STAR WARS #47 / Writer: Kieron Gillen / Artist: Salvador Larroca / Colorist: Guru-eFx / Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles / Cover: David Marquez & Matthew Wilson / Published May 2nd, 2018
In Star Wars #47, our heroes Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia plan to rescue the imprisoned King Lee-Char, rightful ruler of the Mon Calamari, in hopes of aid in the fight against the Empire. Leia plans to kidnap the Imperial Moff in charge and use a shape-changer to impersonate him, while they take the real one to get into the prison where the King is being held.
Star Wars #47 is split between two storylines. The first is the impostor Imperial Moff attending a fancy Mon Cala ballet. It’s a fun and lighthearted story. The shape-changer goes a bit overboard with his role and Threepio has to act as both his etiquette guide and handler to make sure he doesn’t blow his cover. I always amuses me when Threepio is annoyed at having to take on other roles, so I enjoyed seeing him struggle with balancing his different parts. The story of the impostor and the jailbreak is one we’ve seen in countless other stories, but I always enjoy seeing a new genre spin on old tropes.
The second half is Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie trying to break into the Imperial prison. This is the heavier of the two plots, but still maintains the classic Star Wars adventure feel. It isn’t earth shattering but continues to deliver what I expect from the Star Wars title. One thing I like is how easily I hear the character dialogue in the actor’s voice. Kieron Gillen’s story keeps things moving at a brisk pace in both stories, but all the different parts work well together. Gillen gives us a few surprises along the way to keep us guessing including a final page twist that has me very curious about where the next issue goes. He adds a lot of humor but it never feels out of character. Star Wars can be a hard thing to write for, since it requires a delicate balance of action, humor, and drama. Gillen seems to understand the balance and keeps things exciting without sacrificing either the humor or the drama.
I wish I could be as kind to the art in Star Wars #47. Salvador Larroca has been the artist for a while now, but his art style is one that I cannot get behind. For the human characters, especially the main trio, it’s clear he’s going directly from photo reference, but the aliens, stormtroopers, and other non-humans don’t have the same photo-realistic style. I’ve previously described it as looking like two different artists drew each panel and that continues here. It’s less noticeable in the early parts of the book, since everything is otherworldly with a minor human presence. The coloring of Guru-eFx is best in the early ballet scenes. He easily creates mood within a room and fills it with unique aliens. The shading is problematic, but I’m not sure if it’s from Larroca’s art or Guru-eFx’s colors. The shadows lack color, which doesn’t match up with the coloring or lighting of the environment.
As a comics fan, Star Wars #47 is a solid read but has more of the same problems as past issues. As a Star Wars fan, Star Wars #47 gives me a lot to enjoy and I can easily overlook what I don’t like because the good works so well. The Star Wars and Darth Vader comics continue to tell different parts of the Mon Calamari story, with Darth Vader covering the initial Imperial invasion and takeover of the planet while Star Wars covers the attempt to free the planet years later. The connections between the two titles have me very excited to see where the next issue will take the fight for Mon Cala, and how all the pieces will fit together in the end.
VERDICT: 3 Out Of 5
Opinionated geek and writer born in the desert, raised on the beach, and now living in the mountains, Paul is a lifelong nerd who loves Star Wars, costuming, comic books, and all manner of geeky things.