Star Wars, Volume 1: In the Shadow of Yavin - Brian Wood, Carlos D'Anda The Star Wars universe has become so vast that if you want to look up something on Wookieepedia, you should set aside at least an hour of your time to allow for the multitude of side-clicking you’re inevitably going to end up doing within each entry. Expanded Universe (EU) stories extend into the distant past and the distant future and everything in between, but it seems that the legacy is returning to its roots with a series of new stories focusing on Han, Leia and Luke, directly following A New Hope. I’m looking forward to the upcoming [b:Razor's Edge|17345202|Razor's Edge (Star Wars Empire and Rebellion, #1)|Martha Wells|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1366925150s/17345202.jpg|24084398], and in the mean time, enjoyed this new comic series.

The most impressive aspect of this story is that it dives right into the fact that both Luke and Leia just watched their lives and the people they loved catastrophically destroyed. Things like that tend to weigh on you, particularly Leia, who was forced to watch the destruction of her entire planet shortly after hours of rigorous torture at the hands of Darth Vader.

This focuses heavily on the fact that Leia has not been allowed, nor allowed herself the time to deal because the situation is still dire. The destruction of the Death Star has only increased pressure on the Rebel Alliance and her role as a leader means she is constantly working and constantly needing to prove herself. The pressure rises even more when Mon Mothma tasks her with forming and leading a black ops team of pilots. Their purpose: find a new location for the Rebel base and root out the traitor in their midst. Leia herself gets to fly the sleek new X-Wings, revealing yet another of her skills.

Luke doesn’t feature as prominently as expected, though he and Wedge are part of the team. Luke is played up a bit more as the cocky kid we saw in A New Hope, rather than the more subdued and stoic Luke that starts to develop in The Empire Strikes Back. His attitude reminds us that he is barely twenty years old, so his actions are somewhat understandable. But that means that Leia is the same age, revealing the stark contrast of maturity and responsibility between them. I would have liked to see far more that conflict, but instead, we get the more simplistic love triangle plot device that plays out weakly for all involved.

Meanwhile, the fallout from Yavin has affected others as well. Namely, Darth Vader, whom the Emperor is pretty mad at for letting a wee X-Wing blow up an entire space station. Vader has been demoted to supervising the construction of the second Death Star and spends a lot of time mulling over the name “Skywalker” and what he sensed from the pilot that destroyed the Death Star.

And last, but certainly not least, is Han Solo. Joining up with the Rebels has tagged him and Chewie, their career as neutral smuggler and leaving them no other options but to continue working with the Alliance. Mon Mothma has entrusted him with a significant amount of credits to broker a deal with a contact. Is Han worthy of that trust? Hmmm….

Overall, I liked the elements of the characters and story that are introduced. There is a lot of potential for interesting intrigue and character development, with some reasonably good gun and dogfights tossed in for good measure.

With thanks to NetGalley and Darkhorse Comics for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

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