This book achieves exactly what it promises, delivering a fast-paced Star Wars tale that requires no further knowledge than seeing the original film to understand and enjoy the story. Even more impressive, Star Wars #1 picks up exactly where the characters' internal journeys left off, with Luke still grieving for the loss of Obi-Wan, Han trying to find his place as a hero of the Rebellion and believing his debts are long behind him now that he's out of the smuggler's life, and Leia feeling the need to prove herself now that she has lost both her Senatorial position and her home planet. I fell back in love with these characters and it was easy, even as a big Expanded Universe (EU) fan, to put aside all that history and get back to this early point in these characters' lives. That said, Wood does throw in a few nods to the EU, but these references are few and small, doing little more than providing some extra color to the setting and making EU fans smile.
The art of Star Wars comics is usually top-notch, and Carlos D'Anda does not disappoint. D'Anda does a better job capturing the looks of the core Star Wars characters than most and nails his depictions of ships, gear, and the overall setting of Star Wars. Some of my favorite details added are all the grime and damage on the Rebel ships, while the Imperial craft are all sleek and flawless. The one exception is D'Anda's depiction of protocol droids, like C-3PO, which seemed completely devoid of life on the page, and it's not the lack of facial expressions either, because such obstacles on other characters don't slow D'Anda down in the slightest.
On top of everything else it does right, Star Wars #1 lays the groundwork for where the rest of this series is going to go, and damn do I like the direction they've selected and can't wait to pick up the next issue.