In Review: Star Wars: Forces of Destiny-Rose & Paige

I hope this team reunites soon for more adventures of these fabulous siblings.

The covers: Four to find for this final issue! The A cover is by interior artist and colorist Nicoletta Baldari. Rose is in the foreground holding a wrench in her hand and looking very serious. Behind her is Paige in profile with a smile on her face. She has a blaster in her hand, but it’s pointed in the opposite in which she’s looking. To their right are two X-wings flying downwards, while to their left are two TIE fighters and a stormtrooper’s mask. The art is very cool and the coloring is bright. This is poster, print, and tee shirt worthy. The B is by Elsa Charretier with colors by Matt Wilson and has the sisters back to back, with Paige in her flight uniform and Rose in her mechanic’s togs. Behind them is the emblem of the Resistance, filled with images of X-wings flying. This, as with all the previous Variant covers by this pair, looks great and is a frontpiece worth tracking down. The RI is a wraparound cover by Baldari and it’s the one I had to purchase. Rose and Paige are standing in an empty Resistance hanger, Rose with her arms crossed and Paige with one hand cockily on her hip. The design of the characters is outstanding and the background is incredible looking. The back side of the book shows the hanger’s exit with stairs, containers, and foliage in the distance. If the art looks like this inside the book, I’m going to be a very happy camper (Spoiler: It does!). The Con Exclusive by Charretier and Wilson is the same as the B cover, sans any text. If one enjoyed that cover, one will enjoy this cover. I certainly do. Overall grades: A A, B A, RI A+, and Con Exclusive A

The story: Delilah S. Dawson is the writer for this very fun tale. On D’Qar at the Resistance base, General Solo asks everyone how they’re going to scout the jungle for resources. “D’Qar’s jungles are dense, and fuel is precious, so no landspeeders or bikes. Who’s got a solution.” Rose whispers to her sister she has an idea, but is too shy about raising her hand, so Paige says her sister can solve the problem. “I…I have some old sketches for wheeled vehicles. We could easily build them from the junk heap, give them flat beds for hauling anything we find, and run them off simple rechargeable batteries.” Her idea is shot down by someone, but Leia says she’s willing to give it a try, so Rose has her mission. Digging through the pile of trash, Rose works on her own, momentarily taken aback by her vehicle’s inability to work and the same naysayer’s negativity, but Leia quickly appears saying, “People who taste victory have failed more than anyone else. So keep failing until you find what works. Keep trying.” Motivated by the iconic leader, Rose finds success and soon she and Paige are racing through the jungles. They have an adventure, make some new friends, and find something the Resistance needs. I love the sisters on an adventure, Rose having to work far outside her comfort zone, the new friends they find (SQUONK!), and the extremely satisfying resolution. This story constantly had me smiling. That’s the best compliment I can give Dawson for this tale. Overall grade: A

The art: This book looks incredible. The style Nicoletta Baldari has for this book, in which she serves as both artist and colorist, reminds me of the art from the cartoon Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. It’s just beautiful. The stylized look of the sisters is great: when Rose looks worried about something, I became worried — just the look on her face was enough to pull at my heart strings. Leia looks awesome. She’s definitely older than the other characters, but Baldari puts a terrific amount of energy and warmth into her, so that when she appears for even a panel it raises not only the characters’ spirits, but the reader’s as well. The characters that appear on 12 start as extremely sinister but soon become the cutest things in this book. These individuals captured the frenzy and hilarity of the best Muppet moments. The rescue is great, with the visuals clearly showing to the youngest reader how Paige is saved, helped immensely by the bright red coloring. IDW, Baldari needs to be on Star Wars Adventures as soon as possible. She is an artist I’m going to be looking for in future publications. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Tom B. Long provides scene settings, dialogue, sounds, and yells. The dialogue is easy to read for younglings, the scene settings are big and bold, and the sounds (KER-POP) are fun to read out loud. Overall grade: A

The final line: This issue is fun and exciting with beautiful visuals. It’s a must-read for all Star Wars fans. I hope this team reunites soon for more adventures of these fabulous siblings. SQUONK! 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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