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REVIEW: Star Wars: Shattered Empire


Hello all! Please remember - writing isn't free. Please continue your donations so that I can continue to do this for you.

A while back I reviewed Star Wars: The Aftermath for this blog. I have now read Shattered Empire, a comic book tie in for The Force Awakens that had a similar plotline - following tired and worn soldiers for the Rebel Alliance following the victory of the Rebels over the Empire.

It's tenuous how much canon books and comics like this have. Like I wrote before, critical elements of both the Star Wars films and TV shows have showed up in comic books and novels first. There are enough overlapping elements in Shattered Empire to demonstrate that both authors Greg Rucka and Chuck Wendig were in contact with each other.

Greg Rucka is an excellent writer - one of the comic book industry's finest. His work on Batwoman not only humanely portrayed a superheroine struggling with her lesbian identity but also a superheroine who grappled with both the drive to live up to her loving father's expectations and avenge the loss of her mother. Shattered Empire is clearly not your average Star Wars comic book with his involvement and he lives up to both his own legacy and the legacy of the franchise in it.

Much of the storyline follows Lieutenant Shara Bey, a veteran of the battle over Endor. In the aftermath of that battle, she is assigned on critical missions involving Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, ones that tap in to the prequel storyline and also clue us in to how the optimistic outcome of Return of the Jedi led to the seemingly hopeless environment of The Force Awakens.

The cult of Palpatine's personality was apparently enough to drive many in the Empire toward a unity that outlived death. One scene shows an order coming in from the emperor, which one captain relays - when he is told that the emperor is dead, the captain tells the offending officer that "repeating Rebel propaganda is treason."

We are made to not forget the legacy of the emperor also as Bey and Leia travel to Naboo, where they meet with the reigning Queen Soruna. Soruna wears the traditional outfit that Leia's mother had in Phantom Menace and the chambers where the Battle of Naboo are illustrated as ghostly.
"Palpatine's stain is heavy on our people, and we carry that shame still," Soruna tells Leia.
As Leia looks down the hall where Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi fought, a cold chill and the image of Maul's face strike her mind.

There is still a whole lot to go as far as tie-ins which will give us some information as to how Return of the Jedi led to the galaxy of The Force Awakens. Shattered Empire and Aftermath are only the beginning - more than likely there will be a third TV show, in the mold of Clone Wars and Rebels, which will fill the gaps in for us in full detail. I'm certainly looking forward to it - Star Wars is a great storytelling venue which reflects human events and struggles.

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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