Another Star Wars Adventures issue means two more stories never seen before in the Star Wars universe. Published by IDW Publishing, Star Wars Adventures #22 takes readers through a mission with Princess Leia and our favorite droid duo, C-3PO and R2-D2, as well as a story about a different and rather unlikely duo on the planet Hoth. In the typical Star Wars Adventures format, neither story is related but both provide a glimpse into the ever-expanding Star Wars canon.
A Matter of Perception
“A Matter of Perception” is written by the established duo of Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier who have worked together on a number of other projects outside of Star Wars Adventures such as The Infinite Loop and Superfreaks. Charretier also provides the art for the issue and Tom B. Long takes up his usual place in the Star Wars Adventures series as the letter. In this story, we follow a Rebellion era Princess Leia on a mission on the planet Nothoiin in the Outer Rim. She is accompanied by C-3PO and RD-D2 as they investigate suspected Stormtrooper activity on the planet’s surface.
All appears well as Leia’s initial search doesn’t turn up anything but beautiful scenery. However, the always weary C-3PO is not convinced of their safety. Sure enough, as they return to their ship to depart from the planet, R2-D2 detects a thief aboard. Unphased by the possibility of a fight, Leia arms herself and prepares to capture the intruder despite C-3PO warnings. Much to the crew’s surprise, it is not a Stormtrooper they find but an Alenna youngling. Catching our heroes off guard, the little one is able to escape the ship prompting Leia to chase the thief into the jungle landscape.
As Alennas are small in stature, it makes the youngling difficult for Leia to track. Always persistent, Leia thinks back to her “royal tracking” training and is finally able to trick the Alenna out of hiding. However, Leia wasn’t the only one searching for an intruder. The reports of Stormtrooper activity appear to be true as Leia is captured by the ivory soldiers.
C-3PO and RD-D2 observe the princess’s capture from a distance and embark on a rescue mission. However, never one to need saving, the rest of the issue follows Leia’s efforts to escape on her own. While many of the stories in the Star Wars Adventures series are largely predictable given their target audience, “A Matter of Perception” throws some curve balls. Readers will be pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns that the story is able to provide.
This is the first story from Star Wars Adventures that I have read from Colinet and Charretier. I am thoroughly impressed their take on the series as they are to capture the mannerisms of Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 perfectly. Further, they drop bits of Leia’s background on Alderaan such as her royal tracking skills and use of Aleraanian martial arts. These small details provide insight into how capable Leia truly is based on her experiences before we see her in the Original Trilogy. We may have never got to see these abilities on screen but books like Leia, Princess of Alderaan and now Star Wars Adventures #22 fills in those gaps.
It has been some time since Colinet and Charretier were featured in Star Wars Adventures series. Between their compelling storytelling and Charretier’s unique art style, I hope to see their work more often in the future.
Rating: 5/5 Little Alenna Younglings
Tales from Wild Space: “A Tauntaun Tail”
The second story in Star Wars Adventures #22 is written by Jon Waterhouse, features art from Tony Fleecs, flats by Lauren Perry, and letters by Tom B. Long. The Tales from Wild Space stories tend to be more lighthearted and are centered on a life lesson that is being told in a retrospective story by Emil Graf to his droid crew. “A Tauntaun Tail” continues this trend with a lovely story about a boy and his tauntaun.
Tauntauns are the goat-like lizard species that are most infamously known for smelling worse on the inside than they do on the outside. Given their position as glorified ice camels in the Empire Strikes Back, I never thought there would be a situation where I would care about their well-being. Waterhouse expertly subverts that expectation through his storytelling as he introduces us to Sgt. Maxim.
We find Sgt. Maxim scouting the area for tauntauns to train for the Rebel Alliance. During his search, his scouter comes across a peculiar looking tauntaun with a very long tail. From a distance, he observes this poor girl being bullied for being different. As Maxim has to return to base, we see the long-tailed beauty skulked away into a cave for the night.
Caves and Hoth are never a good combination, especially for tauntauns. The wayward tauntaun is attacked by a wampa and during her escape is thrown from a mountain top. Luckily, she is found by Maxim who takes her back to his base to nurse her back to health. We see Maxim and the newly named Reebak bound together through her training. The rest of the issue takes readers through this bonding process all culminating with the Battle of Hoth and their contributions.
While this issue does not provide the same kind of story with our titular heroes or provide new groundbreaking context to the Star Wars canon, I have to say that this was the story that I enjoyed more in this issue. Waterhouse provides an easily digestible story that is overlayed with a message that readers of all ages should hear. Further, Fleeces captures the emotions of Reebak in a way that made me want to reach into the pages and protect her from the tauntaun bullies. Reebak is the best girl and deserves all the love.
Star Wars Adventures #22 is available anywhere comics are sold.
Star Wars Adventures #22
While Star Wars Adventures #22 does not provide the same kind of story with our titular heroes or provide new groundbreaking context to the Star Wars canon, I have to say that “a Tauntan Tail” was the story that I enjoyed more in this issue.