Written by: Gerry Duggan
Illustrator: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Edition: Paperback, 112 pages.
With The Last Jedi a few days away, and Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out next year, it seemed a fitting time to look back at the canon Marvel comics that came out following the Disney/Lucasfilm merger. In 2015, Chewbacca got his own five-issue run which follows a personal journey that has a small detour on Andelm-4.
While trying to fix his crashed spaceship, he is enlisted to help a young native, Zarro, free her father from the mines he has been forced to work in. A gangster, Jaum, has enslaved the people who owe him money and forced them to mine resources (used for blasters), which he plans to sell to the Empire. It is when Zarro asks Chewbacca if he knows what it is like to be a slave, he joins her fight. With flashbacks to Kashyyyk and what it was like there under the thumb of The Empire, Chewbacca and Zarro fight to save Andelm-4 from being sold.
This comic does something right that The Star Wars Holiday Special got wrong: communicating what a Wookiee is trying to say (see AFJ's review HERE). The Holiday Special failed spectacularly at this, and the entire thing was ruined by it. Chewbacca excels in this by giving the Chewie a character we can understand to play off. This helps us understand Chewie well enough that we can actually follow the storyline.
What is funny about that dynamic is that Zarro can barely understand Chewie, just like us. This forces Chewie to do his best to explain things in a non-verbal way, over-emphasizing his movements, and this is what clues us into what he’s trying to say.
Beyond that, the comic boasts a strong, emotional story that makes sense in the Star Wars universe. A gangster is taking advantage of a war to acquire wealth and power. A young girl raised in the era of The Empire chooses to rebel against the unjust powers around her. And a hero helps to do what he can to balance the scales of justice again.
It certainly gives you a new appreciation for our favorite Wookie, especially the ending. Have you read this comic? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
The cover to issue one of the individual comics! Order the TPB edition here on Amazon.