Marvel Comics has been selling “Star Wars” comics by the tons. With a regular series featuring the main cast of the original “Star Wars” trilogy and another featuring Darth Vader as the star they are covering some new ground in the mythos of a galaxy far, far away. On the side they have done mini-series featuring those same characters but on solo missions. First Princess Leia received the spotlight, and then came Lando Calrissian, now it is time for the focus to be on Chewbacca the Wookie.
How do you build a series around a hero who only grunts and growls? Pair him up with a chatterbox of a partner on a planet far from his companions and let her say so much that you get the gist of what Chewbacca is really thinking. The “Chewbacca” series is underway from writer Gerry Duggan and artist Phil Noto and not surprisingly it is a fantastic tale of one of the most important characters from Star Wars.
Chewbacca is often thought of as the hero who did not receive a medal at the end of the first “Star Wars” movie. He probably did not want one seeing as how he is most comfortable wearing only his bandolier. But there is much more to his story than just being co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Fans of Star Wars have known this for as long as the movies have been out. The mighty Chewbacca is central to the entire saga because not only is he the strongest and tallest of the heroes he also works as the conscience of Han Solo who gets his partner to continually work with the Rebellion against the Empire.
Duggan and Noto play up this aspect of Chewie in this premier issue. The noble smuggler is on a break for the Rebellion having just participated in the destruction of the Death Star he is getting some rest and relaxation. As he visits the town to buy parts to repair his A-Wing fighter (whoever thought a Wookie would fit in one of these ships) he comes across the story’s mouthpiece a young girl named Jaum who is on the run from slavers who have enslaved her father as well as her entire town. Chewbacca never one to leave anyone in distress, as well as having a strong hate of slavery, joins the fight to aid the young Jaum.
The key to making Chewbacca communicate through this series outside of his usual noises is in the art. Noto’s work conveys much of the Wookie’s attitude, emotions, and strength in well crafted panels that narrate much of the character’s behavior. This depiction is what makes him come to life in a script without Han Solo or C-3PO there to translate what he is saying.
“Chewbacca” #1 is short on action but it is strong in character as the plot of the series is developing. Duggan’s dialogue for the characters surrounding the hero of the Republic builds the narrative. While Chewbacca may not know what he is getting himself into with the upcoming confrontation you know the nobility he has shown throughout the history of “Star Wars” will make his fight the right one, especially since he’ll get to use his iconic Bowcaster. It is a great start continuing Marvel’s exciting line-up of “Star Wars” adventures and focusing on one of the most misunderstood heroes of the original trilogy.