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Evil Geek Book Report – Journey To Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #1-4

Everyone is excited about the new Star Wars movie. Especially after Lucasfilm dropped their full length trailer and for all intents and purposes it looks pretty damn good. While the world patiently waits another 2 months to see the Force Awakens in theaters Marvel smartly published a 4 issue miniseries called Shattered Empire (Journey To Star Wars: The Force Awakens). This was a comic I was hotly anticipating, a chance to prep myself for Episode 7 and bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the new one. Marvel announced that Greg Rucka, one of my favorite writers would be doing the book and this turned into an absolute must buy for me.

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WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD (kind of, but there ain’t much to spoil)

The series starts off in the final moments of The Battle Of Endor and we get to see more of the rebels battle in space. We are quickly introduced to Shara the pilot of Green 4 and the main character of these books. The surviving rebel forces all travel down to Endor to join in the celebration and we witness some fun moments between Han and Lando quibbling about the Falcon. It’s also a neat idea to show the whole thing from a more typical rebel solider point of view. As the party dies down they intercept some intelligence that the Empire has a base on a planet near the far side of Endor and building off their current momentum they immediately roll out to shut it down and in the process retrieve more important data.

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As the story progresses we don’t see much from the Empire’s point of view, which is a shame. There is a very interesting moment where Imperial Captain Lerr Duvat receives a private transmission from the (dead?) Emperor Palpatine to initiate Operation: Cinder. With no explanation it’s left as a mystery. What we do get to see though is Princess Leia travel to Naboo on a diplomatic mission with Shara acting as her pilot and body guard.  This is a nice touch because we haven’t really seen Naboo since Episode 3 (I’m not counting that weird celebration scene that is now apart of the ending of Return Of The Jedi) and we’ve certainly never seen Leia there. It’s nice to know that it’s still intact. At least for now, because as Han Solo and 3PO find out from an Imperial base Operation: Cinder is in progress and targeting Naboo and other locations.

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Apparently, Operation: Cinder involves jamming radio signals and creating strange and dangerous weather conditions (hurricanes and the like). I guess at some point Palpatine had demilitarized Naboo leaving them defenseless. Leia and Shara decide to take matters into their own hands and we find out that a wing of the castle on Naboo had been sealed off as an emergency protocol. It’s the exact hangar from Episode 1 where we see kid Anakin get in the cockpit of the plane (I’m forcing you to relive that terrible memory. Go ahead focus, I’ll wait). Leia even feels the ghost of Darth Maul which is kind of a cool. They end up flying into space and destroying all these imperial satellites with some help from Lando.

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The series picks up towards the end with issue #4. Shara gets hooked up with Luke which sadly is the first time you get to see him. They are on a mission to infiltrate an Imperial stronghold to retrieve some precious cargo and bluff their way in with imperial costumes and credentials. You see, the Emperor had stolen something that he was protecting in his labs there. It turns out to be two small trees that once grew in the Jedi temple on Coruscant that are obviously flowing with the Force. Luke is prepared to do anything to get them and what unfolds is easily the best battle scene of the whole miniseries. This issue actually feels the most like Star Wars and could be read independent of the rest.

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As a whole I was letdown by this miniseries. It certainly felt like way more of a cash in then supplemental text. I thought it would detail a good portion of what happened to the original cast from Episode 6 to 7. Let’s just say that the amazing Phil Noto cover from issue #1 is very misleading. In fact, this series did so little in the way of explaining anything really and just left more questions unanswered. What’s the deal with Operation: Cinder? Is the Emperor alive? Does he have powers beyond the grave? I expected a lot more from Rucka. Not to mention the art on this book just wasn’t up to snuff. Artist, Marco Checchetto was mediocre at best. He did the battle scenes very well (of which there were way too many) but his people leave a lot to be desired. Marvel this is a Star Wars book! You need your top tier talent. The second issue had THREE different artists. This is not ok.

Shattered Empire didn’t give me a clearer picture of much of anything going into Episode 7. I never would have dreamed that the Lando miniseries would be far superior to this. I’m sad to say it, but skip this one. Or if you want just a taste pick up issue #4.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on October 26, 2015, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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