In Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #3

I'm feeling as depressed as Old Luke after reading this adaptation.

The covers: Two different frontpieces to purchase for this midpoint in this miniseries. The Regular cover is by Phil Noto and it’s a winner. When doesn’t Noto do an outstanding job with Star Wars material? I’m hoping that when Marvel gets to doing the new adventures of a certain cinematic archaeologist they get Noto to do some covers. This cover features large bust images of Finn and Rose. In the bottom left is DJ with arms folded, showing the reader he could care less. Within Rose’s top is a scene from within a casino of Canto Bight. At the bottom of the illustration are three fathiers racing. This is an excellent combination of images to tease what lies within without spoiling the story. The Variant cover is by Caspar Wijngaard and features BB-8’s big moment from the film as he spits coins at the guards within the jail of Canto Bight. The point of view on this is great, with the droid hanging in the center of the illustration, one guard leaning backwards to avoid the coins, and the golden discs flying everywhere. This looks better than it was shown in the film. Overall grades: Both A

The story: This installment of Gary Whitta’s adaptation begins with Rey and Kylo communicating through the Force and him receiving a physical reminder of their conversation. On Cantonica, Finn and Rey arrive at Canto Bight looking for the codebreaker Maz said could help them. They can’t find the man in a casino, but they do find themselves dressed poorly for the place, ruffling Rose’s feathers. Hearing a noise, Rose goes to a balcony with Finn and they witness a fatheirs race. By observing the race, Finn learns how such money can be generated to come to such a world: war. With this realization comes BB-8, followed by some unwelcome policemen. The story moves back to Ahch-To where Luke tells Rey why the Jedi have failed and how he failed in teaching Ben. In space, the Resistance is closer to defeat from the pursuing First Order. The book ends with Rose and Finn meeting a possible new ally who gets them out of a pinch and Rey’s training takes a dark turn. Whitta continues a faithful adaptation speeding through the film. My least favorite part of the film was Canto Bight and it’s over and done with in this one issue; I was grateful for that. The highlight of the issue was Rey’s training and the conversations she has with Luke and Kylo. I’m enjoying what Whitta is doing. Overall grade: A- 

The art: This is still causing me considerable difficulties. With the exception of the two close-ups of Rey on the first page, the art that starts this issue is minimal, to say the least. The Falcon is a suggestion of the iconic ship, the cockpit of the ship fares no better, the porgs are more cartoonish here than in the film, the third panel is not great (look at her hands!), Kylo is incredibly thick in his appearance, and Rey is overly simplified in the final panel. The art is incredibly sketchy, but this has been the case since Issue #1 from Michael Walsh. He’s communicating the story well, but the characters are vague to incomplete and the settings are even more so: look at the second and sixth panels on Page 2 — the lines don’t even connect. It looks as though Walsh inserted the sound effect in the final panel on the page and it’s unintentionally funny. The wide array of characters and the setting within the casino should have provided plenty of opportunities for detailed art, but it’s sketchy again; that third panel on 3 is terrible — even the chance cubes thrown at a table aren’t square. Rey’s famous swinging of her lightsaber before the rocks fare just as poorly. And Luke Skywalker…Poor Luke is inconsistent throughout: look at him on Pages 7, 8, and 15. Is that even the same character? He starts okay, then goes gaunt, before ending up like a corpse. These visuals continue to be a major hurdle for the reader to overcome to enjoy this book. Overall grade: D-

The colors: Canto Bight is the visual highpoint of the film for its design, many creatures, and incredibly impressive colors. Mike Spicer does not endow this comic retelling with any strong colors. There are golds, reds, and blues at this location, but all are done with very dull versions of these colors. Even the interior of the casino is a mottled gold. Better are the blues of Rey’s lightsaber and the sunlight which creeps into the cave. The fires that engulf Luke’s academy are simple shades of orange; depth could have been created with stronger colors. The fatheirs’ escape is also dull for colors. This is a shame. The arrival of a character to rescue Rose and Finn is given only whites and flat blues. This book should have had electric colors for this part of the story and it’s a muted disappointment. Overall grade: D+

The letters: VC’s Travis Lanham creates this book’s dialogue, Wookiee roars, scene settings, sounds, and yells. Wookiees have had an established font for their speech for years now in Marvel’s comics and this new creation on Page 1 looks awful. The dialogue in Star Wars books have never been to my liking and continues to be so in this publication. Some of the sounds look as though there were inserted by Lanham, while others seem to have been inserted by the artist. Lanham should have done all the sounds. Overall grade: C-

The final line: The story adaptation is fine, but the visuals are lacking in every possible way. Comic books are a visual medium and this book’s visuals are not good. Three issues in, a fan would be better served saving their money to buy the novelization of this film. I’m feeling as depressed as Luke Skywalker. Overall grade: D+

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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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