Review by Karl Verhoven
The thrills of The Last Fight of the Harbinger concluded in typically gratifying Star Wars fashion, and two elements from it feed into the opening chapter of Yoda’s Secret War. The first is that the Scar Squadron, an elite group of stormtroopers, appear to have a continuing part to play, and the second concerns their capture of C-3PO.
That, however, has little to do with Jason Aaron’s main story. Yoda hasn’t yet been seen in this Star Wars series, and much of the book concerns him. Aaron certainly has the words of wisdom down pat: “The Jedi care not for wealth. The Force is our only companion” and “mountain will not come to us. No other way is there”, and his Yoda is true to the films. He’s curious and capable, wise and eager to learn. Why, one could almost say to become teacher one never stop learning must. He’s drawn to an odd variance of the Force and more astute readers will probably figure out why before Yoda, because, bless him, he’s not read hundreds of science fiction stories. That, however, is not the point, and as he’d no doubt tell you himself, the journey is. Besides which, there’s a coda, and it features a great use of the Force.
Just like every other artist on the series to date, Salvador Larroca is superb. His scenery is expansive, his action scenes thrill and he is utterly convincing. The one slight weakness concerns his cast likenesses. Whereas Jorge Medina in the previous book didn’t quite capture the look of some cast members, Larroca is picture perfect, but that leads to some peculiar static expressions, and they’re distracting.
The subplot concerning C-3P0 continues in Out Among the Stars, and the final episode here originally occupied a Star Wars annual. Kelly Thompson’s story begins with Bash, who can see little difference between the oppressive Empire as it exists and the Rebels whose actions destroyed her livelihood. Unfortunate, then, that she has an injured Princess Leia in her room, and more bounty hunters and storm troopers arriving on her planet every day. Emilio Laiso is an impressive artist with a preference for the more buxom woman, and his influences are many and changing. At times there’s some Adam Hughes visible, at others a little Richard Corben, yet he can manage both. He’s certainly someone to look out for in the future. Thompson’s story has a moral centre and all the adventure reel thrills to be expected from Star Wars, without ever matching the top quality of Aaron’s work.