Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Chris Sprouse, Scott Koblish & Stefano Landini
Published by: Marvel Comics
Chronology Placement: Set a few months after “The Empire Strikes Back”
This single-issue storyline explores a post-Empire Strikes Back version of Luke Skywalker, aware of his father’s identity and vulnerable to the influence of the Dark Side. Greg Pak explores the similarities between Luke and his father, Anakin, as the two Skywalkers are seen as heroes by the ordinary soldiers on the battlefields. The opening sequence with Luke helping take down an Imperial Refining Platform, replete with KX-security droids, feels reminiscent of Anakin’s adventures during the Clone Wars. Further establishing the parallels between the two Jedi is Emperor Palpatine, who lurks in the background attempting to same seduction of Luke that he once did to Anakin. Ultimately it is Luke’s pure heart and optimism that prevails, echoing the same results when the pair eventually clash in Return of the Jedi.
For some reason this issue features three different artists, which naturally results in a rather disjointed narrative as some of the art styles included differ greatly. Independently each artist provides some great artwork, but it is the combination of the disparate styles that ultimately weakens the issue. I really enjoyed Chris Sprouse’s style after seeing it in Age of Rebellion – “Han Solo” and he captures Mark Hamill’s likeness here really well. Likewise, Scott Koblish and Stefano Landini produce equally awesome artwork, but it feels more cartoon-like compared to Sprouse’s work and creates a bit of disconnect for the reader. Presumably there was an issue with deadlines and timings behind-the-scenes resulting in the need for a shared workload across the issue.
While this issue is focused on Luke Skywalker, we spend most of the time viewing the character through the eyes of others, such as Palpatine or the Pau’an Rebel Major. My favourite sequence was the glimpse at a life for Luke Skywalker if he decided to leave the rebellion and instead start a family – it’s interesting to note that Palpatine attempts to manipulate Luke with the same ‘dream’ that his father desired. Overall, this is a fascinating comparison between father and son – highlighting both the similarities and the differences between Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
Score – ★★★
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – “Luke Skywalker” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Heroes”, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.