JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – ALLEGIANCE
Part I AN OLD HOPE
Luke Skywalker is dead. But the Jedi Master’s sacrifice, as well as the sacrifices of many rebels, allowed what little remains of the noble Resistance to escape total annihilation at the hands of the evil FIRST ORDER. Supreme Leader KYLO REN will stop at nothing until the Resistance is crushed and the entire galaxy is subjugated.
Now, General LEIA ORGANA leads the last rebels—including Jedi-in-training REY and freedom fighters POE DAMERON, ROSE TICO, FINN, the Wookiee CHEWBACCA and the droids C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8—in what could be their final stand.
Together, they hope to be the spark that will light the fire to burn the First Order away forever. But they stand alone. And without allies, it could be the flames of the rebellion that
are about to be snuffed out….
Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Luke Ross
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Cover artist: Marco Checchetto
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publication date: October 9, 2019
With The Rise of Skywalker now out in the world, a look back a couple of months to the pre-film Journey To titles holds a slightly different meaning. As with any pre-film release material, the writers have a limited amount of information to go on, and even those lucky enough to be filled in to a greater extent have no idea just how sharp the editors scissors will cut. Star Wars Allegiance #1 certainly walks that fine line, set after the death of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi and Episode IX, but does it give us any of that much-needed galaxy-spanning scope that the Galactic Civil war provided across the decades, or the sharper focused Clone Wars managed to paint? In a word, yes.
Kicking off on the sculpted world of Tah’Nuhna somewhere in the Mid Rim (map nerd alert: I do wish there was an online and updated galaxy map (hint hint LFL). Saying ‘The Mid Rim’ is so ineffectual in identifying where in the galaxy the planet lies) we meet the peaceful people of the Tah’Nuhna, a race who have staunchly remained neutral in all conflicts going back centuries. Not even the Empire broke that request, most likely because the planet isn’t important from a military point of view, but as the forces of the First Order arrive and General Hux orders the decimation of the surface we know Hux, the First Order and by extension their Supreme Leader Kylo Ren mean business.
We step around the Mid Rim and across to the Greater Javin in the Outer Rim Territories to the garbage world of Anoat, as Lieutenant Connix informs General Leia of the complete destruction of the Tah’Nuhna people, a race who aided the Resistance after the Battle of Crait. That cost them their civilisation, and as such Leia sets out to find more help for the Resistance. Vi Moradi is looking for a new base, as is Snap Wexley and as Rose, Connix, R2 and C-3PO join Chewbacca we switch to Rey who is looking for parts on Anoat and joins the crew. We then and hop across the galaxy to Finn, BB-8 and Poe, on their own mission as they search for a weapons dump and come across Kendoh and her band of criminals from the recent Galaxy’s Edge series who are working for the First Order, and a significant bounty that comes with capturing our heroes.
Leia and co reach their destination – the Calamari sector and the world of Mon Cala, literally on the other side of the galaxy in the Outer Rim at the junction of the Overic Griplink and Mintooine Spur hyperspace lanes, relatively close to the Giblim Route where New Alderaan lies. There to pay her respects to her friend the legendary Admiral Ackbar and expecting a warm welcome, Leia and her people recieve anything but.
A promising start to a story that needs to be told, namely how the Resistance managed to survive and continue in the post-Battle of Crait days. With Luke Skywalker gone and the Resistance forces crippled, a New Republic shattered just days before the events of The Last Jedi and the First Order stomping across the galaxy from the Unknown Regions, how does Leia not only continue the fight but also teach Rey what she needs to know? That element may not be revealed here, but the practical requirements of finding allies and staying one step ahead of the First Order needs fleshing out. As Kylo Ren settles into his unchallenged position as Supreme Leader, how does the Resistance – with the legendary Luke Skywalker no longer alive to return and join the fight – keep going?
Marvel have put a crack team in charge of this title, with Ethan Sacks writing and the ever dependable Luke Ross on art. As such, the characters are smoothly defined and presented, leaving the reader keen for the next issue – always a bonus! A slight gripe is the pages of pencils and sketches at the back, a place where more story or perhaps a back-up strip could have lived, but that’s a small grumble. This has my attention, and you can’t ask for more than that.