Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: STAR WARS: Rogue One Adaptation #1


[This review was originally posted on Patreon.  Please, visit the "Star Wars Central" review page here.]

WRITER: Jody Houser (based on the screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy and the story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta)
ART: Emilio Laiso and Oscar Bazaldua
COLORS: Rachelle Rosenberg
LETTERS: VC's Clayton Cowles
COVER: Phil Noto
VARIANT COVERS: John Tyler Christopher; Terry Dodson; Mike Mayhew; Joe Quinones
36pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (June 2017)

Rated “T”

Afterword by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Released in December 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the eighth live-action Star Wars film.  It is also the first Star Wars film not to directly focus on the main story line of the previous films, which is the struggle for the fate of the galaxy involving the Skywalker family and the Jedi against the Sith and the Galactic Empire or its antecedents and descendants.

Rogue One is a stand-alone film that is set immediately before the events depicted in the original Star Wars (1977).  The Galactic Empire grows ever more powerful, but a determined rebellion against the Empire continues to gain strength.  Rogue One tells the story of how a small band of rebels obtained the data and classified information that caused an Imperial Star Destroyer to accost a small Rebel cruiser at the beginning of the film now known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Marvel Comics just began publishing its comic book adaptation of Rogue One with the release of Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation.  It is written by Jody Houser; drawn by Emilio Laiso and Oscar Bazaldua; colored by Rachelle Rosenberg; and lettered by Clayton Cowles.

Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 opens 15 years before the main story and reveals how the Empire forced the scientist Galen Erso back into Imperial service.  Fifteen years later, the Rebel Alliance has learned that Erso is the key figure in creating a “planet killing” machine for the Empire.  That information comes from Bodhi Rook, a Imperial cargo pilot who has defected from service to the Empire.  Now, Rook is in the hands of rebel extremist, Saw Gerrera, and only Galen Erso's daughter, Jyn Erso (also known as “Liana Hallick), can help the rebellion find and negotiate with Gerrera for the release of Rook.  Can the leaders of the rebellion convince Jyn, a career criminal to help them?

Writing this review, I suddenly realize how much someone has to know in order to fully enjoy Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  I don't know if someone who knows little or nothing about four decades of Star Wars films can fully understand Rogue One because I cannot be in their position.  I can't unlearn the Star Wars data, characters, and story that I have absorbed over four decades of loving Star Wars.  I guess anyone could enjoy Rogue One if he or she understands the basic premise; fully understanding and/or appreciating Rogue One's context in a larger “world of Star Wars” is another thing.

Like Marvel Comics' comic book adaptation of the 2015 film, Star Wars: the Force Awakens, their comic book adaptation, Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation is a nice way to experience the story again.  This is not a great comic book, but it is good, and I found myself enjoying it because I really enjoyed the Rogue One film.  I need to read at least one more issue to see if this comic book can close to capturing the subtlety, mood, and intense drama of the movie.

Despite what Rogue One film director Gareth Edwards says about artist Emilio Laiso in his afterword to this first issue, Laiso's art is nice, but not beautiful.  Laiso's compositions do not result in high drama, and Rachelle Rosenberg's colors are too flat, but everything could improve in later issues.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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