Star Wars Annual #4

Star Wars Annual #4

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Ario Anindito, Roland Boschi, and Marc Laming
Colorists: Jordan Boyd, and Andres Mossa
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Tradd Moore, and Matthew Wilson

Star Wars Annual #4 takes place before Star Wars #8, which at this point is so far back that no one is going to remember what happened back then without looking it up. That also means this issue isn’t going to make a lot of sense unless you look it up. If you’ve been keeping up with all the recent Star Wars comics, all the sudden you’re going to see Sana Starros not knowing who R2-D2 is, Darth Vader destroying a lightsaber, and Luke going off to investigate dark feelings in the Force. Combined with the alternating artists and their alternating styles, it’s an eclectic comic.

So what did happen in Star Wars #8? And better yet, Star Wars #6 and #7? Well in Star Wars #6, Luke fought Boba Fett and discovered Obi-Wan’s journal. Han discovers he’s been tracked down by Sana Starros who claims to be his wife, and Vader learns the identity of the person who blew up the Death Star…Skywalker. Star Wars #7 went off on a tangent telling an old Obi-Wan story. As for Star Wars #8, that issue has Han and Leia dealing with Sana, while Luke is off getting into trouble in a cantina.

Back to Star Wars Annual #4. Essentially the story is about a pair of lightsabers that belonged to an ancient Sith named Darth Atrius. Sana pulls a scam and sells one to some random guy on a planet called Hradreek, and the other one to the Empire. Both sides are mad as they wanted the set for some reason. Sana gets shot at and runs off, meanwhile Luke just happens to be on the same planet and is drawn to the Sith lightsaber. He picks it up and starts fighting stormtroopers cause, guess what? Vader is already on the planet and searching for the other lightsaber. So everyone is running and fighting each other. Sana gets the one up on Vader…which is disappointing as it demeans Vader. Plus Vader can’t even sense that Sana doesn’t have the lightsaber he wants even though untrained Luke was drawn to it a like a moth to a flame. Regardless, Luke ends up in a podrace and Vader winds up seeing it. That was the one interesting part in the whole issue as we see Vader watching the race and hearing the commentary. He gets mad when they don’t mention him winning the Boonta Eve and they make a big deal out of Luke doing so good, so Vader destroys Luke’s podracer.

In the end, Luke suddenly decides to destroy the Sith lightsaber he has, and then Vader suddenly destroys the Sith lightsaber he has. It’s overly convenient, pointless, and a bit dumb. First off, why does everyone have to have both lightsabers? Secondly, why do all Sith artifacts now possess whoever holds them and makes them go crazy? And why go so far back in the timeline to tell a story? None of it makes much sense, and it really doesn’t make for that good of a story. The only person who comes out on top is of course Sana Starros. At this point Sana is not really a good con artist at all, she’s just ridiculously lucky. She screws everyone over and always comes out on top despite nearly getting everyone killed in the process.

While the story is a bit weak, the artwork is great and not great. This is because there are so many artists involved. The comic starts out with one style of artwork, then when it switches to Vader and the Empire, there’s a completely different style of art that is…well I want to say terrible but it’s probably not that bad. It’s not good, though, especially when compared to the other art in the comic. Whoever the bad artist(s) are, they pop in and out for pages here and there. There’s a distinct lack of detail and some bad coloring for those pages. For instance, there’s one horrendous panel where the shadow of the ship is done with these lines instead of actually shading the artwork to show a shadow. It’s a terrible stylistic choice. Some some of the pages are great looking, and some are not great.

With mixed artwork and a lackluster story, I really didn’t like this issue. It’s odd, it doesn’t feel right in the way it played out or handled the characters, and the jarring art styles didn’t help at all. I have no idea why they decided to put so many artists on this issue, but it was a bad move. If they needed to delay it, they should have, as what they put out was poor quality. I give this one a two out of five metal bikinis. You can certainly skip this one.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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