Review: The Resistance is Desperate in Marvel’s Star Wars: Allegiance #1
The Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues this week with Marvel’s Star Wars: Allegiance #1 from writer/artist team Ethan Sacks, Luke Ross, and Lee Loughridge. Allegiance is a four-part comic mini-series that will be released every week throughout the month of October.
The series follows the Resistance against the First Order as they try to regroup and rebuild following their desolation at the end of The Last Jedi. This week’s issue shows us just how far the First Order is willing to go to annihilate their enemies and subjugate the galaxy. As for the good guys, Finn and Poe are on a risky mission to track down a Republic weapons cache, and Leia travels to Mon Cala to pay a debt to an old friend. Spoilers ahead…
If there’s a redemption arc upcoming for the son of Han and Leia in The Rise of Skywalker, it’s certainly getting harder and harder to see with every new story that comes out. This issue opens on the ice planet of Tah’Nuhna in the Mid Rim of the galaxy, a world that has succeeded in remaining neutral in every galactic conflict since the Hundred Year Darkness in the days of the Old Republic.
The Tah’Nuhna have always been a peaceful people, but when they opened their world to aid the Resistance, it would ultimately lead to their undoing. Not even the Empire bothered to invade the homeworld of the insectoid aliens, but General Hux and Kylo Ren are well beyond even that. Nothing short of the total destruction of the planet would satisfy their desire to punish those who associate with the enemy.
While hiding out on the garbage world of Anoat, Lieutenant Connix of the Resistance witnesses the final transmission from the Tah’Nuhna people, and with a heavy heart she informs General Organa of the price their benefactors paid for the kindness they showed to them.
This recent move by the First Order was enough to convince the General that the time for hiding was over. Her top spy, Vi Moradi, was off trying to find them a more permanent base, Finn and Poe were trying to track down more weapons, and Snap Wexley was busy scavenging remote shipyards for more ships. And as for herself, she was tired of sitting there just waiting for the world around her to crumble.
Telling Chewie to prep the Falcon, Leia calls on C-3PO and R2-D2 to come along with her. She also enlists Rose as the mission’s mechanic, and needing another pilot, the group swings by on their way offworld to find Rey as well. Rey was off doing what she was good at, scavenging the detritus for whatever she could find to help her friends. We find Rey in a fight with an Anoatian pit beast, and the Jedi-in-training is struggling to gain the upperhand against the creature.
Her physicality has improved greatly since last we saw her, but she is having a hard time focusing her mind in the Force. She’s talented but clumsy and just distracted enough by her new responsibilities as the last living Jedi to succeed in taming the beast. Lucky for Rey, the Falcon arrives to scare off the creature and she hops aboard for her new mission with the General.
At a refueling station known as The Wayward Comet, Finn is getting into some trouble with the local cantina patrons, and Poe arrives just in time to urge BB-8 to give Finn a little assistance. The Resistance hero was supposed to be keeping a low profile, but that wasn’t exactly working out too well. Thankfully though, Poe’s meeting with his contact was successful, and now the two were off to the moon of Avedot where a secret decommissioned New Republic impound was waiting for them to explore.
On the way out though, Finn bumps into a bounty hunter who has identified him as one the First Order’s high-profile targets. The bounty hunter, a Clawdite named Remex, reports back to his crew (who were first introduced in Sacks’ Galaxy’s Edge comic series) with the confirmation, and soon, they notify the First Order.
At first, Hux is hesitant to jump on the lead, instead chastising the Lieutenant that had reported the Finn sighting. They did not have the resources to chase down every scrap and rumor across the galaxy. But when the Supreme Leader steps in, Hux is forced to change his tune. Kylo Ren is on the rampage, and he informs his subordinate general that they would indeed be chasing down every lead, mobilizing every bounty hunter, and leaving no stones unturned as they seek to wipe every one of their enemies out of existence.
As Leia and her crew approach the water world of Mon Cala, the purpose of her mission begins to become more clear. The Mon Calamari Admiral Gial Ackbar, who was recently killed in action, had been a colleague of Leia’s since the days of the Galactic Civil War. But more than that, he was a good friend, and it was time for Leia to visit his home planet to pay her respects in the wake of his loss. However, contrary to the warm welcome Leia had been expecting, the cold greeting from the Quarren General Nossor Ri (whom you may remember from season four of The Clone Wars) stops her in her tracks.
Though I didn’t love The Last Jedi, I’m very much looking forward to The Rise of Skywalker, and I’ve been wanting to see more of what was going on with the Resistance after the Battle of Crait for some time. Not much may have gone down plot-wise in this single issue, but first issues usually involve a heavy degree of setup, and all the pieces seem to be in place for the next three issues in the mini-series to deliver on that front as the month goes on. We’re off to a promising start, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series will take us next week.
The three big takeaways from this issue for me are these…
- The Resistance is desperate. They are desperate for ships. They are desperate for weapons. But most of all, they are desperate for more people to come alongside them in the fight against an enemy that is gaining more and more galactic ground every day.
- Rey is struggling. Much like the last Jedi before her, Rey has lost her teacher all too soon. She is powerful, but unfocused. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren is more resolved than we’ve ever seen him before. We’re seeing a definite shift here between the two of them. When the pair first encountered one another, Rey was searching for belonging. The light had awakened a new power within her, and her confidence was continually growing.In opposition to her, Kylo Ren was seeking to cement himself firmly in the dark side of the Force. He was also growing in his power, but he was distracted by the pull of the light that worked against his dark desires. By The Last Jedi, Rey was more confident than ever. Kylo Ren got an equal boost of confidence when he took out his own master and exalted himself as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. But after losing Luke and a large portion of the Resistance, Rey is rattled. Her confidence in herself is waning, and Kylo Ren is in his prime. It will be interesting to see this shift come to fruition in the final chapter of the saga this December.
- R2-D2 is finally back in the game. This may seem like a silly observation to some, but many have commented in frustration about the lack of the blue astromech’s involvement in the sequel trilogy so far. We know Threepio will be getting a lot of love in The Rise of Skywalker, but it remains unclear how involved Artoo will be in the saga’s conclusion. There’s been a heavy focus on BB-8 so far, and we’ve not seen much of him yet in the promotional material for the movie, but nevertheless, his presence in this comic series gives me hope.
I enjoyed this issue, but there’s just not enough going on to get me super excited yet. However, I’m very glad I don’t have to wait an entire month for the next one, and how next week’s issue follows up to this one will help shape my feelings on the series a little more. I didn’t love Ethan Sacks’ Galaxy’s Edge series, but I like what I’m seeing here so far, so I’ll give him a chance. The verdict is still out on Allegiance, but it’s definitely one to keep your eye on.
The artwork from Luke Ross is not some of his best work in my opinion, and it disappoints compared to the gorgeous cover art from Marco Checchetto. But I do appreciate how he does his own thing with the characters, not relying on tracing techniques to get the faces of the characters movie-perfect. The latter technique is appreciated by some, but for me, I always get distracted when I instantly recognize the facial expression of a character from a specific scene in one of the movies. Sometimes the characters’ facial expressions are a bit sloppy, but I appreciate his commitment to make the characters his own, and his designs are pretty consistent throughout.
If you really want to read what happens in between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, but you can be patient enough to wait a few weeks, I recommend at this point that you hold out for the trade paperback of this series when it comes out in November. This will still allow you to catch the series before the movie comes out, and you can enjoy the series as a whole, which will probably end up being my preferred way to read it in the future (as with most comics). But if you’re dying to check this one out, by all means give it a go. Besides being up to date on the story, another benefit of grabbing the individual issues is that you won’t get to display those fantastic covers together as they are meant to be seen if you just go the trade route.
Star Wars: Allegiance #1 is available now in a comic shop near you or online at Comixology. Happy reading Star Wars comic fans!
Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he’s not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.