Star Wars: Invasion #1 Review

Star Wars: Invasion #1Now I’ve probably read less than forty novels in my life, but my younger brother is a huge Star Wars fan and for the last few years has made a point to read every SW novel he can get his hands on. I too share his enthusiasm for George Lucas’ greatest work, but haven’t delved as deeply in to the Expanded Universe that broadens the scope of events seen in the films. I have read a few of the novels which centre on the vile Yuzzhan Vong however and have loved them. This alien race which despises technology and is immune to the ways of the Force is one of the best creations in the Star Wars world. It’s not easy to create credible enemies for the powerful Jedi, but as I read of the Vong I was instantly scared and sickened. I always thought they’d make an awesome enemy in a film, game or comic adaptation. And here we are. Dark Horse knows how to handle licensed properties like no-one else. They’ve taken Star Wars in to bold new places and this latest mini-series looks to continue that tradition. As editor Randy Stradley mentions in the afteword, now is the time for this comic.

Written by fellow Aussie, and playwright Tom Taylor Invasion is a five issue mini that follows the Yuuzhan Vong as they focus their horrific marauding ways upon the peaceful Artorian people. Obviously, the Artorians have no idea what’s in store for them, and no real defence when the attack comes. Most are carried away as terrified captives by the brutal scaly creatures, while the king (a veteran of the Battle of Hoth, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back) and his risk-taking son Finn  do their best to save their planet. The focus on this 40 pager is not the Vong. In fact they hardly appear, but when they do they look as horrific as I imagined when reading the books.

This series is set 25 years after the first Star Wars film amid the New Jedi Order era, in which an older Luke Skywalker is gathering fresh Jedi recruits. He appears here and reminds all that he is one bad dude when he wants to be. So far it doesn’t appear to tie in to any of the Vong novels so I’m curious as to where Taylor and artist  Colin Wilson (2000 AD) take this. The desperation is laid on thick with the quick battle on Artoria and Skywalker shows interest in training Finn as a Jedi, which is something that holds promise.

Wilson’s art is detailed, with a flair for costume design and page design, particularly in the numerous fights. There have been so many alien races and planets seen in SW over the decades, but Wilson does an admirable job in the few pages he’s given to flesh out the people of Artoria with a Middle Eastern flavour. Wes Dzioba’s colours add a great richness and depth to Wilson’s pencils, making the pages pop with  variety.

It’s an intriguing set up and I hope to see more of the Vong’s harsh religion and culture in the following issues, as that’s one of the things that make them so unique. With the novels, there’s some great source material to mine from. I look forward to this being a dark and ominous series, and hopefully the rest of the Skywalker clan will show up at some point.

You can see a preview of this ish here. There’s also an original 16 page preview on by the same creative team set before this first issue.

Star Wars: Invasion #1 p8