‘Star Wars Adventures: Destroyer Down #3’ - Comic Book Review

In the days before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a sandstorm on Jakku reveals the final resting place of the Imperial Star Destroyer Spectral. The lost behemoth has become the stuff of legends in the years since the fall of the Empire, and the dwellers of Nima Outpost believe it to be haunted.

The first two issues of Star Wars Adventures: Destroyer Down saw intrepid scavenger Rey entering the Spectral and discovering a captured rebel Y Wing onboard. Issue three begins with the other scavengers dispatched by Unkar Plutt coming face to face with the sole survivor of the Spectral, a dangerous imperial KX series security droid named K-8Z8. While searching the Y Wing for parts, Rey puts down her guard for a moment, and the security droid gets the drop on her. The backup story also comes to a conclusion in this issue. The Ghost Ship takes place three decades earlier during the last stand of the Spectral. Captured rebel pilot Bak Rychuk and his droid Zeet find themselves surrounded by Stormtroopers, but they are determined to bring down the star destroyer from within.

A lot of the things that I liked about the first two issues of Destroyer Down were present in the final chapter. For starters, writer Scott Beatty and artist Derek Charm included a similar number of references to the original Holy Trilogy. And not just obvious ones like the Y-Wing fuel pump that's name checked in The Force Awakens, but blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter eggs that had me doing double takes and watching clips of Grand Moff Tarkin on YouTube. The creators were clearly having some fun playing with the toys from the Star Wars universe. Beatty's omniscient narration continued to tie Rey's adventure in the star destroyer to life on Jakku in an interesting way. And Charm's renderings (as well as the art by Jon Sommariva, Sean Parsons, and Matt Herms in The Ghost Ship) use wide and cinematic panels to create dynamic action sequences.

The conclusion of the three-part miniseries was largely satisfying but surprisingly short, and some of the plot points that were introduced in the previous issues didn't pay off the way I expected, specifically the experimental weapon on board the Spectral. On top of that, the connection between Destroyer Down and the backup story didn't seem to me as comprehensive as previous issues.

However, Destroyer Down's greatest strength continues to be its love for Rey as a character. Beatty, Charm, and company continue to capture the pluck, wit, and selfless heroism that made all of us (or at least me) fall in love with Rey in the movies. There's a scene at the beginning of The Force Awakens where Rey finishes her dinner and puts on a rebel pilot's helmet. If you ever wondered what she might have been imagining as she looked up into the Jakku twilight, you should check out Destroyer Down. Admittedly, the comic borrows from the films, but I don't want to mislead you into thinking that Destroyer Down is at all derivative. While there are plenty of aforementioned Star Wars references, Destroyer Down does well to stand on its own as a wholly original narrative.

This three-issue miniseries was targeted at young readers and intended to grow the next generation of comic book fans, which is a worthy cause in my opinion. I'm happy to recommend getting all of Destroyer Down for the young Star Wars fan in your life, especially if that fan is a youngling that admired Rey on screen and would enjoy reading entertaining prologue to her cinematic adventures.


Creative Team: Scott Beatty (writer), Jon Sommariva (artist), Derek Charm (artist/cover artist)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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