Star Wars Adventures returns with two more stories for the Star Wars canon with Star Wars Adventures #24. IDW Publishing continues to provide intriguing stories aimed at a younger audience that are filled with enough Easter eggs that any Star Wars fan can pick up in an issue and be better for it. In Star Wars Adventures #24, readers will follow Poe Dameron and BB-8 on a mission with their old squadron, as well as follow a story about the wonders of the game Dejarik.
“Kidnapped” is written by the head writer of the IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic, Ian Flynn. He is joined by artist and Star Wars Adventures newcomer Megan Levens, colorist Charlie Kirchoff, and letterer Tom B. Long. The story features a pre-Sequel Trilogy Commander Poe Dameron and BB-8 who leads Rapier Squadron. The X-wing starfighter squadron finds themselves out in the Mirrin sector battling pirates in New Republic space.
Despite his famed piloting and his carving up of the pirate forces, Poe and BB-8 are captured by the opposition via tractor beam. During their capture, Poe’s X-wing is damaged, preventing him from calling for help from his squad. This puts the odds squarely not in the duo’s favor. However, with a little trickery from BB-8, the droid is able to escape unnoticed, giving them a chance to outsmart the pirates. Now BB-8 must find a way to free his friend while the smooth-talking Poe Dameron attempts to buy BB-8 all the time he needs.
Although “Kipnapped” is a straightforward story where the outcome is all but determined given its place in the Star Wars canon, I still very much enjoyed the story. I am a sucker for the boy and his dog type of story and writer Flynn certainly delivers. Even though Poe rambles on about seemingly nonsense to waste time until his rescue, he does provide subtle backstory for his character. As a reader, if you weren’t able to engage in any media outside of the films, Flynn provides those nuggets for you that may prompt further probing into the Commander’s life. Further, the art from Levens pops nicely throughout the “Kidnapped.” She particularly shines in the panels featuring the New Republic forces. Coupled with the colors from Kirchoff, the teal Rapier squadron is distinct in the backdrop of space and on the pirate ship.
Overall, “Kidnapped” gave me everything I needed from a story featuring Poe and BB-8. In the canon, the duo works together better than almost anyone. The story continues this trend while providing those unfamiliar with Poe’s background a glimpse of what his life was life prior to angering General Hux in The Force Awakens. If nothing else, that is the kind of writing I can get behind.
Rating: 5/5 Poe his and Robotic Puppy
Tales from Wild Space: Win/Lose
The next story in Star Wars Adventures #24 is “Tales from Wild Space: Win/Lose,” which is written by Shaun Harris, features art from Manuel Bracchi, colors from Matt Herms and Tom B. Long rounds out the team as letterer. The stories from “Tales from Wild Space” are told through the Emil Graf in an effort to teach a life lesson to his crew. In this story, Emil tries to teach his crew about the value of winning and losing through a story involving a hotshot Dejarik player and Maz Kanata.
Fans of the Sequel Trilogy will remember Maz Kanata as the millennium-old space pirate and the owner of Maz Kanata’s Castle on Takodana. Her castle is filled with the kind of clientele reminiscent of Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. However, that did not stop the venue from hosting the largest dejarik tournament in the galaxy with over 500 of the top players. Dejarik, the holographic chess-like game featured throughout the Star Wars canon, required a tremendous amount of strategy to master. This why everyone feared the skills of Blik Plessey. Everyone except Maz Kanata that is.
A cocky Rodian, Blik saw himself as unbeatable. Even as Maz, the person who taught him everything he knew, tried to keep his ego in check, Blik walked into the tournament as if he already won. He arrogantly challenges Maz to enter the tournament, which she accepts hoping to teach her former pupil a lesson. The rest of the story follows the two throughout the dejarik tournament to find who was the best in the galaxy.
While there isn’t heavy canon information like in “Kidnapped”, I was pleasantly surprised with how the story unfolds in “Win/Lose.” The stories in “Tales from Wild Space” often feature lessons that are unequivocally wholesome. Writer Harris provides a slight departure from this norm. While the moral of the story remains wholesome, there are ways to interpret it as slightly selfish as well. As the Star Wars Adventures series is aimed at younger audiences, I really appreciate the ending not just being black and white. It shows that there is not just one way to show others the folly of their ways, and shows how to help others improve their shortcomings.