Shattered Empire is a 4-part comics being part of the ‘Journey to The Force Awakens’ and I think this is the best book of this journey to the new Star Wars movie. Have you ever wondered what happened just after the end of Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi? Well, good news this mini comics series answers this question! Actually, the story starts during the last moments of the battle of Endor and we are introduced to a new character: Shara Bey, an A-Wing pilot who is going to protect Luke’s shuttle when he leaves the Death Star II. In these comics we get to see again the beautiful celebration of the rebel victory on Endor and during this celebration we see Han Solo and others and we meet another new character: Sergeant Kes Dameron who was part of Han’s commando group. Kes and Shara are married and we learn they are the parents of … POE DAMERON, one of the characters we’ll meet in The Force Awakens.
The story focuses on Shara Bey and her adventures after the destruction of the Death Star II. In each of the issues she works with each one of the big three of the Original Trilogy which I think is fantastic, it brings so many good feels to see Han, Leia, Luke (and also Chewie and Lando) again! In the first part, Shara works with Han Solo and Chewbacca on Endor to destroy an Imperial Outpost, I like that we see the ewoks are still helping and that the Rebellion wants to make sure that before they leave, the ewoks are a free people. In the second and third part, Shara Bey works with Leia and together they go to … NABOO! I can’t tell you how happy I was to see a planet from the Prequels in Shattered Empire! In the last part, Shara finally works with Luke!
Naboo is not the only Prequels element we see in Shattered Empire we have a HUGE amount of Prequels elements with a lot of Original Trilogy too and this is how all the Star Wars comics should be with feels from both trilogy connecting the universe together like the movies did. What accentuates all these feels are the drawings, the artists who did it really captured the likeness of everyone and it doesn’t feel like you read a comics but like you are watching a movie, it feels real. We get to meet a new Naboo Queen and she is a badass fighter just like Padmé Amidala was more than 20 years before her. Indeed, during the first battle of Naboo post-ROTJ (there are 3 battles on Naboo after ROTJ) the Queen pilots a Naboo Starfighter along with Leia and Shara. Leia during this fight is wearing the same pilot gear Padmé, her mother had at the beginning of Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones and the helmet Anakin, her father had in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace a great connection to her parents! This first battle gives us more insight in post-Palpatine’s death. The Emperor had planned a plan to follow after his death involving the destruction of several systems including his homeworld Naboo and Messenger (who are in fact droids) giving the orders pretending they have message from the Emperor who is already dead. We can recognize here again, Palpatine’s perfect manipulations. Fortunately, in all this battles of Naboo post-ROTJ the planet is saved each time and each time the Rebellion wins (in the comics we only the first battle). It was really great to see Leia following her parents footsteps and being a pilot during this battle and we also learn she follows her mother’s footsteps in politics (and her adoptive father Bail Organa’s footsteps) as she is a diplomat. During this battle, Lando Calrissian and his friend Nien Nunb come to the rescue with the ship we were introduced in Star Wars: Moving Target. Talking about a badass Queen I forgot to mention something that happens on Naboo before the battle and it concerns Leia and it is a HUGE Prequels feel! When the doors of the hangar open in Theed, the same doors where Darth Maul arrives to battle Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Leia feels cold and we see a vision of Maul’s face, more than 20 years after the events of The Phantom Menace, he can still be felt, it shows us the darkside can leaves a big impact on a place and this feeling of cold connects to the Prequel when Anakin felt cold, he was feeling the darkside! This also hints at the possibility of Leia of accepting to follow her brother’s steps in the Force. Prequels movies elements are not the only one we get, we also get elements from Star Wars The Clone Wars and a very important element that opens Luke’s story for The Force Awakens. In the last comics like I mentioned it earlier, Shara works with Luke and their mission is get back the tree from the Jedi Temple, the tree we see in TCW in season 5 and season 6. Obviously as the Temple was turned into the Imperial Palace by Palpatine, the tree was moved to another planet at least some parts of the tree and Luke’s mission is to get it back. At his surprise, he does not find the entire tree but two branches of it that grew into two small trees. Many questions rises from there, why did the Emperor keep it? Why Luke needs one? What we learn is that it is not a simple tree but a tree strong with the Force. The first tree is given to Shara Bey who plants it on Yavin IV with her husband Kes at the very end of the comics, the second Luke takes it with his droid R2-D2. What he does with it can only be speculation for now as it is not revealed in the comics but this is definitely something important that we’ll see the consequences of in The Force Awakens. One of the possible theories is Luke is going to try to reform the Jedi Order or something similar to the Jedi Order and he needs the tree for it. We can obviously make the conclusion that he was told about the tree by Spirits Force Ghosts Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda.
I talked about the Prequels elements and feels and I’ll now focus my last part on the Original Trilogy feels and elements. As mentioned seeing the big three again was just wonderful and Greg Rucka the writer really captures the personality of each character even R2-D2, Lando, Chewbacca and C-3PO so it really feels as a direct continuation of the movies, really. In this post-ROTJ even C-3PO “fights”, he goes on mission with Han Solo, Chewbacca and the team that went on Endor but as we can see the golden droid is separated from his best little friend R2-D2 as Artoo stays with his master Luke. I really love that the team Lando and Nien Nunb continues, it becomes a classic like Han & Chewbacca team. We see General Crix Madine, Admiral Ackbar and Chancellor Mon Mothma some important characters! All these characters are with the Rebel fleet which means we see the Home One again, Ackbar’s flagship! In the end, we see Yavin IV (as we can suppose as it is the same temples we see on this planet) again where Shara and Kes lives so it gives us a new information – Yavin IV remained a rebel base after the destruction of Death Star I in Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope. My favorite part was really seeing Han and Leia, Han is my favorite of the big three and Leia getting into her parents footsteps was just wonderful, plus the two are together which is beautiful!
10/10 The best comics series with Star Wars Darth Maul Son Of Dathomir.