Star Wars 1 is the first issue of the Marvel comic book series Star Wars and the first of six issues in the series' first story arc, Skywalker Strikes. The comic takes place in and during the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and features all of the major characters from the original film. It is written by Jason Aaron, with artwork by John Cassaday and was released on January 14, 2015.
Star Wars 1 shows the beginnings of a Rebel Alliance assault on the moon Cymoon 1. The Rebels—Han Solo, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO—infiltrate and intend to destroy a weapons factory, but their plans change upon the arrival of Darth Vader—whom Skywalker intends to fight, still believing that the Dark Lord of the Sith killed his father.
Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet—the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire's not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!
Mission to Cymoon 1
In the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, in which Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star, the Rebels use their decisive victory as a catalyst to try to destroy the Empire once and for all. The Empire, meanwhile, wants to use Jabba the Hutt as a weapons supplier and has arranged for an Imperial negotiator to meet with Jabba's emissary at Weapons Factory Alpha on the moon Cymoon 1, part of the Corellian Industrial Cluster. The emissary's ship was hijacked by the Rebels, however, and they intend to infiltrate the weapons factory—the largest in the galaxy—and destroy it to deliver another blow to the Imperial war machine.
The hijacked ship arrives on Cymoon 1, where it is authorized to land at the weapons factory. Imperial Overseer Aggadeen, a squadron of stormtroopers, and a LOM-series protocol droid stand ready to greet the "emissary." The Imperials are an unwilling ally of Jabba's criminal empire and Aggadeen, mistrustful of the ship orders his stormtroopers to eliminate the emissary at the first sign of suspicion.
When the ship lands, the emissary reveals himself to be Han Solo, still claiming to work for Jabba the Hutt. The Imperials confirm his identity and affiliation and bring him and his bodyguards—a disguised Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa—into the facility, along with R2-D2. In addition to the three Rebels in the facility, Chewbacca stands ready as a sniper, having arrived in the Millennium Falcon, which is being watched by C-3PO.
Behind enemy lines
Once inside the facility, the Rebels are shown the automated TIE/ln space superiority starfighter assembly line. As they walk through it, the Overseer explains that there will be no negotiation, and that Jabba will be forced to accept the terms that the Empire gives him. The Overseer tells them to wait in a conference room for the "negotiator" to arrive, but Solo tells him that he was right: there will be no negotiations. Artoo sprays a liquid onto the floor and electrocutes it, shocking the stormtroopers standing in the liquid. Skywalker and Organa fight the remaining troopers, while Solo reveals to the Overseer that they are Rebels and demands to know where the facility's main power core is located. The Overseer refuses at first, but Artoo threatens to electrocute him, so the officer points them in the right direction before Organa punches him.
The Rebels make their way towards the power core, where they plan to destroy both it and the entire facility. Solo contacts Threepio for a status report, and the protocol droid tells him that the Millennium Falcon is safely hidden in a large refuse field outside of the facility. Solo orders him to be on alert, so the droid can engage the ship's auto-pilot once the Rebels are ready to leave. When the Rebels arrive in the power core, Organa tells Artoo to hack into the Imperial computer and shut down the core's safety restraints.
As Artoo works on the computer, Skywalker watches for additional Imperial troops, using what little he knows of the Force to reach out and sense any nearby presence. The Force leads him to a cage filled with Imperial slaves, where he is confronted by a guard. The Jedi trainee attempts to use a mind trick to ward off the guard, repeating the action he once saw Obi-Wan Kenobi use on Tatooine, but he fails at doing so. Instead, Skywalker ignites his lightsaber and cuts off the guard's hand, allowing Skywalker to break the slaves out of their cage and lead them to the other Rebels.
Artoo successfully lowers the safety restraints and Solo sets the power core to overload in ten minutes. Organa thanks him for helping the Rebellion again, particularly because the Empire now knows that he is working with the Alliance. As they talk, Skywalker returns with the slaves. Solo orders Threepio to turn on the auto-pilot so the Falcon can pick them up before the core overloads, but Chewbecca interrupts him and says that an Imperial shuttle has arrived.
Darth Vader arrives
The shuttle carries the Imperial "negotiator:" Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith. Solo tells Chewbacca to stand down and avoid taking a shot at Vader, as he knows that the facility will be on alert if Vader is made a target, but Organa orders otherwise and commands the Wookiee to kill the Dark Lord. Chewbacca takes the shot, but Vader deflects it with his lightsaber. Chewbacca continues firing and Vader throws stormtroopers into the line of fire to avoid being hit himself. Vader uses the Force to tear apart the building that Chewbacca is standing on top of, forcing the Wookiee to flee. Vader orders the entire moon to be on alert and senses Skywalker, recognizing his presence as the man who destroyed the Death Star.
Unable to contact Chewbacca, and with the entire facility on alert, Solo orders Threepio to engage the auto-pilot and pick the Rebels up. Threepio has already tried doing so, however, but native scavengers have begun tearing apart the Falcon in the refuse field, preventing the auto-pilot from working. Stormtroopers arrive at the Rebels' location, forcing them to blast their way towards safety.
The Rebels enter a hangar housing AT-AT walkers, one of which Solo plans to commandeer in order to get out of the facility before it explodes. As they begin loading onto the walker, Organa realizes that Skywalker is no longer with them. He is searching for Vader elsewhere in the facility, as he still believes that Vader is the man who killed his father. As Skywalker approaches the Dark Lord, he hears Kenobi's voice speak to him from beyond. Skywalker comes face to face with his father's so-called killer, and Kenobi tells him to run.
In celebration of Star Wars Day on May 4, 2016, Marvel re-released Star Wars 1 as part of its True Believers budget reprint program, which reprints popular comic titles for the suggested retail price of $1.
Star Wars 1: Skywalker Strikes has been positively received. Based on 21 critic reviews, Skywalker Strikes received a 9.0 critics' rating out of 10 on the review aggregator Comicbook Round Up. Tony Guerrero of Comic Vine, who rated the comic a 10, stated that Marvel faced "the challenge of delivering a STAR WARS comic with a lot of high expectations surrounding it and they have succeeded," creating a comic that "feels like a true Star Wars story." David Pepose of Newsarama, who rated the comic a 10 said that Skywalker Strikes is a "master class" in how to make a good first impression and that it "feels like a reunion with some long-absent friends." Likewise, Chase Magnett of ComicBook.com, who rated the comic a 10, said Skywalker Strikes "captures the tone and feel of the films, while beginning a story that fits seamlessly into the beloved universe." Joshua Yehl of IGN, who gave the comic an 8.5, said that "At times the characters behave illogically to provide an excuse for a neat action scene or plot twist, but overall they are faithful representations that are as entertaining to watch in the comic as they were in the movies." He further stated that the comic, at times, "feels like watching an unreleased Star Wars movie."
In a negative review, Chris Wilson of Major Spoilers, who rated the comic 4.7, said he felt the art was "extremely poor and not what I expect from a high profile book and creator," and that while "it's a decent story" he found fault with "the lack of tension or stakes due to taking place in the middle of a story we know the ending to."
By the time of its release, Star Wars 1 was the top selling comic of 2015, with over one million copies sold. This also made it the top selling comic from any publisher in the previous twenty years. According to David Gonzales of Forbes, a leading business and financial publication, the fact that "a single issue of a comic book could sell 1 million printed copies in the current comic book selling market is frankly staggering."
- UPC 759606081134; January 14, 2015; Marvel Comics
- UPC 759606085002; May 4, 2016; Marvel Comics; True Believers
- 00111; Cover A, John Cassaday
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