IG-88 plays the long game, Yoda confronts failure, and Rebel Pilots take a vacation in Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Special #1.
Warning: This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Special #1.
Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Guru-eFX | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Special #1
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Special #1 continues the Age of Rebellion collection with three stories focusing on IG-88, Yoda, and Rebel pilots. Each of these tales tell a very different kind of story.
IG-88 in “The Long Game”
Writer: Simon Spurrier | Art: Caspar Winjgaard | Color: Lee Loughridge
The first story of Age of Rebellion – Special #1 features one of the most notorious bounty hunters in the galaxy: IG-88. The iconic droid is steeped in legends and tall tales, and this story by Simon Spurrier plays on his unknown history. Like the Terminator, IG-88 comes off as a droid that will not stop until it finds and eliminates its target. Spurrier does a great job creating an aura around this droid. IG-88 ways the pros and cons of a job before deciding whether to collect on a job. This often means that his only reward for a job well done is the satisfaction of the kill.
The other key element of this story is that IG-88 possesses the patience of a droid. He plays “The Long Game.” Therefore, his apparent defeat at the hands of criminals might not actually be a defeat. It is all part of the plan. As the narrator says, everyone has a tall tale about IG-88, and eventually everyone learns that they are all true.
Yoda in “The Trial of Dagobah”
Writer: Marc Guggenheim | Art: Andrea Broccardo | Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara
The second story of Age of Rebellion – Special #1 turns to Yoda. This story finds the diminutive Jedi Master living as a hermit during his self-imposed exile after Order 66 and his battle with the Emperor. Marvel has featured featured Yoda in the pages of Star Wars before. He also played a role in the Mace Windu series. However, Yoda’s story in Age of Rebellion – Special #1 is the first time the Marvel comics told his story during the events of The Original Trilogy.
Yoda’s solitude is not easy. He is plagued by regrets of his past failures that allowed the Emperor to remake the Republic into an Empire and slaughter the Jedi in the process. He dwells on his past hubris, blindness, and shame and realizes they are the “minions of darkness” and the “lesser agents to anger, fear, and hate.” Star Wars fans know exactly where those emotions lead. Finally, Yoda realizes that although these emotions have entered his thoughts, he has never faced them. He never learned from his failure.
“The Trial of Dagobah” is the best story from Age of Rebellion – Special #1. This story neatly sets up Yoda’s lesson for Luke in The Last Jedi. It takes this task literally by ending the story with Luke crashing his X-wing on the planet and Yoda remarking that although he is currently the Last Jedi, he will not be THE Last Jedi.
Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins in “Stolen Valor”
Writer and Artist: Jon Adams | Color: Chris O’Halloran
The final story of Age of Rebellion – Special #1 is likely to be the most divisive. “Stolen Valor” features Biggs and Porkins taking some vacation. A seemingly never ending cycle of fighting and death is beginning to take a toll on Porkins. Therefore, Biggs suggests they take a vacation to Irff, which is billed as “the vacation planet.” Their vacation features all manner of shenanigans including riding exotic creatures, hanging out in their swimwear, drinking too much, and proposing to exotic alien species. Furthermore, this story is just weird.
The tone is unlike anything Star Wars fans are used to. It certainly doesn’t seem like a story to be taken seriously. It seems more like Weekend at Bernie’s than Star Wars. This may appeal to some readers, but others are likely to be put off by the tone. Once, Biggs and Porkins get back from their vacation, one of their comrades informs them of the numerous deaths among their fellow pilots, but they shouldn’t worry because those positions have been filled and there will be plenty of funerals to attend in the future.
It seems as if “Stolen Valor” had something profound it wanted to say about the futility of war. However, the humor gets in the way. Also, considering that these comics are intended as canon stories, this story just doesn’t seem to fit. Again, some fans will enjoy the offbeat humor, but expect to hear arguments from both sides.
Final Thoughts on Age of Rebellion – Special #1
The arrangement of the stories in Age of Rebellion – Special #1 is interesting. IG-88’s story is legendary in the manner in which it is presented. The story incorporates IG-88’s legendary ship and takes some details from Legends and molds them into a story fit for the current continuity. Readers are left with the impression that IG-88 is nobody to trifle with and if you hear a story about the assassin droid, you best believe it.
Yoda’s story, by comparison, is less of an adventure, and instead is a good morale tale. Although Yoda regretted his past, he never learned from his failure. Therefore, he couldn’t move on and become the master that Luke would eventually need. Once circumstances revealed the truth to him, his path became clear.
Finally, Biggs and Porkins have an adventure that is both philosophical and comedic. The idea that they can pack up and take a vacation from the war is a very strange concept. In some respects, it seems like an episode of MASH. Readers are either going to really enjoy this one, or they aren’t going to like it all.
Age of Rebellion – Special #1 has something for everyone. Greg Pak, the writer for this series, stepped aside to let other talent tell their stories. Overall, the results are mixed.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.