REVIEW: ‘Star Wars Adventures,’ Annual 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 - But Why Tho

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 is a two-story comic from IDW Publishing. “The Hoojib Menace” is written by Cavan Scott with art by Ariana Florean, colors by Ronda Pattison, and letters by Johanna Nattalie. “The Coin” is written by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo with art by Loo, colors by Megan Huang, and letters by Nattalie. Each story is a middle-grade romp through a familiar Star Wars locale or with some familiar Star Wars characters.

” The Hoojib Menace” started Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 on a rough note for its first few pages. Its story felt rather contrived, and its art left Han Solo looking more like Flynn Rider than anybody else. But once the story made a complete change in tone out of left field, I was hooked and enjoying it by the end.

Star Wars has proven itself a big, open playground for creators to take a lot of liberty within of late, but it’s hard to sell a story based on existing characters if they’re not acting like how you’d typically expect those characters to act. Han begins this story straight up asking for trouble trying to find a pet to give Jabba the Hutt as a gift. The tone just felt very odd at first. By the end, though, I forgot about the weird depiction of Han visually and found the character I’ve always known. Particularly a moment where he wants to cut and run, but Chewie convinced him he has to stay and do the right thing felt like an apt depiction of Han from A New Hope.

“The Coin” takes the approach of putting young and new characters in a familiar location. After pickpocketing an invaluable coin, Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian desperately needs it back. The people of Cloud City don’t especially trust him, but he hopes this coin will help protect them against the Empire. I liked this story for its simplicity. It takes you through the eyes and thoughts of kids the same age as the intended reader and allows them to feel how they feel, learn something new, change their minds, and make amends. Is the specific plot groundbreaking? Certainly not. But is the story’s lesson strong and well-delivered? Absolutely.

Visually, this story shows off a very cool-looking droid that Lando’s head emanates from holographically. I have no idea if this is an original invention of the creative team, but it gives an extra level of sheen to the story. I also really appreciate that both stories are able to avoid the typical grey and brown color palette that plagues so many Star Wars comics. It’s no secret that a lot of desert worlds inhabit the Star Wars universe, so any time that greens and blues get to grace a Star Wars comic’s pages is a welcome color direction. Letters are standard Star Wars fare that never gets too fancy so as to be unreadable, but neither do they stand out in any particular way.

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 has a rocky opening, but the remaining three-quarters deliver an enjoyable middle-grade story with good morals.

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021
4

TL;DR

Star Wars Adventures Annual 2021 has a rocky opening, but the remaining three-quarters deliver an enjoyable middle-grade story with good morals.