In a story set approximately 138 years after “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman add more depth to the legacies established over three and half decades ago in our time. Thirteen decades of conflict, resolution and more conflict have left the galaxy a scattered collection of patchwork societies and races with beings scattered far and wide from the homeworlds and forced to serve outside their talents or interests. The galaxy is attempting to find solace and reunion through a triumvirate governing body comprised of the Jedi Council, Imperial Court and Galactic Alliance.
As rumors swirl and speculation mounts regarding the next installment of the film division of this franchise, the future, quite literally, is here. While we don’t get the focus character’s full name until the second-to-last page, solicitations, interviews and even the “Legacy” title have clued readers in to the lineage in place. Ania Solo begins “Star Wars: Legacy – Prisoner of the Floating World” #1 as a junkyard proprietor, but per the prescriptive outline of “Star Wars” stories, nothing is quite as it seems.
Bechko and Hardman introduce over a half dozen new characters, but the diversity in personality, species and manner serve well enough to create distinguishing features for the reader. Two divergent stories crash into one another and the vicious assertiveness of the Sith rears its head once more. The writing team packs characterization, adventure and even some fun into this story, displaying their ability to merge right in with the rest of Dark Horse’s Star Wars creative stable.
Hardman’s art is well matched for the dingy galaxy of this era where a new hierarchy and subterfuge to rival Palpatine’s plans for the Republic. Clearly, working as both writer and artist, Hardman is able to select some of the things he’d like to draw, including Sauk, a Mon Calamari refugee serving as an ice miner. Jedi Master K’Kruhk even makes a cameo appearance, weaving the expanded universe tighter together under the watch of Dark Horse as that character is now serving as the lead in “Star Wars: Dark Times – Fire Carrier.”
While Hardman’s art is a good fit, Rachelle Rosenberg’s color work carries a significant superheroic influence that works well in spots throughout the issue, but has some moments where it falters. For example, the Imperial Knight Yalta Val’s lightsaber is non-descript, appearing white rather than blue, green or any other shade. There is no mistaking his allegiance, however, as the foe he finds attacking him clearly wields a crimson blade, long associated with the Sith. On the whole, the colors work, especially as the expanded universe is much more an amalgamation of colors and patterns than either trilogy of films portrays individually.
At twenty-two pages, these Star Wars comics from Dark Horse continue to be a value, despite a slightly murkier start than some of Dark Horse’s more recent offerings. That murkiness displays just how complicated the galaxy is and how sinister the Sith remain as Bechko and Hardman are meticulously building this new corner of the galaxy in “Star Wars: Legacy – Prisoner of the Floating World” #1.