Kyle’s Review: Marvel’s Rogue One #2 Is A Whirlwind of Memories
Marvel continues to treat fans to a great adaptation of Rogue One. If you are anything like most fans, you left the theater this past December wishing you could get a little more time with the characters and worlds in the film. If that desire still lingers, look no further than Marvel’s treatment of the story. With a Star Wars story as unique as Rogue One–not only in it’s ultimate implications on the Original Trilogy–but with an ensemble of the likes we’ve never seen, this story comes to life very well on the illustrated frames and pages.
The Marvel team seems to have been given much more free-range to explore pieces of Rogue One‘s story. This issue gives us a few glimpses into the past of Saw and Jyn’s relationship from the time of her rescue as a small girl. Above, we see that rescue play out more through Saw’s point of view, with him finding one of Jyn’s toys after Krennic’s murder of Lyra and subsequent abduction of Galen. It didn’t occur to me, upon viewing the film, that when Saw arrived he must have been uncertain about whether Jyn had survived as he made his way to her bunker. Another small difference that adds to the tone of the story, come to life here on the pages of the comic.
We also get a better look at what exactly happens to Bodhi when the Bor Gullet gets inside his head. In my opinion, the Bor Gullet sequence in the film seemed a little more elaborate a plot device for Saw to ensure Bodhi was being honest. Here, in print, it doesn’t strike me that way at all. Saw’s paranoia seems to be the thing that has made his campaigns against the Empire successful, but also alienated him from both the Rebel Alliance and Jyn, so it’s understandable he would be extreme in his measures to ensure Bodhi wasn’t a trap. I guess I get that now more so than I did in the film.
We are treated to the conflict Jyn and Cassian are caught in the middle of in Jedha, which pretty much plays out as it does on film, save for Jyn’s rescue of a small child caught in the middle. That never happens in the comic, which seemed a little odd to me, since it showed Jyn’s selflessness. We are also introduced the Chirrut and Baze, but don’t really see much of them, other than their swift takedown of several Stormtroopers. I love the depiction of Chirrut by artists Emilio Laiso, Oscar Bazaldua, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg. The “halo” glow around Chirrut is a pretty strong indicator the Force is nearby. I just picked up my copy of Greg Rucka’s Guardians of the Whills, so I’m excited to dig in to that this weekend and learn more about Chirrut’s relationship to the Force.
Memories seem to be the common theme in this issue. Here we see glimpses of Saw and Jyn’s relationship over the years. In addition to Guardians of the Whills, there is Jyn’s story, Rebel Rising, and I picked that up as well. I’m guessing these frames are a brief glimpse into what we’ll read in Beth Revis’ novel. Count me in. At some point in their relationship, Saw recognized himself as a liability to Jyn, not the other way around. He recognized that he would most likely fail in his duty to keep her safe. The last frame is especially interesting, since we see two very familiar faces of the Rebellion. Though Saw’s tactics were broad and controversial to the Rebellion, a lot can be said for Saw himself taking the difficult steps to let go of Jyn and step away when he recognized he was caught up in a movement much bigger than himself. Saw’s remorse about missing out on Jyn’s life is underscored much more on these pages than I felt it in the film, which is not meant as a criticism to Forrest Whitaker or Gareth Edwards, but more a compliment to the team of artists.
The issue concludes just as the Death Star arrives and destroys Jedha City. The Death Star and the officers aboard are painted in very apocalyptic brush strokes. All the Imperial Officers, emphasis on Krennic and Tarkin, are heavily shaded with dark shadows covering nearly all their expression. The Death Star itself is illustrated as more a dark orb in the sky, rather than the technological terror in the sky. This use of shadowing and darkness is very effective, almost as if the Imperial officers are something of the Four Horsemen from the Biblical chapter of Revelations. It gives Krennic a much more sinister feel, rather than the slimy bureaucratic one of the film.
There’s a lot to enjoy in this adaptation. Judging by the first two issues, this is just going to get better, as we know the blueprint of the story gets more and more intense. There are so many moments from the film I can’t wait to see play out on the pages here. I never got a chance to read Alexander Freed’s novelization, but this series’ writer Jody Houser is doing an excellent job condensing and expanding scenes. I hope that all of you who enjoyed the film as much as I did get out there and pick up copies of these issues. I think you will be very pleased.