Star Wars: Age of Republic: Anakin Skywalker #1 / Writer: Jody Houser / Artists: Cory Smith; Wilton Santos / Inker: Walden Wong / Colorist: Java Tartaglia / Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham / Cover Artist: Paola Rivera / Published February 6th, 2019
The Clone Wars rage and General Anakin Skywalker leads the Republic’s charge against the droids of the Separatist Alliance. Faced with heavier droid forces than expected in the region, the Jedi and the Republic discover a droid foundry nearby. However, not everything is as it seems.
Tensions rise when Anakin and Admiral Yularen disagree on the approach to destroying the foundry. Yularen proposes a surgical strike that will destroy the foundry but kill all the natives working in the facility. Anakin wants to save the local populace, which will take more time and allow for a potential counterattack. Anakin investigates the foundry himself, and the truth awakens many hard feelings from Anakin’s past, leading him to find another solution.
State of Conflict
As a character, Anakin Skywalker exists in a constant state of conflict—with himself, with others, with his teachers, and his fellow Jedi. In Anakin Skywalker #1, he struggles against the right choice for a military leader versus the right choice for a Jedi. Are the lives of the locals worth saving? Are they truly innocent or are they now among the enemy? These are complicated questions, relevant not only to the battles of the galaxy far, far away, but to our world as well.
Jody Houser once again captures the feel of Star Wars extremely well. She possesses a fantastic understanding of not only the galaxy but of the Force and the Jedi, as well. She exposes Anakin’s tortured and conflicted soul, dealing with issues from his past. Anakin struggles with his role as a General and as a Jedi, and he ultimately finds a solution that neither would have expected.
Cory Smith and Wilton Santos’s art provide a cinematic flair that works well. However, while the character of Anakin generally looks good, not all of the other characters look as good. Yularen looks like a completely different character between his appearance at the beginning of the story and the final pages. Walden Wong’s inks show deep shadows and weariness of a continuing war. Java Tartaglia’s demonstrates a great use of color. I especially like how he makes the blue of Anakin’s saber shine in the darkness of the final battle.
A complicated character, Anakin doesn’t always make the right choices. However, here we see both the hero of the Clone Wars and the darkness within lying just below the surface. The Age of Republic series continues to shine with Anakin Skywalker #1, and each issue raises the bar for Star Wars comics.
VERDICT 4 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.