Yoda's Secret War, Part II - Star Wars #27 Review
Star Wars #27
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Whenever I drop in on this series, I am always amazed that Jason Aaron has stayed on this book for this many issues. Ditto for Larroca and Delgado, although I am not certain if they have been on since the very beginning. I'll have to fact check that later.
Star Wars #27 opens with Yoda stranded on a planet that is inhabited solely by children. Apparently the last adults were rounded up and forced into slave labor to mine for some blue stone that possesses the power of the Force. The children seem to have some innate bond with the stones of the mountain as well, and can kind of manipulate them as if they were using the Force to control them. But as the story progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern whether or not the children control the stones or if the stones are controlling them. Enter one Jedi Master.
Needless to say, Larroca and Delgado's art work rocks this issue. I started off by thinking that the opening pages were very pedestrian. But about page 10, when we get the first look at the immense presence of the Force Mountain (my term), Larroca really kicks in to overdrive, and Delgado's colors really start to shine. There is not a ton of artsy panel work here; all of the page layouts are pretty much stock horizontal slice panels, with a few longer on the vertical axis, but nothing too fancy. Larroca does an amazing job of handling close-ups, despite the fact that he is drawing humans, aliens, and things in-between. Each character portrait accurately portrays the range of emotion; rage, sympathy, pity, bewilderment, avarice. And Delgado's colors are especially remarkable where he has panels to paint both shadowy, darkened objects contrasted against the incredibly bright blue of the Force Mountain and any of its smaller rocks.
Aaron's writing had a similar effect on me. It felt like a templated opening. And I was not immediately engaged. But I have always liked this notion of the Jedi's going off on missions and being distanced from any inkling of an HQ; out on their own to bring about some resolution. I have also always hated reading Yoda-speak in comics, so I was worried about having to trudge through 22 pages of that. Somehow, Aaron weaves that affectation into a sensible and emotional storyline that had me feeling deep sympathy for the children, even the bad ones, and their abandoned state. The analog he draws in the final 5 pages or so of the book, the conflict's nature being similar to one he has endured, also stitches things up nicely, and made me walk away from the read feeling happy that I had this in my pull-list this week.
Star Wars #27 might not be the best issue that there has been in the series; one could definitely be left feeling that not a whole heck of a lot went on in this issue. But as a bridge and setup piece, it does its job excellently. Keep truckin' Mr Aaron, you continue to deliver as expected.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
While not the strongest issue in this defining run by the great creative team of Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, and Edgar Delgado, this Yoda tale comes off surprisingly well, weaving a story of the legendary Jedi Master that reveals the character's deep empathy, sorrow, and humility.