STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – THE STORMS OF CRAIT
Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
Artist: Mike Mayhew
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 12/27/17
Delve into the history of Crait and learn how the rebels first discovered it long before Star Wars: The Last Jedi in The Storms Of Crait #1.
Plot: Set after the Battle of Yavin, Leia goes in search of a new rebel base. With the help of her father’s old friend Trusk Berinato, she hopes to find that new base on Crait.
Story: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker do a great job writing the character dynamics between the trio. This issue is full of quippy dialogue between Han and Leia as well as some standout moments of character growth from Luke who starts the issue a little whiny but eventually redeems himself with some heroics.
That said, if you came to this issue because it’s marketed as a tie-in to The Last Jedi, you might leave disappointed. While we learn more about Crait, it’s nothing that pays off in terms of understanding the film better.
Instead, you get a new dastardly villain in Trusk Berinato, a former friend of the Organas. Trusk Berinato is an interesting character, partially because of his weird maybe Cockney accent. Based on the accent and creepy mustache it’s pretty obvious he’ll turn out to be an enemy, but it’s fun to see how the trio deals with his doublecross.
Despite entertaining moments, the story ultimately doesn’t present any real consequences or add much to the canon. They leave Crait just about as quickly as they arrived, and the only conclusion they reach is they won’t build their base there. Luke also has an encounter with Sergeant Kreel, but it’s unclear how that plays into their relationship in the main Star Wars comic.
Art: Mike Mayhew had full art duties for this issue. He uses a realistic style but without the rigidity of some artists in replicating the looks of the real-life character actors. While it’s obvious the actors are used as a model, Mayhew takes some liberties so that he can use his own style rather than trying to draw portraits.
With Crait known for its red soil, there was no question we’d get some sweeping panels of the landscape. Those panels tend to be crowded with dialogue though or obscured by the later sandstorm.
However, Mayhew adds more to develop the planet than just show off the red soil, adding a ton of rich detail. He shows off the movement of the sandstorms and native worms, making Crait a more dynamic place than the film version. His use of light inside the caverns make them seem like they’re sparkling for a very cool effect.
Action-wise there are also some genuinely stunning lightsaber battles between Luke and Kreel that really pop against the stormy backdrop.
Verdict: While you do learn more about Crait and get a fun new adventure, there are no “a-ha!” moments that reward fans looking to unlock more of the movie. Instead, the issue really makes more sense to be marketed to fans of the current Star Wars comic than as a movie tie-in. That said, I would never hold what the marketing department does against the comic creators so if you’re looking for just a new Star Wars adventure, in general, consider picking this up.