|STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS No. 3, October 2016|
Admittedly, Chuck Wendig's script diligently conveys the exploits as seen in J.J. Abrams’ motion picture, yet rather than simply pad out proceedings with splash pages featuring Maz Kanata welcoming the heroes to her castle, it might have been more interesting for the Pennsylvania-born writer to pen some of the cinematic release's ‘deleted scenes’, such as Unkar Plutt having his arm ripped off by an angry wookie for threatening Rey, or simply better flesh out the action aboard the Corellian’s Baleen-class heavy freighter by giving Tasu Leech and the “notorious criminal organization” Kanjiklub a bit more ‘screen time’.
Instead, all the American blogger delivers is a lack-lustre, and arguably choppy, narrative which leaps from Supreme Leader Snoke, to the Millennium Falcon, to Takodana, to The Finalizer, and then back to Kanata’s castle for a two-page treatment of Rey walking down some dimly-lit stairs and finding Luke’s long-lost lightsaber in a chest… A terrifically tense scene in the movie when supported by atmospheric sound effects, clanks and noises, but hardly the sort of minimalist action one can similarly enjoy when purely printed on paper.
Somewhat more successful than Wendig’s inauspiciously faithful summary of the film’s events, are Marc Laming’s breakdowns. Decidedly more detailed than this mini-series’ regular illustrator, the British designer’s drawings of Chewbacca and a silver-haired Han Solo are wonderfully realised, with the elderly smuggler’s craggy facial expressions proving to be a particularly well-rendered representation of actor Harrison Ford’s features. In fact, apart from the stand-in artist’s ‘amateurish’ panels involving Snoke and Hux within Starkiller Base, it genuinely seems a pity that the former “Fleetway Publications” penciller isn’t a permanent replacement for Luke Ross.
|Writer: Chuck Wendig, Artist: Marc Laming, and Colorist: Frank Martin|