– Spoiler Review –
“Yoda’s Secret War” gets a little less secret and a whole lot of strange—maybe too much—in Star Wars #27.
It’s not a surprise a tale starring Yoda might end up a bit weird, his journeys in The Clone Wars‘ final arc certainly went to some strange, but remarkable places, but I’m entirely sure how I feel about the way “Yoda’s Secret War” is turning out. Mind you, Star Wars #27 is mainly set up, introducing us to the planet Yoda arrives on, its lack of adults, and the core conflict the inhabitants are dealing with. There are two children-run societies: one is a rather peaceful, powerless faction that Yoda comes to befriend, while the other contains a bunch of hormonal teenagers who throw rocks first, ask questions later. Yoda is essentially stuck in the Star Wars planet equivalent to middle school and he’s the new transfer student, just trying to get his bearings in the new place. Well, it’s a middle school where the nice kids don’t have any real powers, while the bullies seem to have some type of Force abilities, which they use to throw vibrantly blue rocks to protect their power. These rocks contain the Force, some of which ‘scream’ to the sky for help, which is how Yoda managed to hear them. To the mud dwellers, he is revered as the deliverer (what that means remains to be seen) because he could hear the rocks, while to the rockhawkers (the slightly older, violent kids) he’s just a little freak they mean to put through what seems to be some type of ritual: find the heart of the mountain. See, there’s this mountain made out of the Force sensitive blue rocks and the rockhawkers essentially seem to own it but a long time ago there were more mountains of blue until a war, go figure, dwindled the supply. Yoda looks confused for most of the issue and so don’t feel bad if you are too; Overall, it’s intriguing, specifically for the rock’s connection to the Force and why these kids only seem to be able to only use the Force on said rocks, but it just seems a little bit more out there than usual for a Star Wars tale. It certainly begs the questions: what will the point of this excursion be? Why would Obi-Wan even recount this tale in his Journal? How does it connect to Luke in the main story’s present?*
Both the mud dwelling kids and the rockhawkers look like they were ripped straight from the set of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome‘s Bartertown (almost appropriately so since the mud dwellers call their hodgepodge home Mucktown), though the rockhawkers wear bone-like masks, and it’s this aesthetic which comes at odds with what we already know as Star Wars: Yoda. He looks like quite the frog out of the swamp in this issue, so much so that at times it looked like someone had cropped him into a cave painting, which is actually a compliment of Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado’s work. They made so many oddities in the Darth Vader series feel acceptable in the Star Wars universe that I’m not surprised they manage to make Yoda so distinct, but yet so a part of such an unnatural SW setting. I might be a little lost with the story and wondering where this is all heading, what point this could teach Luke, but I’m all for seeing this tale through if it means more of the oddly gorgeous world Larroca and Delgado are building together.
I also have to commend Jason Aaron for just how well he seems to get Yoda, which takes this from a possibly interesting tale WITH Yoda in it to a intriguing tale ABOUT Yoda and building his characterization; Or at least that’s how it seems to be heading, as the end of #27 leaves Yoda in a pretty hopeless place, chained up and forced to walk a giant mountain while surrounded by hostile teenagers, and it’ll likely take every fiber of Yoda’s Jedi mastery to help him get through this. Aaron and the editors simply could’ve made a story starring Yoda and him doing cool, Jedi things and it probably would’ve still drawn a crowd (issue #26, released on the last Wednesday of 2016, came in #7 in December’s sales at Diamond Comics), but I’m happy it seems they aren’t taking that route. We’ll know if that’s truly the case probably come next issue in February.
Here are a few other things:
- *Curious to see how this tale might wind up connecting to the present of where Luke is reading the Journal? Marvel’s April solicitations for issue #30 would be of great interest to you…
- I really enjoyed the image of Obi-Wan meditating/writing in his Journal, but doing so using the Force. It’s also pretty neat to think for the first time on screen, we’ll be visiting Obi-Wan on Tatooine prior to A New Hope in an upcoming Star Wars Rebels episode. While the Legends Kenobi novel and the previous Journal entries have been fantastic glimpses into this area of his life, this latest tale is extra special because it involves Maul and Obi-Wan meeting for what will likely be the last time for them.
Things get weird and don’t have a clear path just yet for Yoda in Star Wars #27’s entry of “Yoda’s Secret War.”
+ Aaron’s got Yoda down pat
+ Only the great pair of Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado can make the strange feel so Star Wars
– Story isn’t intriguing enough yet
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War: #26 | #28 | #29 | #30
Annual: #1 | #2
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)