If the Age of Republic series was a mixed bag, the Age of Rebellion series is proving to be very much the same thing.
Such is evidenced by these three books: Boba Fett, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, which – although following the same basic format – are very different in terms of quality level.
Grek Pak’s Boba Fett story is a fun snapshot of a day or two in the life of the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter. It feels appropriate that this tale has a wild west sort of feel to it, most of it taking place in the desert and on the outskirts of civilisation – as is Fett’s expected milieu.
One of the best things about Age of Rebellion: Boba Fett is that Fett doesn’t speak a single word of dialogue in any scene… until the very last page. Everything he does, all of the action and all of the set-up gives us a silent Fett, going about his clinical, deadly business – it’s everyone else that does all the talking, allowing us to understand what the story actually is and who the characters are.
This really effectively creates that vibe of Fett as the mysterious stranger and the man of few words. What Pak’s story clearly tells us is that Fett is entirely amoral: he is only ever about one thing – the bounty and the job.
This is nicely highlighted when a group of villagers try to thank him for taking out a particular criminal who was causing them problems: they try to treat him as a hero who’s come to their aid.
But all of the praise and thanks falls on totally deaf ears: we get the sense that Fett doesn’t even acknowledge it or even acknowledge that his actions did any good for anyone – he was simply carrying out a job, and the fact that all these people benefited from it means nothing to him.
It’s a really strong moment: and this is a really good Fett tale. In fact, I would argue that this Boba Fett book is the highlight of this Age of Rebellion series, marrying sublime artwork and illustration with potent storytelling.
Marc Laming’s art and Neeraj Menon’s colors are superb, sublimely textured, giving every panel and image ample life.
There isn’t too much to say about Pak’s story for Age of Rebellion: Han Solo, other than that it’s a solid, enjoyable tale.
Set after A New Hope, this little book essentially gives us a look at how everyone’s favorite smuggler got unwittingly and gradually roped more and more into the rebellion – even though he didn’t really have any interest in working with the Rebel Alliance.
It’s nothing weighty here, but it’s a fun little story, seeing Han keep getting coerced in to doing odd jobs for the rebellion, even though he keeps insisting to himself (and to Chewie) that he’s not part of the rebellion.
Of course, we all know what his destiny is. Again, it’s a very lightweight book that doesn’t have the punch of the Boba Fett book.
That can be said even more for Age of Rebellion: Lando Calrissian, which doesn’t feel like it really tells us anything; but it’s fun seeing Lando and Lobot at any time, as well as Cloud City.
This book definitely feels like it needed something more to it, other than just feeling like it was there for completeness’s sake; but it does offer some minor insight into Lando Calrissian’s moral compass.
I feel like way more interesting stuff could’ve been done with a character like Lando: perhaps something more firmly set on Cloud City or perhaps something going back to his younger, wilder days of playing sabaac and being an all-round scoundrel.
Age of Rebellion: Lando Calrissian feels like a missed opportunity. You’re better off looking for Marvel’s five-part Lando mini-series from a couple of years back.