Star Wars Adventures #26 returns this week to bring more short stories aimed at a younger audience into the Star Wars canon. The Star Wars Adventures series took a short break from its two-story format in Star Wars Adventures #25 (review here), but Star Wars Adventures #26 brings the series back to its routine. Published by IDW Publishing Star Wars Adventures #26 features a main story where Rey is receiving a lesson from Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To and a secondary story about Resistance pilot Tallissan Lintra on a rescue mission.
“Life Lessons” is written by Cavan Scott who is no stranger to delivering compelling stories in the Star Wars Adventures series. He is joined by fellow Star Wars Adventures veterans artist Derek Charm and letterer Tom B. Long. They are joined by newcomer Megan Levens and colorist Charlie Kirchoff. The story follows Luke Skywalker and Rey seemingly early on in their training on Ahch-To as Rey looks to master the Force to help her friends in the Resistance.
The opening panels of Star Wars Adventures #26 show Rey having trouble staying patient with Luke’s lessons. Despite Luke’s calls for Rey to see the bigger picture, Rey insists that she can do more. With the fate of the Resistance in limbo, Rey wants to advance her abilities with the Force to make a difference. Her eagerness leads to some rather careless use of the Force that puts the native Lanai in danger. After a berating from Luke about her actions, Rey storms off to train on her own, but not before putting the old master’s legacy as a hero into question.
Rey continues her pursuit of proving herself as a capable Force user by lifting a giant boulder on the coast. In a moment of pride, Rey boasts her feat to Luke. As impressive of a feat as it was, Luke urges her to drop the boulder as something ominous approaches. Rey’s disruption of the boulder appeared to have irritated a sea monster. Now, Luke, Rey, and Chewbacca must defend the coast from an enraged beast while preventing any harm to the Lanai and porgs.
Looking back at Rey’s time on Ahch-To in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, I thought it might be difficult to offer a compelling story that could rival Rey’s journey with the Mirror Cave. However, writer Scott and artist Charm were more than up to the task. The story rings striking parallels to Luke’s own training on Dagobah all those years ago when he was desperate to help his friends in Cloud City. Artist Charm provides a very powerful panel that demonstrates just that.
Further, I can also see a resemblance to Anakin Skywalker’s training as well. Rey feels as if she is being held back despite her obvious adeptness with the Force. Whether or not this is intentional, showing her journey through multiple lenses and lessons shows that storytelling can be deep even for comic designed for a younger audience. While it was interesting to see the trio work together to battle the sea monster, I believe the early panels are where “Life Lessons” really shines.
The secondary story in Star Wars Adventures #26 is Tales from Wild Space: “Alone in the Dark” is written by Star Wars Adventures newcomer Adam Christopher, features art from Megan Levens, colors from Charlie Kirchoff and letters by Tom B. Long. The stories from Tales from Wild Space are told through Emil Graf in an effort to teach a life lesson to his crew. In a sort of connective tissue to the primary story, Emil tries to teach his crew about patience in the face of fear. He does this by telling a story about the Resistance pilot Tallissan Lintra.
Fans of the Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, will remember Lieutenant Tallissan as one of the leaders in the battle above D’Qar where the Resistance fought against the First Order and their siege dreadnought. Unfortunately, she would be killed later in the movie from the hanger bay explosion after the First Order tracked the Resistance through hyperspace. However, with other canon materials like Star Wars Adventures #26, Tallie lives on.
During a training exercise, Tallie and her squadron encounter sensor interference from an ionized gas cloud. The increased communication difficulty causes Tallie to abort the training and return to base. However, while in the process of calling the training, Tallie receives a distress signal coming from within the ionized gas cloud. Ever the hero, she takes her marque blue A-wing toward the signal knowing full well she would be going in and coming out blind.
When Tallie finally reaches the ship giving off the distress signal, she is surprised to discover it is largely empty. Not for long, however, as she is come upon by a Duros who claims she is pirate. With a blaster pointed directly at her, Tallie attempts to deescalate the situation and let it be known that she is only there to help. She successfully persuades the Duros, but now the duo has a bigger problem. With fear mounting, they must find a way to work together to escape the gas cloud with no communication or navigation.
Overall, I enjoyed the secondary story. While it does not provide much in the way of canon-defining material, it does something that I think is just as important. There is so little time on the big screen to give attention to all the characters we see on screen. Stories like Tales from Wild Space: “Alone in the Dark” give us readers an opportunity to learn more about the characters in the Star Wars universe. With this platform and writers like Christopher, new life can be breathed into characters we thought gone forever.
While I enjoy stories centered on the main cast, I hope that Star Wars Adventures gives us more about lesser-known characters. It helps to enhance the Star Wars canon and give a new perspective to characters we see on the big screen. I want to more about Tallie and her backstory and Tales from Wild Space: “Alone in the Dark” provides that catalyst.
Star Wars Adventures #26
While I enjoy stories centered on the main cast, I hope that Star Wars Adventures gives us more about lesser-known characters. It helps to enhance the Star Wars canon and give a new perspective to characters we see on the big screen.