called the Bimmisaari for negotiations but these are delayed due to the apparent illness of the chief negotiator. They are told in the meantime to explore certain areas of interest but are attacked and trapped by strange creatures. 
Issue #2 picks off with our heroes defeating these unknown attackers and leaving the planet. This
failure frustrates Thrawn and the Jedi Master C'baoth and they agree on a new plan of attacking the Sluis van space docks and  creating rumours of C'baoth's existence in the hopes of drawing our heroes out. Han and Leia are tasked with returning to the friendly planet and assuring them that the Rebellion can protect them and Luke travels to Dagobah after hearing that Dark Jedi fled there years ago. Luke guided by R2 finds a strange artifact and Han and Leia are attacked again but manage to escape. Both Leia & Han and Luke separately decide that Lando may be able to help them and so arrive there around the same time. Issue #3 starts with all heroes being attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer, thanks to the Force Luke defeats enough of them that they flee all while he is in a trance and has a conversation with Jedi Master C'baoth. However it turns out that Thrawn gets what he came for, fifty one of Lando's mole
miners. Han and Lando plan to hide Leia on Kashyyyk and fool Thrawn in thinking she is still with the others by getting C3P0 to imitate her voice. Thrawn however somehow knows everything they are doing and isn't fooled. Thrawn ambushes Luke and he only just escapes by a risk manoveour which damages his ship and leaves him stranded.

Interior Artwork

The artwork within this series is of a good standard. The use of light and shadow is used really well and helps to add atmosphere to many of the scenes that are set in space. Some of my favourite panels
include the panel of Luke lamenting the absence of Obi-wan,  the use of the colour yellow makes the scene look set at either sunset or sunrise and the scene has a great sense of scale with the giant figure looming over the scene like a guardian. The panel of the Jedi Master trying to defeat Thrawn is great. The use of motion is fantastic and you can almost see the movement. The panel of Luke attacking his unknown assailants by spinning his lightsaber through them all is epic, and shows just how skilled he has become. The panel of Luke hearing remembering Yoda's teaching to him when he was last on Dagobah is done really well. The use of shadow gives a gravity to the scene.


Conclusion & Rating

To conclude this series is fairly enjoyable but does feel a tad slow going at times. The most interesting plot point I think is Thrawn and how he seems to know our heroes every move, is it as simple as a spy in their ranks or something more interesting?. Thankfully the interior artwork is of a much better quality than the cover art and all of the characters look like they are meant to. 

Rating: 6/10 - Midichlorians






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20 comments:

Jarmir said...

Thanks for continuing these reviews, highly enjoy them

garik16 said...

FWIW Heir to the Empire and its two sequels were originally a trilogy by Timothy Zahn (books, not comics) and are considered some of the finest Star Wars EU works out there.

I'm not sure how well the adaptation works, but the books are amazing.

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