DESTINY: ROSE

Each issue of STAR WARS ADVENTURES: FORCES OF DESTINY has focused on a different central female character in the STAR WARS universe. From Rey to Ahsoka, we have seen all of our favorites shine. Latest in IDW’s FORCES OF DESTINY miniseries is a comic all about Episode VIII’s Rose Tico and her sister, Paige. Written by Delilah Dawson with art by Nicoletta Baldari, STAR WARS ADVENTURES: FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE is the fifth and final issue of this series.

About FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE

DESTINY: ROSE
Image courtesy of IDW.

During one of the opening scenes of STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII, Paige Tico is lost to the universe forever. Though Rose speaks of her fondly, we never actually get to meet the character. FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE takes us to a moment earlier in time, way before Rose and Finn became partners in rebel crime.

In this comic, the Tico sisters are stationed at Leia Organa’s Resistance Base on D’Qar. At this point, Rose is a skilled but insecure mechanic. Meanwhile, her older sister Paige is a confident gunner. During a meeting, General Organa requests everyone to brainstorm ways to collect natural resources.

Instantly, Rose has an idea, but she’s too nervous to mention it. After all, she has high respect for the General and doesn’t want to disappoint her. However, Paige has much more faith in Rose’s abilities. Loudly, she vouches for Rose’s plan to build some rechargeable vehicles out of junk heap parts. Rose does face great opposition from other engineers on the base. Still, Leia is very encouraging. She takes time out of her schedule to relate to Rose one-on-one as an equal. The General tells Rose that trying and failing is better than doing nothing. You can tell why Rose looks up to Leia so much. Like Paige, Leia is a confident and powerful woman who genuinely believes Rose can be like her someday. It’s sweet to see that dynamic in action.

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With Paige’s encouragement, Rose gets two vehicles up-and-running. The sisters decide to ride out on a scouting mission, but become separated. It’s up to Rose to find and rescue her sister lost in the jungles of D’Qar.

Remembering Paige Tico

DESTINY: ROSE
Image courtesy of IDW.

Overall, this is a very sweet comic. You can clearly see why Rose looks up to Paige so much. Paige Tico’s unabashed and unconditional love helped Rose change from shy and self-conscious into the stubborn and brave powerhouse we know her as today. In THE LAST JEDI, Rose Tico has no hesitation in anything she does. Rose is the rebel who laughs while burning Canto Bight, gambling haven for the elite, to the ground. It’s fascinating to see a time when Rose wasn’t always this confident. We get to see another side to the character — and to see how big an impact the other women in her life had on her.

That being said, there’s something incredibly bittersweet about this story. FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE is very clearly a children’s story, with bright colors and a clear moral. Nowhere in this comic does it mention the fact that Paige dies. Yet anyone who’s seen THE LAST JEDI knows that’s the case. There’s something very upsetting about reading such a cheery, childlike story while knowing what’s about to happen. That knowledge taints the sisters’ happy smiles on every page. It’s almost like observing the story through Rose’s memories. They’re powerful memories, but painful — memories that strengthen Rose’s resolve to be the person her sister knew she could be.

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Of course, if you’re thinking about getting FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE for your kids, these are all things to consider. Is your child ready to handle a conversation about death? Particularly, the death of a loved one? Because even if the story doesn’t mention that topic directly, it’s still in there. Certainly, that’s a valuable conversation to have, but make sure you’re all ready for it.

Adorable Artwork

DESTINY: ROSE
Image courtesy of IDW.

The art in this issue is a lot of fun to look at. Nicoletta Baldari’s vibrant color combinations and complex panel layouts make all the important stuff pop off the page. All the characters have deeply expressive faces that heighten the drama and comedy. Altogether, FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE is a comic you can flip through again and again.

However, I did have one minor issue. Rose’s jumpsuit isn’t baggy enough! Something I liked about Rose’s outfit in the film was how it wasn’t form-fitting and was more androgynous than other female costumes in the series. It looked different and unique. That element is lost in FORCES OF DESTINY. It’s a little thing, but it bothers me. It feels like they’re trying to femme her up.

In Conclusion

DESTINY: ROSE
Image courtesy of IDW.

All in all, STAR WARS ADVENTURES: FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE is a fun read with surprising depth. It’s cute and colorful but also hits you where it hurts. As a Rose Tico fan, I enjoyed this added dimension to Rose’s character. I feel like I know her a little bit better now.

STAR WARS ADVENTURES: FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE by Delilah Dawson and Nicoletta Baldari
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
In the fifth and final installment of FORCES OF DESTINY, we get a glimpse of the old life Rose Tico had with her older sister Paige. With vivid colors and a silly story, FORCES OF DESTINY: ROSE & PAIGE definitely comes off as a children's book. However, there's still a lot going on beneath the surface.
90 %
Cute But Bittersweet

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