The Star Wars Adventures series by IDW Publishing returns to comic book shops this month with Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019. Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019 is the second annual issue to be released and features two unrelated stories as per Star Wars Adventures format.
The biggest difference between the annual issues and the regular issue is the first story is significantly longer providing an opportunity for a multi-arc driven story. In Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019 readers follow Lando Calrissian and Jaxxon as the attempt to liberate a planet from Imperial tyranny. The secondary story in Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019 consists of a retelling of the heroism of Padmé Amidala to young Leia Organa.
“Hair-Brained Heist” is written by Cavan Scott and features art from Mauricet who both worked on the secondary story in Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018. Charlie Kirchoff provides the colors for the story while Tom B. Long takes up his position is usual position as letter. “Hair-Brained Heist” returns the giant-rabbit humanoid Jaxxon to the Star Wars canon after his introduction in Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018. The Lepi smuggler finds himself imprisoned on Rekkana prompting him to send out a distress signal that is intercepted by General Lando Calrissian.
Star Wars Adventures continually add in new species to the Star Wars canon. Star Wars Annual 2019 is no different. In the aftermath of the destruction of the second Death Star, the Empire is on its back foot. Retreating to the outer reaches of space, they continue to attempt to rebuild. One such effort places the Imperials on Rekkana. On Rekkana the Empire have enslaved the native Rekk despite their larger numbers and their expertise in computer-controlled systems. Jaxxon attempted to rescue the Rekk chancellor but it seems that he was caught in Mr. McGregor’s garden.
Lando, who is using the Millennium Falcon much to behest of Han Solo, works with Jaxxon to escape Rekkana with the chancellor but not before learning why the Rekk aren’t fighting back. The Empire appears to have stolen an ancient relic that the Rekk find sacred. The theft of the totem took to the fight out of the Rekk and now retrofitting Imperial craft with their computer-controlled technology. Now, the duo must find away to find the totem wherever the Empire has hidden it to save the Rekk.
As mentioned before, Star Wars Annual 2019 features a longer story than is normal for the Star Wars Adventures series. As a result, writer Cavan Scott is able to flesh out much more of the background. Not only do we see previous Star Wars Adventures characters like Commodore Korda who has been a thorn in the side of many Star Wars heroes, we also see our favorites like Han, Leia, and even C-3PO.
Further, readers able to see how the transition from the Rebellion to the New Republic isn’t as easy as we may of thought. Politics are at play that make it difficult for our heroes to outwardly be involved in missions so close to the core worlds which causes them to rely on smugglers like Jaxxon. Despite being a book aimed at a younger audience, Scott is still able to bring elements into the story that continue fill in the gaps between Episode VI and Episode VII.
The art in Star Wars Annual is also very pleasant. As Scott and Mauricet have worked together before, the art and the story blend together nicely. Mauricet is able to make even the seemingly absurd thought of a bi-pedal giant rabbit humanoid fighting stormtroopers seem as normal as Chewbacca playing a hologame against a droid. Given his rabbit-like features, Jaxxon is able to accomplish some feats that may only be accomplished by Jedi as jumps and evades in combat. I am not sure we will ever seem in live-action but as long as Mauricet is drawing him, I look forward to the next time the smuggler gets into trouble.
Overall, “Hair-Brained Heist” is an enjoyable story that builds off of last year’s issue. I hope to see more of Jaxxon in the future and the addition of more alien species that we have never seen before. I hope that the executives at Disney how well having aliens in your space opera can really change the way events transpire.
The Rekk are obviously very advanced with their ability to manipulate technology but are still very beholden to their religious ways. This allows for a different approach to the aliens we see and would allow for more stories to be told than that of just the humans we see more often than not. And besides, who doesn’t want to see a giant humanoid rabbit evade stormtrooper fire on the big screen?
Rating: 5/5 Ruggedly Rabid Rabbits
“So Much More”
“So Much More” features writer Pierrick Colinet and artist Elsa Charretier who continue to partner on Star Wars Adventures after issue 22. Margaux Saltel, who has worked with Collinet and Charretier on Superfreaks, provides the art while Tom B. Long is credited as the letterer yet again. “So Much More” takes readers through the accolades of Padme Amidala dating back to her introduction in Episode I through Queen Breha Organa to a very young Leia Organa.
While we have seen Leia get much of her political expertise and desire to help others from her time on Alderaan, this is one of instances of where we may see the influence her birth mother on the future symbol of the Rebellion and Resistance. Through Queen Organa’s retelling, she attempts to impart the strengths Padme had inside and outside of the political arena. While little Leia is squirming around Queen Organa while holo videos play, fans receive a nice recount of how badass Padme was a leader in so many areas.
The highlight of this secondary story is certainly the art. Artist Charretier backdrops Queen Organa’s story telling with shot for shot scene recreation. It provides the extra weight to retelling that takes readers through some of Padme’s best moments. While Leia is certainly too young to remember these stories, it does implying that Leia’s unrelenting sense of hope in all situations may have started in this garden on Alderaan.
Overall, “So Much More” is sweet and too the point. However, due to the art and showing more of Leia’s childhood, I think the length was perfect. The messages are delivered well and the art is fantastic. Even if Leia doesn’t remember Queen Organa’s stories, I surely come away from this story with a rekindled love for Padme Amidala.
Rating: 5/5 Loveable Little Leias
Star Wars Adventures Annual 2019 is available now.