Star Wars Adventures #30 from IDW Publishing brings two new stories to add to the ever-growing Star Wars canon. Star Wars Adventures ended 2019 with a three-issue run as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker series. Star Wars Adventures #30, the first issue of 2020, features a post-The Last Jedi duo of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and General Armitage Hux as well as a secondary story with Emil Graf and company.
“Loyalty Test” is written by Michael Moreci who is also the writer of the highly anticipated Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales coming in April. Moreci is joined by artist Arianna Florean, layout assistant Mario del Pennion, colorist Valentina Taddeo, and letter Jake M. Wood. The story features the always loving relationship of Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux. The two look to do what they always attempt to do during in the Sequel Trilogy; destroy the Resistance.
“Loyalty Test” opens above the planet Vendaxa with Hux giving one of his patent motivational speeches to a regiment of First Order stormtroopers. There are rumors that the Resistance is hiding on the planet’s surface and Hux plans to snuff them out. Before the mission can begin, the now Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren, interrupts the general to take command of the mission.
Singularly motivated to find Rey and crush the Resistance, Ren believes that he can do the mission alone better than Hux and his troopers. Hux, never the one to take being upstaged lightly, offers to accompany the Supreme Leader. The general passes off his offer of assistance as a way to learn from Ren but given their relationship, it is hard to think he doesn’t have an ulterior motive.
The two begin the search on the planet’s surface without the support of the stormtroopers. Hux is weary of the decision but Ren is assured that he can handle whatever comes their way. Their disagreement leads to a conversation about how loyalty between individuals is established. Before they inevitably come to blows over the discussion, they are greeted by one of the planet’s indigenous fauna, an acklay. Now the two must determine where their loyalties truly lie as they face a formidable foe who cares little for their squabbles.
I found “Loyalty Test” rather enjoyable. Given the time the duo shares on-screen in the Sequel Trilogy, I think it can be easy to see their relationship as one-sided. However, Morcei provides a little more nuance. Despite their competing goals, there was a time where they could have had a relationship that resembled Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. Events in The Rise of Skywalker show that the two would never quite see that come to a head but the seeds were there in Morcei’s story. Even though Star Wars Adventures is geared to a younger audience it certainly lays the groundwork for something similar to James Lucero’s Tarkin with Hux and Ren.
Rating: 5/5 Angrily Attacking Acklay
“The Lost Stories” Part 1
“The Lost Stories” is written by Star Wars staple and lore veteran Cavan Scott. David Buisan provides the stories art, Charlie Kirchoff provides colors, and Jake Wood rounds out the team as the letterer. Scott’s story follows Emil Graf and the crew of the Star Herald. Typically stories involving the Star Herald are featured in “Tales from Wild” where Graf tells his crew a retrospective Star Wars story to teach them a life lesson. However, “The Lost Stories” is all about Star Herald’s crew.
The story opens with Emil Graf on the run from First Order stormtroopers through a crowded market. Through a bit of teamwork, the Star Herald is able to evade capture and escape the planet. Graf immediately opens up a holo-connection with his great-aunt Lina Graf. Emil tells her that he has liberated the location of the lost library of Nelgenam from the First Order. Lina Graf, who is also featured in Scott’s Adventures in Wild Space and Tales from Vader’s Castle, commends his meddling in First Order affairs but is worried about the risk he is taking. Emil assures her that the information in the archive will benefit the galaxy.
To many knowledge, the lost library of Nelgenam isn’t something discussed before in Star Wars lore. However, with the assistance of artist Buisan and colorist Kirchoff, writer Scott is able to paint the picture of a vast library that looks to rival the Jedi Archives on Coruscant. Now, the planet is nothing but rumble. Emil and the rest of the crew accompany him as he attempts to unlock the library’s secrets. As is the case with any dark, crumbling, and seemingly abandoned building, the members of the Star Herald look to be in for more than one surprise.
In all, I am excited to see where Scott takes this story. I am a sucker for never before seen Star Wars canon. Given the art in the story and the background details, it looks to be something unique and separated from the Sequel Trilogy material fans are being given over the last couple of months. The Grafs may be a lesser-known family in Star Wars for fans. However, the older generations of Grafs have their own accolades. This story may give Emil Graf his own piece in Star Wars lore for the fans to enjoy.
Star Wars Adventures #30 is available now wherever comics are sold.