In Review: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #5

Only for completists of the Star Wars saga.

The cover: Cassian, Jyn, and K-2SO are walking into the lion’s den on Scarif, with the two humans in Imperial disguise. Behind the trio is a large logo of the Empire. Great cover by Phil Noto showing the three in their garb used to infiltrate the base to get the plans to the Death Star. The colors on this are very dark; lighter coloring would have made the details in the clothes and K-2’s construction would stand out more. Overall grade: B+

The story: On Yavin 4, Raddus learns that Jyn, Cassian, and several others have stolen the Imperial shuttle to get to Scarif. “Excellent. We must return to the Profundity and prepare for departure…They’re operating under the belief that there’s still a way to save us all. And that is why we must believe in them. Now hurry…we must prepare for the jump to Scarif.” Aboard the shuttle, just outside the shield to the Imperial base, Chirrut thanks Jyn for allowing him and Baze to accompany her so that they stop the desecration that began on Jeha. This causes Jyn to reflect on her father, whom she recently saw die. Her words that follow inspire the crew for their suicide mission. Jyn, Cassian, and K-2 make their way into the base, while the remaining troops move into position to cause several distractions that will allow the trio time to find the plans and send them to their, hopefully, arriving comrades. The Rebels set off several bombs, causing stormtroopers to be deployed, sparking the beginning of the battle for Scarif. Meanwhile, aboard the Death Star, Tarkin learns of the Rebel incursion and orders the space station be deployed to the beach world and Lord Vader informed. The issue ends with the Rebel fleet jumping to Scarif. Raddus states, “…Let’s hope Rogue One can hold out until we arrive.” Jody Houser covers all the key points from the film in this issue and does a solid job in creating tension. Once the heroes are inside the base their every move seems as though it could be their last. Adaptations always have to omit parts from the film for space, but nothing seems missing in this chapter. This is Houser’s strongest issue yet. Overall grade: A-

The art: Emilo Laiso continues to prove that he should have been the sole artist from this series’ debut. The opening page on Yavin 4 has the setting looking good and Raddus looking excellent. Aboard the stolen shuttle, Laiso does a decent job on the characters’ likenesses, with Jyn getting most of face time. She looks amazing in profile on Page 3, though when she speaks to the crew in the bottom right of the same page she looks like a young Shelley Duvall. The recollection that Jyn’s having on that page of her father is well done, but there’s nothing in the text on that page that states why she’s having that memory. When the Rebels begin to take out the troopers on Page 7 it’s handled very well; tight close-ups are done really well to convey the quick actions taken to subdue the Imperials. The forests and beaches on Scarif also look good, with the Rebels racing through them exciting. The two panel sequence at the bottom of 10 is really well done, with the action in the distance outstanding. The close-up of Jyn on 12 has her eyes saying much to the reader with no dialogue necessary. When the bombs are set off, the view of the destruction from the Imperial base isn’t well defined; this could/should have been better. The Rebels clashing with the troopers on 15 is excellent and Tarkin’s panels on 16 are top notch. The arrival of the AT-ACTs is oddly set up, with them suddenly appearing in a poorly constructed panel: the last panel on 19 has Chirrut standing still in the onslaught — it wasn’t that way in the film. He’s blind, not deaf. There is the occasional speed bump in the visuals, but the majority of the book looks fine. Overall grade: B-

The colors: There are several panels in this book where the background is bright light and sticks out inappropriately. The first example comes in the first panel which shows Yavin 4’s surface. Based on the choice of dark orange and bright yellow, this world is about to be baked like Tatooine. The conversation on 5 seems as though it’s taking place next to a sun. Why is there a smeared effect with most of the colors for the exteriors of Scarif? It was bright in the film, but no so much so that it created mirages like this book looks to do. Much better are the interiors of the Imperial base and those upon the Death Star. Why does the sky go a dusty mustard when the AT-ACTs arrive? There’s been no debris behind them to color them so. Rachelle Rosenberg has done superior work on several other books, but turns in a very disappointing job on this book. Overall grade: C-

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, droid speak, and one explosion comprise VC’s Clayton Cowles efforts for this issue. The scene settings are better than those in other Star Wars books and I’m hoping their adapted into the other titles. The dialogue, though, looks like that of other Marvel SW issues and is too thin. For all the action that occurs in this book, the only sound that’s shown is from the Rebels detonating their bombs. No punches or blaster make a sound. This renders the action of this issue awkwardly silent. It’s not Cowles’s decision to add sounds, but I wish the powers that be at Marvel had allowed him to bring some noises to this issue. Overall grade: C+

The final line: The final battle has begun as Rogue One has reached Scarif. This book would have been better had the art been more consistent and contained some sounds. Only for completists of the Star Wars saga. Overall grade: B-

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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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