A graphic novel by
Michael A. Stackpole and Robert Teranishi (2000, Dark Horse Comics)
19 years after Star Wars: A New Hope
Disaster threatens to strike as Luke and Mara prepare for marriage.
Read on November 11th,
2017 for the third time
It's funny how impressions change over
time. This is my third time reading the graphic novel, and my opinion of
it was very different each time. The artwork, while not the most
detailed, was still really vibrant and allowed the reader's eyes to
linger, to enjoy it as a graphical story. The real gem, though is in the
characters. Most of these are known from the Rogue Squadron and
Squadron novels, as well as some of the
comics that came before them.
The Imperial threat looks shoe-horned in, but the rest of the cast
really delivers a realistic pre-wedding preparation. From Leia and Han, Corran and Mirax, Wedge and Iella, and was that Winter and Tycho, among
the others? -they really showed how they've bonded, and how the hopes
for the future were huge, before disaster struck with the Yuuzhan Vong
war, Jacen Solo's war, and Abeloth's Sith War. Here were people doing
what real people do!
Read on November 22nd,
2004 for the second time
While I still liked this book the
second time around, I didn't find it nearly as good as I implied below.
I disagree with my statements that the artwork is amazing, and that
everything flowed so nicely.
fact, I didn't think the artwork had much at all to recommend it. There
are a few places where Mara stands out, most particularly when she puts
on her wedding dress for the first time. Other than those few places,
the details were barely there. Nobody had much in the way of facial
features, and often I couldn't tell who was in the frame just by looking
at them. I wonder if my tastes have changed since seeing the incredible
stuff at the beginning of The
Defense of Kamino!
One of the things that I really did
like was the way we weren't given introductions to the people right
away. We heard them talk about their spouses and ways of life, and could
infer who they were from that. Later, we get their actual names,
confirming, or redirecting, their identities.
The best thing about this graphic novel
has to be the cast. Taken from all the heroes from the books published
up to this point, the cast of Luke and Mara's friends is quite large. As
of the time this book was published, each of these people had only
marginal page-time; many of them were really fleshed out in the New Jedi
Order. The only ones I think were drawn really well, however, were Talon
Karrde and Booster Terrick, who looked especially awesome in their
tuxedos. Where was Corran's beard? At least one line of Corran's dialog
was actually given to Kam Solusar, during their initial sparring,
leading to even more confusion.
When I had read this book for the first
time, I had not yet read Starfighters of Adumar, which is where Wedge
and Qui Xux broke up, and he started seeing Iella again. That takes
place seven years before this, which explains how they can have two
daughters the ages presented here.
I also liked the depiction of Jacen,
Jaina and Anakin Solo, even though they don't get much screen time. The
banter between the kids was a highlight, but not as much as the constant
banter between the adults. I laughed many times at their nearly acerbic
I don't have much to say about the
Imperial Threat, non-existent as it was, because I could have done
without the whole thing. The way Luke talks the assassin into passivity
was really pathetic. This part of the book, as well as some of the
wedding preparations, dragged on slowly. I didn't understand the purpose
of the bar fight being shown without any dialog, just ham-faced
fist-fighters. What happened to using the Force?
On the whole, though, I did enjoy the
book, which had more good points than bad ones. It is definitely not
among the best of the graphic novels, however, in terms of story or
Read on June 24th, 2001
Probably not for everybody, but I liked it. It was mostly simple
banter and worries leading up to the wedding, but it felt real. The
Imperial Threat could have been omitted, but it gave the Rogues something to
The first thing I want to note is the drawing. Vibrant colors,
combined with accurate depictions of how our heroes would likely look in
twenty years really amazed me, and had me looking at the art long after I had
read the pages. Toward the end, Luke's face seemed to be distorted, but
for the most part, it was really nice to see.
The depictions of the others was also very well done. The only
problem I had with it was the number of characters that I couldn't
identify. I knew them all, but I couldn't tell who was who. There
were several exceptions, however. Leia was always identifiable, but she
looked the same as she was in Return of the Jedi. Wedge was also easily identified on most pages. Aside from the movie
characters, Talon Karrde looked dashing, and Booster was easy to
distinguish. I didn't recognize most of the Rogues and the Jedi,
however, as Gavin, Kam, Corran, and the others seemed to merge together. It was nice to see Mirax and Iella (finally - but she seems to be married to
Wedge; is Qui Xux no longer in the picture?). I wondered where Winter
was. One of the characters seemed to be her (mentioning Tycho, her
husband), but she didn't fit Winter's description.
Most magnificent of all, however, was Mara. She was drawn with
absolute perfection. She was described by Timothy Zahn in Heir
to the Empire as stunningly beautiful, and here, she is all that, and
more. Her fiery red hair, piercing green eyes, and beautiful smile made
watching her across the pages more than worth opening the book. And when
she was revealed in her wedding gown... well maybe I'm still sappy over my own
wedding three years ago. I just loved it!
Most of the book is spent either with Mara and the girls, Luke and the
guys, or Luke and Mara alone. Alone, they worry together, because their
marriage is being seen across the New Republic as a marriage of the Rebellion
and the Empire, the healing of long-festering wounds. But they have
passion together, passion that works incredibly; so well, in fact, that based
on what we see here, nobody could say these two people don't belong
together. They both have dreams of foreboding, and take it as
nervousness over the wedding.
Mara is taken in by the group of women led by Leia, and including a bunch
of married folks like Iella, Mirax, possibly Winter, and Tionne, wife of Kam
Solusar (when did that happen?). They all talk of how to enjoy marriage,
joke about their men, and offer all kinds of advice to Mara. They take a
spa treatment (drawn wonderfully, I might add -but the artists are men, so
what can I say?), and beat a group of pilots at springball. They get fit
for their dresses, and seem to have a lot of fun.
Of course, fun for the guys means getting into a brawl, right? The
bachelor party consists of Han, Lando, Wedge and the Rogues going to a bar
where somebody picks a fight with Luke. They end the brawl, and then
leave. When getting fitted for their suits (which looked amazing at the
actual wedding), they trade banter back and forth, which made it feel just
right. Stackpole really knows how to write pilot banter, especially
among the best of friends. C3P0 and R2D2 were well used, especially
since their parts were kept short -I loved C3P0 boring the newscasters
so they would be forced to leave!
But there is a small plot against their lives by an ex-Imperial, who isn't
too happy about the peace that was created in Vision
of the Future. Once they come to Coruscant, one attacks Mara in the
guise of an Imperial Royal Guard, while the others plan to attack the
ceremony. I didn't like the way the wife of the ex-Moff so quickly found
Mara's dressmaker -her logic was flawed.
I did like the way the Rogues got some action by defending the wedding
grounds from speeders and swoops. Even Chewie got some action in that
part. When everybody except the leader is captured (in part because one
of his agents turned them in), he disguises himself and threatens to tear the
New Republic apart. I get really tired of hearing that threat, and it
could have ruined the book, except that it was revealed that he was no threat
at all -the New Republic had measures in place to prevent what he claimed he
could do. So it turned out more funny than anything else. But his
conversion at Luke's words was very strange, and I wonder if there could have
been another way to do this. But it did show that Luke is tired of
killing, and is ready to start accepting people for who they are.
So there it goes. I wonder if people are going to have a fit if they
discover that Luke and Mara were already married by the time their ceremony
took place on Coruscant. They were married in a Jedi ceremony at the
Jedi Academy beforehand. Both ceremonies were great, and the bride
looked terrific in both cases.
Aside from the few moments that kept me in doubt along the way, such as the
Imperial stuff, mostly, this was a nice break from the complex battles and
manipulations we've seen in the past Star Wars stories. It was so nice
to see everybody relaxed and ready to have a celebration, with no worries
about the future. Wonderfully touching, but not for those who want huge