We take a look back in time with Star Wars #27 as Luke reads an accounting of one of Yoda’s stories written by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Quite possibly we’re going to learn about the origin of lightsabers, as well.
Star Wars #27
Cover Price: $3.99*
Story Pages: 20**
Release Date: January 25th, 2017
Collected in: Star Wars v5: Yoda’s Secret War
Other Books to Check Out: Poe Dameron #10
*: Physical copy includes code for digital copy
**: Please keep in mind that for Star Wars comics I include the “opening crawl” recap since these have traditionally been a part of Star Wars storytelling. For most comics I do not include the recap page as story content.
The Star Wars comics so far have been telling stories set in the time right after the original movie, with a few one-off issues exploring the time Obi-Wan Kenobi spent after the Clone Wars. This issue takes things a step further by not only jumping either further back to a pre-Clone Wars Yoda, but by also making the story cover an entire arc. This is just the first issue of the arc in question, and it takes a bit of time to get going. There is a question of precisely when this story takes place, and it is setting up a mystery which may or may not lead all the way up to the Death Stars.
My first impressions of this issue were not entirely favorable as it reminded me of last year’s Obi-Wan and Anakin mini-series. While the art in that series, and this issue, was quite nice the story was rather lacking. The early parallels between the stories are easy to draw. In both cases our protagonists are drawn to a mysterious world inhabited by relatively primitive cultures locked in a duel between two sides. Despite the gap in technology between the off-world heroes and the locals our protagonists quickly find themselves outmatched. In the case of Star Wars #27 the equalizing factor is the weapons, which Yoda discovers he cannot easily deflect with the Force. There is a strong hint that these weapons may be built out of kyber crystals, or something close to them in origin, but the name is never actually used.
Of course we know kyber crystals have been used by the Jedi and Sith for millennia, so it doesn’t seem likely these are kyber crystals. It is odd that Yoda doesn’t make the connection, though, unless we’re supposed to assume that the kyber technology has been lost at some point. There is some fun to be had from composing theories about the rocks, but I have to admit I am more annoyed by it than intrigued. This will probably read better in the trade, but right now I feel that Yoda should have at least had some questions or comments that could have helped clarify things.
The other part of the plot to consider is that we’re basically doing a Lord of the Flies story here, and with the exception of the original source material I don’t find these too interesting. Your mileage may vary, but tales about kids fighting other kids for mysterious reasons doesn’t do much for me. On the flip side it is good to see Yoda in a role where he is not automatically deferred to. Even when fighting Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones there’s a certain amount of deference he is shown, and everyone automatically bows to his wisdom. These kids don’t, and it is refreshing. Additionally he is normally in the “I know more than everyone else” role, and in this case he is the one who needs to learn things from others. In that regard this is a strong story.
I think the bigger concern here is that, so far, it does not feel like a Star Wars tale. With the exception of the use of Yoda and an acknowledgement that the Force won’t help him here this feels like it got lifted from a different pitch. That’s the same problem that Obi-Wan and Anakin had, and that’s a large part of the reason no one even remembers that series a year later. A lot is going to hinge on the significance of the crystals on this planet, and I desperately hope that we don’t find out this is the “rediscovery” of kyber crystals.
This is the start of a story arc, so I am willing to cut Star Wars #27 some slack in regards to not explaining everything up front. That said it feels like some obvious questions should already have been asked and answered, and it is frustrating that they have not. Additionally, the basic subject matter of kids fighting kids over glowing rocks is not inherently interesting at this point. We still have a ways to go with this story so I expect that things will get better as we go, but as it stands now I’m looking forward to getting back to the proper Star Wars storyline in progress.