Comics

Star Wars Omnibus

X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1

Distributed By: Dark Horse Comics
 

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            Of all the space battles in the original Star Wars trilogy, the most exciting ones involved a snub-nosed fighter known as the X-Wing for the shape of its wings when opened.  Fighting the good fight for the forces of the Rebellion, X-Wing pilots are known as a special breed.  Amongst all of the X-Wing squadrons, one in particular stands out from the rest – Rogue Squadron.  It was here that Luke Skywalker got his start as a Rebellion fighter pilot.  Rogue Squadron fought valiantly throughout many battles, most notably, the Battle of Yavin in which the first Death Star was destroyed and the Battle of Endor in which the second Death Star saw similar destruction.  But Rogue Squadron’s battle against the forces of evil did not end there. 

            Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1 is a compilation of the Dark Horse Comics X-Wing series featuring three separate storylines involving our favorite starfighter squadron.  Rogue Leader picks up where the Battle of Endor left off, with Luke Skywalker and Rogue Squadron completing a clean sweep of Endor, ending the reign of the Empire on the forest moon.  Upon completion of the clean-up detail at Endor, the Rogues travel to Corellia for some R&R but find themselves in the middle of a battle between the free-thinking citizens of Coronet and the Imperial remnant.  Throughout the tale, readers note the inner battle of Luke Skywalker as he struggles to decide how best to serve the New Republic – as a fighter pilot or as a Jedi Knight.  The decision he makes will affect Rogue Squadron forever.

            The Rebel Opposition takes place one month after the Battle of Endor.  Wedge Antilles is now in command of a newly rebuilt Rogue Squadron.  Their mission: to escort a food convoy to the planet Mrlsst.  However, the Rogues are taken by surprise at Cilpar.  When two of their members, Wes Janson and Tycho Celchu, are brought down by enemy fire, Wedge turns to the locals for help, hoping that they can assist him in gaining communication with his contact, Targeter.  But the locals are none too pleased by their arrival.  The people of Cilpar have been jaded through their interaction with Imperial and New Republic forces.  Meanwhile, Janson and Tycho have unwittingly stumbled upon Targeter, who is none other than Princess Leia Organa’s most trusted aide, Winter.  Apparently, the local Moff was supposed to turn over control of Cilpar to the New Republic, but suddenly and destructively backed out of the deal.  Will Wedge be able to convince the rebels of Cilpar that he is not the enemy?  Will Winter discover the reason behind the local Moff’s change of heart?  Will Rogue Squadron ever be reunited with their downed pilots?  And just who is that flying Tycho’s X-wing?! 

            The final tale in Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1 is a four-issue story arc entitled The Phantom Affair.  Two months after the Battle of Endor, Rogue Squadron finds itself on a mission on the planet Mrlsst.  It would appear that the Mrlssi have a super weapon that the New Republic wants to keep from falling into the wrong hands.  While at Mrlsst, Wedge runs into an old family friend, Myrax Terrik, daughter of famed smuggler, Booster Terrik.  Wedge also runs in to his worst enemy, Loka Hask, the man who caused the death of his parents.  When Imperials, with the help of a radical faction on the planet, implicate Tycho Celchu in the theft of data disks containing the plans for the super weapon, Wedge finds himself imprisoned and Rogue Squadron on the run.  It’s up to Rogue Squadron, its newest members Elscol Loro and Groznick, and Myrax Terrik to prevent the Empire from stealing Mrlsst’s secrets and destroying the planet.

            Special added features in Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1 include a section detailing the mechanics of the X-Wing Fighter and Star Wars Handbook: Rogue Squadron which contains information about the Rogues, their enemies, and the various starships and fighters featured throughout the Rogue Squadron saga.

            The artwork throughout the graphic novel is excellent, most especially that found in the dark tale, Rogue Leader.  The storylines are action-filled and intense.  The art is colorful and eye-catching.  Characters who have been featured in the Star Wars movies closely resemble the actors who portrayed them.  The fighters are drawn to scale and the dogfight scenes are amazing.  Ground fighting scenes are intensely drawn and wholly believable.

            I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars: X-wing novels for both their imaginative stories and the dialogue between the characters.  Novels require that the reader have an acute sense of imagination so that each battle, each love scene, each conversation is seen like a picture in the reader’s mind.  However, comic books rely on a mix of art and dialogue to bring a tale across to the reader.  While the artwork does a fantastic job of giving a visual boost to the tale, and the storyline is enjoyable, the dialogue between characters in certain scenes throughout Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1 leaves much to be desired, often times appearing to be stilted.  One would expect better considering that one of the writers is Michael A. Stackpole, one of the two authors of the X-Wing novel series. 

            Despite the stilted dialogue, I would certainly recommend Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Volume 1 to any Star Wars fan.  Not only does it further the Star Wars saga, but it contains the action and intensity that most Star Wars fans crave.  Fans of the X-Wing novel series will love learning more about their favorite heroes and will enjoy meeting new pilots who weren’t present during the time span of the novels.  The visuals, the storyline, and the extras are enough to make me want to rush to Barnes & Noble to buy the second volume in this graphic novel series.  The price of $25.00 U.S. is a bargain to pay for the compilation of 11 comic books and a handbook all wrapped up in one pretty package containing 296 pages of further Star Wars adventures.

            So what are you waiting for!  Jump into your ship and set a course for hyperspace to your nearest Star Wars Omnibus supplier and...

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!!

 

 



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