The ‘Star Wars: Age of…’ comics was an ongoing series of comics, every two weeks we go a one-shot comics dedicated to a hero or villain. It started early in the year with ‘Age of Republic’ and moved to ‘Age of Rebellion’ and finally ‘Age of Resistance’ and each series was split in two, Heroes and Villains.
This post is dedicated to the ‘Age of Resistance – Heroes’ graphic novel and I’ll be taking a quick look at each issue for this post.
Set before the events of ‘The Force Awakens’, this issue lets us get to know Finn (or FN-2187 as he was known at the time) whilst still a part of the ‘First Order’ whilst operating as a sanitation worker. He encounters Kylo Ren before being ordered to suit up (into his armour) and join a squad on a mission. The mission is to get rid of an infestation of animals in a series of sewer tunnels.
During the mission, the squad are attacked by these bat-like creatures and injure the squad leader. Angry he orders FN-2187 to dispatch the creatures.
Finn doesn’t want to kill them so he manages to get a group of them onto a transport ship heading for a nearby moon that the ‘First Order’ are using as a rubbish dump.
Once on the moon, it tujrns out he isnt the first one to smuggle them off planet and the Transport Worker is happy to turn a blind eye to the creatures being brought over.
Its a pretty decent story, however, having Finn being a compassionate character at this point doesnt seem to gel with ou#ther material we have had in the past. In Greg Rucka’s ‘Before the Awakening’, FN-2187 is a model Stormtrooper, highly praised by Phasma and staunchly dedicated to the cause.
We find out in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ that it wasnt until he was ordered to fire on innocents that his programming failed because of ‘a feeling’ (The Force) and so I do feel that this story, whilst it fit with the narrative pre-TROS has become a bit redundant recently.
After an over-dramatic start, which initially put me off reading this story, the Poe issue is great.
Set before he joins the Resistance, Poe and his New Republic Squadron (including Karé from the Poe Dameron series) go after a mysterious ship that has stolen the head off of a New Republic Official’s Droid which may contain secrets pertaining to the First Order.
After the ship enters a rather dangerous Asteroid Field, Poe commands his squad to stay back whilst he pursues the enemy, who as they traverse the deadly terrain(?) they begin to help each other.
In the end, we learn that Poe has been talking with Vice-Admiral Holdo, who tells the hot-shot pilot about the Resistance.
The canon connections alone make this issue fun, with Poe and Karé worming together, knowing that down the line they will be fighting side-by-side on Black Squadron. We also get to see them in the T-85 X-Wings that we first saw in ‘Resistance’, and his time around they look a lot better than in the cartoon (the wings don’t open so wide here).
A well written piece on one of my favourite characters from the Sequel Trilogy and well worth the read.
Rose’s issue is essentially her life story, starting when her and Paige are kids living on Hays Minor, they spend time in their Grandmother’s flight simulator, Rose has an affinity for the mechanics side of things whilst Paige is a great pilot.
We see the First Order’s invasion of their home world and their futile attempts to thwart their Mining operation by sabotaging their Bombers, the shit down lasts for three days when the First Order returns with more Bombers.
Eventually, the sisters leave their home and join the Resistance when word of the destruction of Hays Minor reaches them. Hell bent on revenge, Leia meets them in the hanger bay and talks to them, calming them and they decide to stay and fight with the Resistance rather than go alone.
What you don’t realise until the end is that it’s told from Paige’s perspective rather than Rose’s which is what we are led to believe at first and it was a nice little twist.
I do have one issue though, I feel like I have read this story somewhere before, a lot of the events felt very familiar to me as I was reading and I wondered if Tom Taylor had co-written this with Elizabeth Wein who wrote the YA book ‘Cobalt Squadron’ that told the story of Rose and Paige before ‘The Last Jedi’, but what I think is quite likely is that he had considerable input for the Story Group on this one.
Nonetheless, it’s a lovely story and shines a spotlight on a great character.
There are parts of this one that I really liked. There are parts that I really didn’t.
The first third or so, with Rey and Leia talking about Han’s death was really well written and the art was great, showing us another perspective of that traumatic scene and seeing Leia’s reaction to the events.
Once Rey and Chewie are on the Falcon, the banter works well, they are struggling to keep the ship working and end up coming g out of hyperspace, conveniently near a scrapyard planet called Necropolis where they meet a freaky looking character who lets Rey go and find the parts she needs whilst the Falcon is locked down, with Chewie and R2 on board.
A giant snake-like monster attacks Rey once she finds the part, she gets into a ship that looks like Slave 1 (blatant fan service) and she confronts the creature after she figures out that it uses a beacon to disrupt hyperspace which draws ships to try e planet where the snake feeds and the creature feeds and there are more ships.
Once they leave Necropolis, we meet them again on Ahch-To, Rey climbs the steps and holds out the lightsaber to Luke.
Rey’s narration throughout saves the issue for sure, the Necropolis sequence feels like Tom Taylor needed to throw in some action to fill the pages, but I would have loved more Rey and Leia talking or even Rey, Chewie and R2 talking about Luke, building up Rey’s expectations before meeting the Jedi Master.
Ah well, I enjoyed some of it, thats worth something.
Age of Resistance Special
This book contains three short stories, the first is about Maz Kanata and is incredibly fun. Maz has hired Han and Chewie to take her to a self-splinted Baron on a far out ice planet who has stolen something from her. They reach his castle, Han and Chewie fight off the goons whilst Maz confronts her for, until Chewie arrives after smelling the Wookiee pelt the guy is wearing, all hell breaks loose with blasters until Maz gets her item (a helmet work by someone serving a Sith Lord) and the three return to the Falcon.
The second story is all about Amilyn Holdo during the Rebellion. She is disregarded by the crew because of her dying her hair and non-military background but when the ship is attacked by a Star Destroyer and the Captain killed she takes control of the crew. Following her orders to fire into the attacking ships Docking Bay whilst being pulled in by the Tractor Beam they destroy the Imperial Ship. Holdo is promoted to the rank of Captain.
The final part focuses on BB-8 who is on a mission to infiltrate a First Order base and download some information whilst Poe waits outside. BB-8 gets distracted when he sees a Stormtrooper electrocuting some Droids. BB-8 shocks the Trooper and with the help of the rescued Droids manages to get in information and blow up the facility.
Outside, Poe thinks his little buddy is destroyed and is relieved when he arrives at the ship.
Back at the Resistance base on D’Qar, Poe returns with BB-8 and the rescued Droids.
Honestly, this one is my favourite from the whole collection. I wish the whole series had been more like this, with a couple of shorter stories rather than some that we got. The Finn and Rey stories had some good moments but could have easily been shorter. Maybe if those two were cut down and put in one book we could have had a couple of other stories.
The Maz story was easily the most fun, whilst driven by action the banter between Maz, Han and Chewie was great writing.
The Holdo issue just gave us a great look at Holdo’s military ability, and makes me wonder why her exploits like this weren’t greater knowledge. I’m also curious if this is the Battle of Kyron Belt that Poe mentions in ‘The Lat Jedi’.
The BB-8 story doesn’t add much to his character but is a fun adventure that the C-3PO one-shot from a couple of years could have been.
I’m pleased I bought this in the Kindle Sale. For me the book has two great issues one good and two mediocre and not worth full price to me.
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