Well-studied in the Star Wars universe, Bechko and Hardman use some familiar names from the books and comics to bring a fresh, new story to life. Master Val, a Jedi knight, leads a mission for the Galactic Triumvirate into a nebula to link a fledgling system to the rest of the galaxy.
This scene works well by showing how much the galaxy has changed since the fall of the Empire. Flanked by Storm Troopers, Master Val notes the peace that has settled upon the galaxy and unification of the different factions formerly at war. Bechko and Hardman say a lot in just the space of two pages.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a true Star Wars title without conflict and peril. Trailed by a communication droid to act as a beacon in the event of an emergency, the plot unfolds. Entering the nebula, Master Val’s ship crash lands on a dark planet within the nebula as things go incredibly wrong.
The set up for this scene takes the action from the white-knuckle ride of the crash landing to imminent danger as the lightsabers come out. Notice things have gone from the singular to the plural because Master Val isn’t the only person using a lightsaber at this point. A Sith gets the drop on him, disarming him only to be slain by his apprentice. Master Val forgot the rule of always an apprentice and a master.
In the Star Wars universe, there’s a tremendous amount of kismet or serendipity. Bechko and Hardman haven’t forgotten this. Bad things happen in Star Wars so good things can follow. The communication droid retrieves Master Val’s lightsaber and blasts off back to the known galaxy, eventually making its way into the hands of Ania Solo.
It’s refreshing to see steady hands at work with this story. The vibe and feel of it has the qualities of the Star Wars universe most readers grew up with. It’s fresh, but with that 1970s Star Wars identity. Seeing Ania enter the story, she has a natural fit that is worthy of her lineage. Bechko and Hardman capture the wonder and excitement that the original films inspired by introducing her as the proprietor of a junk yard who longs to get off planet into a new life – kind of like Luke Skywalker.
In terms of art, Hardman is quite simply one of the best visual storytellers in the business. His ability to stage an action sequence or capture the vastness of a scene remains at the upper echelons of comics. One of the best qualities of his work is his ability to render panels with the same effect as a film camera lens.
He angles, zooms in and out, or whips the panels around in ways that keep the sequential flow running like a movie reel while capturing the important expressions and gestures that make the characters come to life. Any aspiring artist should study his work in this issue carefully for the master class that it is in drawing a great comic.
Bechko and Hardman do a fantastic job creating this new story within the vast universe of Star Wars with an effective plot, good pacing, and smart reveals. Overall Star Wars Legacy #1 is a great read for those longing for a new trip down memory lane in a galaxy far, far away.