Marvel’s Rogue One Adaptation #1 Fleshes Out the Events of the Movie
Written by Jody Houser
Art by Emilio Laiso
Cover art by Phil Noto
All appears lost in the fight against the tyrannical Galactic Empire. The Rebellion has discovered the existence of the Empire’s ultimate super-weapon. The Death Star. With the power to wipe planets from existence, the Death Star’s existence spells doom for those seeking freedom. All hope now lies in the hands of new heroes Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor. Their last ditch gambit to steal the Death Star plans are all that stands in the Empire’s way!
In another example of Star Wars synergy, Marvel has released the first issue of the Rogue One Adaptation comic to coincide with the home video release of the movie. Let’s see how this one fares compared to the adaptation of The Force Awakens which followed the movie note for note and added virtually nothing to the story.
Like the movie itself, the adaptation has no opening crawl. Instead, it has a Rebel’s Report that describes the mission: “Find and extract Jyn Erso”. And while it starts like the movie on Lah’mu, with the death of Lyra Erso and kidnapping of Galen, after two pages it is clear that this adaptation will not just adapt the film but add to the story in significant ways.
We witness the fateful encounter between Galen and Bodhi Rook that pushes the imperial cargo pilot to defect and look for Saw Gerrera’s rebels.
We also get Jyn’s arrival to the Wobani labor camp and her interaction with her cellmate, named Oolin Musters in the novelization and described by Felicity Jones as her ‘many tentacle friend’, in which the alien threatens to kill her. She (because Oolin is female) never gets a chance, because Jyn is saved by the Rebel Alliance.
The interrogation of Jyn plays out pretty much just like the movie, however it is interspersed with Jyn’s flashbacks, including the moment when Saw Gerrera abandons Jyn in a bunker.
Another nice addition is a scene between Mon Mothma and Bail Organa in which the two leaders discuss the discovery of the Empire’s super weapon. Mothma thinks that with proof of its existence, the Senate would have to act, but Bail fears that ceding to the Emperor has become second nature to most of the senators. Mothma says they have to try diplomacy first, but also be prepared for what comes after that.
Aboard of Star Destroyer Executrix, we witness in comic-book form one of the many contentious on-screen encounters between Grand Moff Tarkin and Director Krennic. Here, the defection of Bodhi Rook has pushed the timetable and Tarkin proposes a weapon test.
The scene leads directly to Jedha City and the two Guardians of the Whills. Their relationship to the Force is clear from a single panel: one lost his faith in it, the other is still guided by it.
The issue closes with an afterword by Gareth Edwards, director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He remembers how as a child he just wanted the ‘boring’ yellow letters to hurry up and get to the real excitement and how he used to believe that the characters of Star Wars were real and how he wanted to live in a galaxy far, far away. He got the next best thing when he started working for Lucasfilm.
“I look back on those early days of making the film, hanging with Gary and the Story Group as one of the best creative experiences I’ve ever had. Unlike other filmmaking processes, our problems were never ‘What the Hell shall we do?’ but always, “What the Hell shall we cut out to make this film have a chance at being less five hours long!’
And like the heroes in the film, we did make sacrifices. We cut things out, we rearranged, tightened; And merged ideas together… if only there was a place where some of these forgotten scenes could actually live and exist again.”
That chance is this comic mini-series which will share many of the concepts, themes and visuals that never made into the final film.
After reading the first issue, I am pleased to say that the comic was exactly what Edwards promises. The comic is written and drawn in a way that gives it a cinematic feel. It’s also giving us the sense of which events in the movie played out concurrently. Cleverly placed flashbacks flesh out the characters, explaining their motivations and general attitude. Laiso’s art transfers the atmosphere of the movie successfully to the page, especially when it comes to different settings like the Ring of Kafrene or Jedha, and it is brilliantly complimented by Rachelle Rosenbergs’ colors. His character drawings though are a bit inconsistent, ranging from completely realistic like Bail Organa to the portrayals that are nothing like what we saw in the movie, like Krennic.
Overall,the Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation is off to a promising start – one that promises to add to the story of the movie and the characters in a meaningful way. I certainly recommend you to pick it up, because we are heading to Jedha in…
THE NEXT ISSUE:
- Jyn Erso continues her quest with Cassian Andor to help the Rebellion fight the sinister Galactic Empire.
- Following the trail to the ancient Jedha City to find Rebel extremist Saw Guerra, Jyn and Cassian get caught in a firefight with the Empire…
- …only to then be taken prisoner by Saw’s followers!
- The Star Wars story continues!