“OUT OF THE SHADOW”
The son of smuggler Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa, Ben Solo was once one of the most promising of the new generation of Jedi.
That is, until his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, sensed the dark side in Ben. Since then, Ben has abandoned the ways of the Jedi.
As Kylo Ren of the villainous First Order, he now walks a new path….
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Cory Hamscher
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover artist: Phil Noto
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publication date: September 25, 2019
One of the many elements that has grounded the sequel trilogy in the wider realms of the Star Wars saga is the constant struggle of Kylo Ren – Ben Solo – to live up to the legacy of his grandfather, Darth Vader. Interesting, that he doesn’t appear to see the line between Vader and Anakin, as he himself lives between the worlds of Ben and Kylo, but his deep-lying fascination with the armoured Vader fuels him in many ways. A legacy to live up to, but also one to exceed and this issue shows Ren attempting to triumph where Vader failed many years before.
On the edges of Wild Space we find Kylo and the last surviving trooper of Vader’s battalion heading towards the world where the towering Benathy live. They have been expanding their interests in the local region, wiping out entire worlds in a quest for power and Kylo and the First Order won’t allow it. Where Vader failed to bring the Benathy and their king to heel, Ren is determined to succeed.
And he does, to gory effect as the ignited hilt of his lightsaber meets the side of the kings temple, kicking off a huge melee which sees Ren battle alongside the trooper, Captain Ruthford, and then face down the Benathy god.
By god we mean Zillo Beast, Dave Filoni’s very own kaiju, and Kylo finds a way to win. It’s clearly an important tactical victory for the First Order, reminiscent of the way Palpatine would not only keep Vader busy subjugating worlds but also at arms length well away from Coruscant, and shows in part how the Order took the galaxy in such a minute amount of time compared to the decades long-gestating plans of the Emperor. Standing on the shoulders of giants might be applicable phraseology here.
In what’s another of the more impressive entries in the series, Tom Taylor gives us a look inside the mind of Ren without ever intruding upon it with thought bubbles or monologues. His actions and his words make clear the coaxium that fuels his hyperdrive – the determination to be seen as an equal to his grandfather Vader. That he succeeds says much for his determination and skill. That he is mocked by the Benathy and initially doubted by Ruthford shows he still has much to prove.
A solid read with great art by Leonard Kirk and colours by Guru-efx, this shows why a Kylo ongoing series would have been a good shout during the years of the sequel trilogy, a window that is now only days away from closing.