STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 By Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and Mike Mayhew
Plot
Art
Characterization
Summary
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 is a satisfactory and safe standalone comic in the STAR WARS Universe. It does not take any risks as far as Ben Blacker and Ben Acker's story is concerned. Revisiting our favorite characters is fun and the art is beautiful, but that is not enough to save this comic.
76 %
Does Not Reinvent the Wheel
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STAR WARS films are known for their unforgettable characters, imaginative locations and battles, and their fascinating, inventive stories. The one-shot comic STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 satisfies the first two of these three prerequisites but fails the third.

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Starring our main heroes Han, Leia, and Luke, writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker manage to fill us with nostalgia for older STAR WARS adventures while depicting more of the amazing planet of Crait. However, this book takes no chances with its story. It also doesn’t affect the STAR WAS canon. It’s a rather pointless story overall, but STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1’s terrific art by Mike Mayhew and fun adventure make it an easy enough read.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Same Heroes

Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia Organa. Han Solo. These names should be etched in stone in the minds of every citizen. They are iconic, strong heroes that the STAR WARS franchise loves to use as banners for their brand. STAR WARS comics have focused on these heroes since Jason Aaron’s initial #1 in early 2015. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 claims to be a spin-off adventure, but instead it feels much more like a retread of Aaron’s run.

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In this comic, the rebels are still looking for a new base after evacuating Yavin. The necessity for a base leads Leia to bring Han, Luke, and some of the Red Squadron to the planet Crait. There, Leia meets up with an old friend to see whether the rebels can settle on the salt-filled world.

Leia, Han, and Luke act exactly how you’d think they would in a post-NEW HOPE era comic. Han is still considering whether he should truly dedicate himself to the Rebel Alliance or whether he should return to smuggling in order to fulfill his debt to Jabba. Luke is still an idealistic farm boy who is coming into his own as a Jedi. Leia has by far the most captivating story where she must come into her own as a leader. Her story has some clear parallels to Poe’s in THE LAST JEDI. Meanwhile, this comic also does a good job of addressing Leia’s grief over the loss of her parents (something STAR WARS doesn’t talk about enough).

Altogether, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 does its characters justice, but it doesn’t do anything new with them. You’d think that if you had some of the greatest heroes in cinema at your disposal you would write an innovative story.

Different Planet

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

One of the complaints of THE FORCE AWAKENS is that it didn’t bring us any distinctive, unique planets. The planets all seemed like copies of locations in the original STAR WARS. The planet Jakku was basically Tatooine, Starkiller Base was the Death Star, and D’Qar was Yavin 4. THE LAST JEDI actually brought us to intriguing new locations. For me, the most aesthetically beautiful location was the planet of Crait. This is why I was thrilled to hear that Acker and Blacker were writing a solo comic just on this awesome planet.

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Acker and Blacker sadly do not do anything original with this world. There are no hidden secrets or connections on Crait. We do get a brief look at the salt mines on the planet, but this is for a mere second. The most intriguing part of Crait is its connection to the early Rebellion. The book LEIA: PRINCESS OF ALDERAAN talks about Leia’s father, Bail Organa, and his secret base on Crait. This comic hardly expands on the ideas in that book.

Lucasfilm marketed STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 as connective tissue to the LAST JEDI, but in the end, this was misleading. It hardly connects to THE LAST JEDI at all; it feels like this comic only exists because of the newest movie. Crait in this comic is visually compelling, but Acker and Blacker do not go as in-depth with the history and relevance of the planet as I would have wanted from a book called STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1.

Art in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1

A redeemable quality of this book is the art by Mike Mayhew. Mayhew is no newcomer to STAR WARS; having worked on STAR WARS: LANDO and STAR WARS: SHATTERED EMPIRE. His experience in the STAR WARS style shows in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1. The comic opens with a major aerial firefight evoking the Battles of Yavin and Endor. X-Wings zoom past a fleet while Tie Fighters follow not far behind, firing green lasers. This page effectively draws you right into the STAR WARS mood with its calls to adventure and excitement.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI -- THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

As has been the case in recent STAR WARS comics (especially the ones illustrated by Salvador Larroca), STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 depicts its characters in a mostly photorealistic style. Mayhew effectively makes this technique not feel hokey, and for the most part, the characters appearances translate off the page.

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Mayhew also does a fabulous job depicting the planet of Crait. He is able to capture the detailed shading in the red salt and surrounding mountains of the planet. This detail does a better job connecting you mentally to your experience watching THE LAST JEDI than any of the writing.

Final Thoughts

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — THE STORMS OF CRAIT #1 is a highly disappointing comic. Ben Blacker and Ben Acker had an opportunity to tell a fascinating, contained story about the planet Crait. However, the writers decided to commit to another nostalgic retread rather than making anything different. Because of its delightful characters and striking art, the comic is entertaining, but it definitely is not the direction Lucasfilm and Marvel should take with their STAR WARS comics.

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