STAR WARS #36
Writers: Jason Aaron
Penciller: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Plot: A few issues ago in the Star Wars comic, C-P30 found himself captured aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer. Unable to save him, the rebels had to leave him behind or risk being captured themselves. Fortunately for Threepio, he has a very loyal astromech ally who would refuse to allow his friend to remain in the grasp of the Empire. In Star Wars #36, we get a taste at just how resourceful and clever our favorite blue and white astromech really is, as R2-D2 takes on an entire Star Destroyer by himself!
When the crew aboard the Star Destroyer pick up readings from an unmanned X-wing (not strange at all!) they follow protocol and bring it on board for investigation. Though R2 is immediately lowered to ground level, they pay him no mind. When he shocks them and scurries off, a squad of Stormtroopers is reported defeated. Another squad comes running to find out what all the ruckus is about, again running past R2-D2 and paying him no mind. The comic continues in this way, all the while R2 makes more headway towards his best goldenrod friend, Threepio.
Story: This issue is a perfect example of undercover work and the general pompousness of the human race. As human beings, we often think that we are the top of the food chain, as if in some way or fashion we have everything under control. In the Star Wars universe this concept is extenuated with the fact that droids exist as a normalcy of life, and that people think they have complete control over them. I find it hilarious how easily R2-D2 is underestimated because he is but a harmless astromech droid.
What I love most are the captions written throughout this issue that narrate the specifications of the R2 unit. Everything the captions state that R2 droids shouldn’t be able to do. R2 is doing it. I think this was a fascinating way, on Aaron’s part, to show just how special a droid R2-D2 really is. In one of the captions, it mentions the droid forming attachments and how an R2 unit’s memory should be wiped. This line is important, because it’s been confirmed that in canon, during the Star Wars saga, R2-D2 has never received a major memory wipe. This is why he is the independent, opinionated, tactical, high processing, and resourceful droid he is today.
Art: The cover of this issue speaks volumes about its content. R2 standing triumphantly in a corridor filled with downed Stormtroopers is pretty much exactly what you get from Star Wars #36. I’ve been loving the art from the whole series up to this point, and I think it does well to represent the greatness of Star Wars. Lighting, shading and coloring are especially spectacular, and I really love the lettering for R2’s beeps and warbles.
The only thing I have an issue with is the use of excessive details on the faces of some of the imperial officers. There is a layer of realism that doesn’t seem to fit well with the rest of the world and tends to be distracting, taking us out of the story. It echoes back to a few pages I read in “Making Comics” by Scott McCloud when he references the importance of simplicity. This is the only problem I found and the rest of the art is otherwise great.
Verdict: Star Wars #36 was a delightfully fun issue (despite the Force Choking!) and I was happy to see one that featured R2 as the hero. We all love that little droid, and this reminds us of just why we do. In future issues I hope to see more action like this with him, along with the rest of the team. If you haven’t been reading the Star Wars series, I highly recommend that you do. It’s been amazing.