The graphic novel adaptations of Star Wars films and other media represent a special case for me in terms of comic reviews. I love Star Wars and I love comic books, so on the surface I think the idea of making comic book versions of Star Wars films is a great idea. However, I believe that graphic novel adaptations should serve a similar purpose within the canon as novelizations: adding something to the experience of the movie, be it action, setting or character content or even some other new detail. Certainly the purpose of a graphic novel adaptation of a book, such as the manga adaptation of Lost Stars or the upcoming adaptation of Thrawn goes without saying.
First off, I’ll talk about this as a comic book. I like the art style of this adaptation more than the one used for the graphic novel adaptation of The Force Awakens, which was a bit too stylized for my taste (particularly when it came to people’s faces). Both the lines and colors suit the muted, dark tone of the film perfectly well. The writing comes straight from the film, and while I would never say that Rogue One featured my favorite dialogue in the Star Wars canon, I can’t hold that against the comic.
In the case of the films, however, I would hope that the graphic adaptations would exist to give visuals to parts of the film novelization that weren’t included in the film, add new scenes, or to reintegrate cancelled, unfilmed or deleted scenes to the Star Wars narrative. So far, the Rogue One comic has done a decent job on that front. Previous issues have shown flashbacks between Deputy Director Krennic and Galen Erso that have served to further explain their connection and the science behind the Death Star itself.
This issue, however, seems to be a bit lacking in that department. I didn’t spot anything in this issue that I don’t remember from the film. Also, given that this was the final issue, I’d been hoping to maybe get some expansion on the last battle, seeing as it comes off as a bit chaotic in the movie. Particularly the space battle, where we see very little of the admirals on the Rebellion side and basically none of the Imperials. If anything, it seemed that segments of the action were compressed to the degree that without the context of seeing the film before would make the action sequences near-impossible to follow. Most disappointingly, arguably the best action sequence in the movie, the end scene with Darth Vader was given less than half a page.
In summary, it felt as if this last issue of the Rogue One adaptation was a bit rushed, and didn’t add anything new to the story. However, I would still suggest this adaptation as a whole to anyone who wanted to get a bit more expansion on Rogue One, as previous issues have been very helpful in fleshing out the film, just know that you won’t be seeing much, if any, of that in this particular installment.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Art: 5 Stars
Dialogue: 5 Stars
Plot/Relevance to Canon: 4 Stars
- Written by Jody Houser
- Art by Emilio Laiso
Cover by Phil Noto