Star Wars #15 [Advance Review]
Star Wars #15 (Dark Horse): Hey, remember that time I went back and read, like, every Brian Wood book extant at that point? The big hypothesis I was trying to investigate with that project was confirming that “identity” was a running thematic concern tying all of the books together like some underlying connective tissue. In more modern interviews, Wood has indicated that “change” is the larger narrative idea he’s most fascinated with, positioning his characters on that precarious precipice, particularly as it relates to history. I’m wondering if it’s possible to fuse these two ideas together. Meaning, maybe it isn’t necessarily character identity that’s being molded per se, but that of the world. In most Brian Wood books, the world is primarily changing and settling into a new identity, one that the characters are then forced to subsequently adapt their own personalities to. This theory is certainly true for the longer works, DMZ, Northlanders, The Massive, Conan, and Star Wars is just as exemplary of that dynamic.
I was surprised to find that Carlos D’Anda wasn’t back on art duty for this issue/arc, but it’s always a pleasant surprise to see what additional creators will bring to the Star Wars Universe. Stephane Crety and Julien Hugonnard-Bert are not creators whose art and inking I was familiar with, but they do make nice contributions, capturing the emotional content, serious moments, and sense of adventure the title demands. Their art is a little more stylized, with elongated faces, caricature-influenced figure work, and some very jaunty hair, but overall they’re a good match for the tech (whether it’s the underbelly of a Y-Wing in flight, or an Osprey-like shuttle), the convincing uniforms (Luke’s Bespin/Dagobah ensemble), and the general feel of the universe (the glow of Arrochar with ships in orbit, or the X-Wings looking sharp running canyons). For Arrochar, they sort of blend Game of Thrones style architecture and militarism with the type of grandeur and majesty you might find on Naboo. Without a doubt, the unsung art hero on Star Wars is colorist Gabe Eltaeb. He’s a big reason that despite some rotation in art teams, the look and feel of this run has remained fairly consistent. He set a precedent early on with glossy sheen and shimmering saturated colors that make the artists and audience feel right at home in this interstitial space between episodes. Grade A.