In Review: Star Wars: Forces of Destiny-Ahsoka & Padme

The art matches the cartoons seamlessly, but the story is average.

The covers: Four covers to collect for those who need more from a galaxy far, far away…The A cover is by interior artist and colorist Valentina Pinto. This looks like a cell from an animated episode, with Ahsoka in an action stance with lightsabers ignited in each hand. Immediately behind her is Padmé Amidala, her arms crossed as she looks steadily at the reader. Behind the pair is Coruscant at night, a violet sky reveals silhouettes of the many ships constantly in motion on this world. This was the cover I picked up. Elsa Charretier illustrates the B cover with colors by Matt Wilson. This continues the theme of their covers on the previous issues in this series: Padmé is in the foreground, with Ahsoka back to back to her. The pair are standing before a symbol from the films, I think it’s the Empire (though it hasn’t formed yet), and within it can be seen the city of Theed. This is gorgeous art with beautiful coloring. The RI-A Animation Art cover is the best in this format yet. The padwan and the senator stand before some of the architecture of Coruscant and it’s outstanding. I love every element of this cover, with the characters having light shining behind them as if they’ve just descended from the heavens, while the background is flat out stunning for all its wonderful sights and shapes. The Con Exclusive cover is by Charretier and Wilson and follows the pattern of the previous Con Exclusive covers: the art from the B cover is used, but all the text has been removed. This is fantastic. Overall grades: A A, B A, RI-A A+, and Con Exclusive A

The story: Ahsoka and Barriss Offee are sparing within the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in the book’s opening. Ahsoka wins the battle making an unusual move, which Barriss disapproves of. This causes Ahsoka to say, “Master Anakin would say it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you do so.” This turns the conversation to how masters train their padawans, ending with the pair realizing their are different ways to solving problems. Back in her room, Ahsoka tries to relax until someone knocks on her door: Padmé. She has a job for her and that constitutes the plot of this issue by Beth Revis. The new race that’s introduced in this issue is very interesting and I would love to see more of these people in other books. When trouble appears, both women go into action and it’s cool. The message for this issue comes across a stronger than in previous issues, leaving me wishing it could have been more subtle. I felt it was really hammered. This was a fine outing, it’s always neat to see a story with Ahsoka, but this is not a memorable one. Overall grade: B

The art: Valentina Pinto is both the artist and colorist of this issue. The visuals on this book look the closest to any of the animated series and one’s liking of the art will depend on what one thinks of the Force of Destiny cartoons. I though it looked good, but there were times when elements struck me as odd, but that’s what I feel sometimes during the cartoons. The first page with the padawans sparring is outstanding. On the second page Ahsoka’s increasing funk at Barriss’s words is noticeable and highlighted by the shade that colors her. The Jedi Temple corridors and Ahsoka’s room are neat to see, but they are brighter and sparser than I had imagined. Padmé looks good, with her profile on 6 is outstanding. Coloring for her scenes with Ahsoka are great as they fall into shaded colors when their conversation goes somewhat dark. The design of the new race is great and I, repeat, really want to see more of them in another book. As Ahsoka scopes out the settings it’s a visual tour de force. The climax looks great with bodies flying, a blaster flying, lightsabers in use, and a neat explosion. I’m liking Pinto’s work. If there’s a sequel to this series, Pinto should be asked to return. Overall grade: A-

The letters: Sounds, dialogue, scene settings, and information in Aurebesh are crafted by Tom B. Long. There are several panels in the opening that require a lot of dialogue and Long inserts them expertly, avoiding overwhelming the visuals. His sounds are outstanding. This book is loaded with them and they are joy to encounter. I am especially happy to see ZOT in this book. Overall grade: A

The final line: The art matches the cartoons seamlessly, but the story is average. Good for younglings, average for oldsters. Then again, remember who this series is intended for! Overall grade: A-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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