Published By: IDW
Written By: Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet
Illustrated By: Elsa Charretier and Sarah Stern
Forces of Destiny is the Star Wars/IDW comic imprint geared towards children; little girls specifically. As such, though I am an avid fan of Princess Leia, I went into the story expecting the miniscule drivel that’s come to characterize nearly all forms of children’s entertainment in the modern day era. Within two pages of reading, I found myself shockingly- albeit happily- incorrect.
This story is set during that critical time between the events of A New Hope and the chilling advancements that most of us know await in Empire Strikes Back. Leia and her band of rowdy rebels have already touched down on Hoth, the ice damages the material on some of their equipment and she heads out with a small team to find a lost ship in hopes of looting it of its spare parts.
It’s the most basic of set ups. Perfect for any child to come into and immediately understand what’s taking place and feel the legitimate weight of the stakes. The magic comes in the narrative. The entire story is told from Princess Leia’s point of view and as she shares the adventure via dialogue and narration, we are exposed to the other side of someone in her position. She’s a leader; a hero; a Princess; an icon. She always has to be on for the people. She doesn’t get off days. The new hope that Luke discovered and became within himself is a fire she’s continually kept burning within her since she was a small girl.
Yet rather than be overwhelmed by it or tempted to nullify the strain via dark methods… she leans into it. She acknowledges the truth of her battle, but then forces herself to grow from it. To grow through it. Completing the ensemble cast in this particular tale are both Han Solo and Hera, which makes for a truly legendary stroke of contemporary nostalgia in bringing these characters together. My favorite part of the entire story, beyond the innocently earnest inspiration sweeping through the pages, is that the spirit was captured correctly. The “it” that makes Leia who she is, that makes Han who he is, that makes Hera who she is; the “it” that makes Star Wars the glorious magic that has defined four decades of cinema and storytelling.
The artistic illustrations weren’t particularly breathtaking, but that’s not to say that they were lazy or crude either. In point of fact, it reminded me heavily of the old school Scooby Doo or Tom and Jerry cartoons. Quirky and eye catching with bold dashes of color. Perhaps not ideal for winning nominations, but absolutely spot on for winning the hearts and imaginations of kids. To this point, I also hold that there is an underlying precision to the art, tying it all together. There’s an intentionality which separates it with sharp distinction from the half cocked renderings proffered in other children’s media.
I wholly enjoyed myself on every level.
4 Tauntauns out of 5