Star Wars fans are in for a treat with Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1, the fourth one-shot in the Return of the Jedi 40th anniversary series. Crafted by writer Jody Houser, artist Jethro Morales, letterer Joe Sabino, colorist Dee Cunniffe, and cover artist Ryan Brown, Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1 delves into the complexities of life under Imperial control for those who had their lives taken over by the Imperial machine.
One of the highlights of Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1 lies in its ability to present a fresh perspective within the Star Wars universe. Often the oppression of the Empire is felt by our heroes in the Rebellion who are determined to end its tyranny. However, writer Houser introduces readers to Rilo Grenth, an independent businessman whose life takes an unexpected turn when the Empire forcibly takes control of his family business. By following Rilo’s journey, readers are shown a unique vantage point that explores the struggles faced by those caught in the crosshairs of Imperial rule. This narrative choice adds depth and complexity to the broader Star Wars universe, shedding light on the varied experiences within the galaxy.
Flipping through Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1, I couldn’t help but notice parallels and the stark differences between the experiences of Rilo Grenth with those of Syril Karn in the Andor show. Examining the two individuals grappling with similar circumstances, both forced into aiding the Empire but reacting differently, the issue provides a thought-provoking exploration of the galaxy’s response to oppression. Some are looking for any way to bring down the Empire like the Rebels. Others are looking for ways to become cogs in the Imperial machine like Syril. Then there are those like Rilo who are just trying their best to survive against their circumstances even if it means working for their oppressor. This prompts readers to consider the multifaceted nature of resistance and the diverse paths individuals can take in the face of adversity.
The synergy between the artwork, lettering, and coloring is commendable in Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1. Jethro Morales brings the story to life with expressive illustrations, capturing the stark contrast between Rilo Grenth’s vibrant and upbeat personality and the oppressive and rigid presence of the Empire. Joe Sabino’s lettering effortlessly guides readers through the narrative, allowing the dialogue and inner thoughts of the characters to flow seamlessly. Dee Cunniffe’s color choices effectively enhance the storytelling, emphasizing the dichotomy between the liveliness of Rilo’s world and the grimness of the Empire’s dominance.
As the fourth one-shot in the Return of the Jedi 40th anniversary series, Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1 continues the trend of celebrating the beloved film with a compelling story. It complements the overarching theme of the series while exploring new and meaningful perspectives. Jody Houser, Jethro Morales, Joe Sabino, Dee Cunniffe, and Ryan Brown have delivered an interaction into the canon that not only expands the Star Wars universe but also provides nuanced commentary on resistance and the human spirit. Rilo Grenth and his journey provide a story worth telling, ending on a somber note that highlights the dangers of Empire, even this deep into The Original Trilogy.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1
As the fourth one-shot in the Return of the Jedi 40th anniversary series, Return of the Jedi – The Empire #1 continues the trend of celebrating the beloved film with a compelling story.