In Review: Star Wars Adventures #18

The teaming of Jar Jar and Padmé is storytelling gold.

The covers: Three different covers to find if yousa bombad fan. Yeah, I went there. The A cover by Derek Charm has Jar Jar recoiling in fear as Padmé gently pushes him back and raises her pistol. Behind the pair is a structure made of rocks, insinuating they’re in an ancient building. I love the look of the Gungan on this and Amidala looks as though she’s ready to take someone out. Very cool. The B by Arianna Florean showcases the characters from the second tale: Ducain, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian. The iconic Millennium Falcon is behind the foursome with an explosion of orange below it. I like this, too. The final cover is the Retailer Incentive cover by Valentina Pinto. This has Padmé standing in her white outfit from Episode II holding her blaster up in her right hand. She smiles as a strand of hair falls onto her forehead. Behind her is Jar Jar sporting a grin and putting both thumbs up with how happy he is with his current situation. Behind him is some grating and a window that shows space. I also like this. Any of these covers is worth picking up. Overall grades: All A 

The stories: “Raiders of the Lost Gundark” by Delilah Dawson is a twelve paged adventure featuring Jar Jar and Padmé on a quest to find the treasure at the end of a Gungan map. Not wishing to draw the ire of the Gungans, Padmé initially declines, but Jar Jar counters with “But disa was Boss Nass’s idea, bringin dis problem to yousa! He said ‘Dat Queen is owin’ us!'” The pair head out on kaadu into a forest where the vines aren’t what they appear to be. The pair have to escape this threat, cross a wobbly bridge, and make their way through a cave to find the object Nass desires. I have to give Dawson a grade of A simply for the dialogue and actions on Page 10. The final page has a solid laugh, ending with the only possible conclusion. This story was a lot of fun. This is followed by the eight paged Flight of the Falcon Part 5: “Grand Theft Falcon” by Michael Moreci. Narrated by Ducain, an employee of Maz Kantana, the young man explains how he came to be co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon and how he stole it from Han Solo. Page 6 has Ducain’s ventures take a sharp and deadly turn. Just as Bazine thinks she’s hit another dead end, she receives a holo call from a character from the previous issue, setting her off on her next destination, which is the Star Wars Adventures: Flight of the Falcon one-shot that concludes this sage. Very enjoyable. Overall grades: “Raiders of the Lost Gundark” A+ and “Grand Theft Falcon” A-

The art: Derek Charm is knocking the first story of the park with his sensational artwork. I love the look of Queen Amidala on the first page and Jar Jar is a delightful hot mess on every page he appears. The Gungan’s bugged out eyes and open maw made me just so happy to see. I also have to say how much I love the highly detailed map Jar Jar flashes on the first page. The threat on the third page is outstanding, with Jar Jar visual perfection during the struggle. The bridge sequence is fun, with each character visually demonstrating how they can cross the gap. The cave is wonderful on Page 9, with Padmé creating a solid laugh with the way she’s rendered in the fourth panel. My hat is off to Charm for capturing the feel of a classic film opening on 10. Jar Jar’s large panel on 11 is sensational and I’m glad that this romp ends with the same reaction. Charm is aces on this. The second story has Arianna Florean handling the art chores. Her handsome visuals capture the look of classic animation in every panel, with each character and setting brilliantly illustrated. I like how Ducain ages as the story progresses. Page 5 shows the older character living the high life, and the turn of a page shows a very deadly individual crossing his path and changing his fortunes. Bazine appears on the final two pages looking equally spectacular, though I really dislike the blur effect that’s done to make the background distant from her. This effect in this series has got to be dropped because it looks terrible. Overall grades: “Raiders of the Lost Gundark” A+ and “Grand Theft Falcon” A-

The colors: Since there’s no credit given on the first tale, I’m guessing that Charm colored his own work. The colors are vivid, starting with royal reds, bright yellows for an exclamation, and Jar Jar’s orange skin and yellow eyes. The green vegetation of Naboo is beautiful and I like how it goes to icky black when the pair enter the forest full of vines. The browns, greens, and dull colors of the characters add considerably to the ninth page as the pair ventures through the cave. The overhead light source on 10 is great and the lime scream on 11 fun. The greens on Nass are cool, as is the red sound effect that ends the story. Adele Matera is the colorist of “Grand Theft Falcon.” The first panel of this tale is resplendent with colors from the many flags above the entrance to Maz’s. I like how Ducain’s narration is in a green colored box with a red outline, drawing the reader’s eyes every time it appears. Han is older in this tale, so streaks of gray appear in his hair. The last two pages have a beautiful light blue sky that allows the darkly colored characters to stand out. Overall grades: “Raiders of the Lost Gundark” A+ and “Grand Theft Falcon” A

The letters: Tom B. Long is responsible for the issue’s text which includes Jar Jar’s opening bellow, dialogue and narration (the same font), scene settings, sounds, a fantastic scream, and the tease for the one-shot. Jar Jar’s yell that proceeds his entrance is perfection. The dialogue and narration are easy to read, but they should have been different fonts as they are different forms of communication for the reader. Rather than be dissimilar fonts, they are in different colored balloons, putting the work on the colorist, rather than the letterer, to get the job done. The sounds are large and fun and the scream, uttered twice, is as frantic and ear splitting as it must have been to the characters. Overall grade: A

The final line: The teaming of Jar Jar and Padmé is storytelling gold. He’s hilarious and she’s not going to play games. The visuals on this story only add to the humor. The second tale is more for adults, explaining how Han lost the Falcon, though it has no conclusion, instead being finished in a one-shot. It’s enjoyable. 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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