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Star Wars Volume 1: In the Shadow of Yavin [Paperback]

Brian Wood , Carlos DAnda , Ryan Odagawa
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

4 Oct 2013 Star Wars 1
This is Star Wars as you remember it... and as you have never seen it before! We're taking you back to those heady, adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Starwhen the Empire ruled, the Rebels were on the run, and the galaxy was a dangerous place where anything might happen! A perfect starting point for new readers.

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Star Wars Volume 1: In the Shadow of Yavin + Star Wars: From the Ruins of Alderaan v. 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (4 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783290293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783290291
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 16.6 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This all just feels like Star Wars, and for a franchise that has been around for over 30 years, D'Anda somehow finds a way to inject new life into it." (Complex) "It is not hard to imagine playing Star Wars action figures with Wood some time back in my childhood. That unrivalled imagination, energy and excitement is exactly what Wood brings to this story." (Comic Book Resources)"

About the Author

Brian Wood is the Eisner Award-nominated writer of Demo, and the writer of the critically acclaimed Local, Channel Zero, The Couriers and Jennie One. He is currently writing DMZ and Northlanders.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By No More Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The story running through issues #1-6 of Dark Horse Comics' new Star Wars series is collected as Star Wars Volume 1: In the Shadow of Yavin. This volume features spectacular artwork by Carlos D'Anda, and plenty of action and adventure, as well as character-development, mystery, intrigue and bar-fights. The scripting is good, but I have never really appreciated Brian Wood's writing - it never quite works for me for some reason, though I appear to be in a minority.

The story is set just after the original first film - "A New Hope" - as the Rebel Alliance fleet sets out to look for a new base of operations (in a manner reminiscent of `B*ttlest*r G*l*ctic*', I have to note). We see a very junior pilot, Luke Skywalker; a very senior diplomat, Princess Leia; two trusted but dodgy smugglers, Han and Chewie; and a very worried Sith Lord, Darth Vader, who has been disgraced by the destruction of the Death Star; whose stories are all still interlinked.

Mr Darth has been demoted, and sent off to speed up the building of the second Death Star, in his usual inimitable manner. His replacement on the bridge of his Star Destroyer - Colonel Bircher - continues the hunt for the rascally rebels. The rascally rebels are sending fighter patrols out to scout for new planets to use as bases, but Imperial ships are arriving almost at the same time (just like in (BG), so the rebel admiral creates a secret squadron to do the searching, organised by Leia, and kept separate from all communication with the rebel flagship. Han and Chewie are sent to Coruscant with a lot of the Rebel's money to buy under the counter technology. It doesn't go well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little short for a Stormtrooper 28 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback
I don't really care for the Star Wars expanded Universe. While the mythology of Star Wars is something that can benefit greatly from exploring events before, between and after events of the saga in books, cartoon shows or video games, I'm not really bothered unless I'm watching the actual movies. However, I saw this comic and thought I'd give it a look.

In the Shadow of Yavin takes places between the events of the original Star Wars movie and the Empire Strikes Back, a few months after the destruction of the Death Star. We follow the exploits of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and many other classic and newly introduced characters of the original trilogy. The Rebel Alliance searches the galaxy for a potential planet to build their new base, however, Imperial forces seem to be one step ahead, meaning only one thing - an enemy spy is among the Rebels.

The story was a decent enough ride, but lacks the variety and fun of the movies. While the films generally take place in numerous worlds with adventure and wonder at ever turn, this book seems to primarily stick to space battles. No lightsaber duels, speeder chases or big battle scenes between the elite Stormtroopers and the unstoppable might of the Ewoks. Aside from Han Solo's detour on Coruscant, the giant metropolis that served as the primary location of the prequel films (a good bridge between the old and the new, so props there) the book consists of Luke, Leia, and a couple of forgettable characters with no real personalities wandering around the dull blackness of space. The book starts with a lot of promise with some interesting character development for the twins, still coming to terms with the deaths of the Skywalker farm, Ben Kenobi and of course the devastated Alderaan.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can something happen now, please? 8 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hmmmm... Well. That was... interesting? Felt a lot like the same conversations held again and again, getting nowhere. The action went pretty much the same way. The dialogue was fine, but it took six issues to do what could have easily been done in two with no great loss.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Star Wars 23 Sep 2013
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Star Wars In the Shadow of Yavin, Volume 1, continues the story after the destruction of the first Death Star. Our motley crew of rebels are searching for a new base (which we know will eventually be Hoth) but are stymied by Imperial presences whenever they reach a new scouting location. Mon Mothma realizes they have a serious security breach and enlists Leia to create an elite group to work undercover to find their location. Meanwhile, she sends Han Solo on a secretive mission to barter for more arms and supplies at the heart of the empire: Coruscant.

Right off the bat, we have a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel in the Star Wars universe with perspectives from nearly all the main characters that survive A New Hope. From Vader to Boba Fett, Threepio to my personal favorite, Wedge Antilles - even Chewie and Han with their trademark banter are well represented here. But this really is Darth Vader and Leia's book. Leia comes into her own as a warrior princess, doing secret missions in an X-wing fighter. Meanwhile, Vader has to deal with the wrath of the Emperor over the loss of the Death Star as well as deal with backstabbing subordinates. It makes for some thrilling stories.

I feel the authors and artist did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the original 1970s Star Wars but also staying true and within the storyline. Luke and Leia aren't going to save the universe between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. But the story provides an excellent bridge leading up to the 5th movie events nicely.

Although the characters bear only a superficial resemblance to the original actors, they are still recognizable and so that doesn't take one out of the story. The illustrations are lush and very detailed as well as beautifully colored. The scenes in space are especially beautiful.

This volume 1 does end on a cliff hanger - it is a series long story arc, not volume long.

In all, it was a pleasure to enjoy more of the original 1970s A New Hope era Star Wars. Wood and D'Anda did an excellent job bringing that period to life again. Highly recommended.

Received as an ARC from the publisher.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Story Line is Back! 15 Jan 2014
By J. Rivera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
For a Star Wars Comic this was better than several others I have read recently. The Dark Horse Star Wars Comics have always been a favorite but I am an old-school-style comic fan so most comics these days seem to be lacking in my opinion. The comic has the Dark Horse creativity but does seem to have some more modern comic touches. A nice blend for all ages of fans.

This story mainly focuses on Leia, Luke, Wedge and fellow Rebels trying to find a new base after The Battle of Yavin. Luke is portrayed much as he was in the movie 'A New Hope' which is accurate as this takes places just a few weeks after that one ends. Leia, however, is quite different. More kickbutt in personality. Attitude, Flying in combat, etc. While it was fun to read, it was a bit too much for her character. She has always been strong and could generally fly but the stuff she was pulling hear, flying as good as Wedge, just didn't fit right.

The next major storyline we have is Han and Chewbacca doing some intel and trade work on Coruscant and getting a bit over their heads. Also we have a shorter bit with Darth Vader when is is sent off after a demotion. While I liked the Hand and Chewy story, Vader could always use a larger spotlight in my opinion. It seemed to be there mostly for filler on some pages.

Overall, not a bad start to this story arc, but I felt there was not enough there to fully grasp the characters. New, original characters did not stand out very much. I love when they pull 1 or 2 new characters and spotlight them. I saw the opportunity but a lack of execution. Still, the stories were enjoyable, the art was good and still one I will add to my collection and is worthy for Star Wars fans, or any comic fans, to check out.

*Special Thanks to Diamond Book Distrubutors and Dark Horse Comics for an Adobe review copy of this book. All opinions in this review are strictly my own.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well executed mix of action, drama, and human interest ... plus Chewbacca 25 Sep 2013
By Alt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In the Shadow of Yavin takes place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance is searching for a new home base but the apparent interference of an Imperial spy is jeopardizing that mission. It's up to Princess Leia to solve that problem. Han Solo is on a mission of his own to Coruscant (with an assist from Chewbacca), but Imperial forces seem to be shadowing him, as well. Meanwhile, Darth Vader has fallen out of favor with Palpatine (that whole destruction of the Death Star thing) and no longer commands the imperial fleet. Worse for him, Vader has a competitor nipping at his heels.

There's a lot going on here, as there should be, and it's all well executed. Dialog is crisp and believable, the pace is swift, and interpersonal conflict between Leia and Luke adds a nice touch of human interest to the story. Vader's brooding adds evil interest, as well. Action scenes are dramatic. The only downside is a "too be continued" nonending that left me wanting more. But good things come to those who wait ... I hope.

The art is a bit inconsistent but, for the most part, worthy of the series.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These are not the characters I was looking for. 16 Oct 2013
By Shane - AFR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
With any kind of graphic novel or comic book the first thing the reader judges is the artwork. In Shadow of Yavin the artwork is pretty good. I really liked the environmental artwork and found that the colors and general look of the natural backgrounds was very well done. The mechanical backgrounds of the Imperial scenes and the ships were all drawn and colored nicely. But, for me, the character drawings need quite a bit of work. I found that the facial features of the known characters were off and looked almost nothing like the people we all know - Han especially. I also thought that everyone came off as looking angry and their body language did not always fit what the scene was calling for - Chewie was never featured as a fun loving friend, but rather always angry.

As for the writing, I thought that the story was well laid out and entertaining. I enjoyed that the Empire was always close on the heels of the Rebellion. I thought that the portrayal of Mon Mothma was spot on with her disconnected demeanor, and Vader was close to character, too. I didn't think that the Emperor was cast in his usual light and thought he was a little too angry and confrontational with Vader, someone we know is treated more as a friend in the movies rather than a whipping boy featured here. I thought Leia was out of character as well as I had never thought of her as an experienced fighter pilot during this timeline. Luke was okay, he still has his farm boy presence in this book, but I did think a little more Force exploration was called for with him. When it comes to the book's narrative, I thought some of the included information was redundant and unnecessary as the artwork pretty well explained what the narrative goes on to.

Overall the book was a good read. The character artwork needs work and the story could use some polishing to focus more on events rather than being an introduction to new readers. I thought that flashbacks could have worked better than narrative explanations to explain past events. A good first volume anyways.

*I received this book in ARC (Advanced Review Copy) in exchange for an honest review.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars doesn't feel like Star Wars 16 Oct 2013
By Enjolras - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Dark Horse's new Star Wars series got a lot of hype. It was easily one of the most hyped Star Wars comics since the original Dark Empire. Dark Horse claimed that this would be a comic for people who had only seen the original "Star Wars" movie (not even the movie as released with the "A New Hope" subtitled). Unfortunately, while I love the idea, I just don't find this very compelling.

The story takes place in between "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes" back. That's potentially a great period for storytelling in the Star Wars EU as there hasn't been much out, besides the old Marvel comics and some of Timothy Zahn's more recent books. But I just don't think this comic has much of a story to tell.

The story begins as Leia and Mon Mothma attempt to find a new location for a Rebel base. They soon realize that there is an intelligence leak and the Imperials seem able to anticipate Leia's every move. Meanwhile, Han is out on a mission to buy arms for the Rebellion.

In six issues, the story doesn't advance all that much. One of the problems is Brian Wood's narrative style. He uses a lot of long text boxes to narrate information that, quite frankly, is probably quite obvious. He uses these boxes to provide background or convey a character's internal emotions. However, comics work best as a visual medium with a focus on imagery and dialogue. Storytelling in comics works best when it's fast-paced and tells readers what they need to know through art or dialogue. I'm just not a fan of all the third-person narration. It just bogs the story down. By the end of issue 6, I felt like we really hadn't learned anything new about the characters or seen them get much closer to resolving their problems.

Speaking of the characters, I don't think Brian Wood quite gets them right. I understand this is his first time writing Star Wars and it shows. Han, Luke, and Leia are iconic characters. We know a lot about them and about their concerns. That's why when an author gets them wrong it really shows.

Brian Wood writes characters with the names Han, Luke, and Leia, but I don't recognize them. They behave very differently from anything else we've seen before. Leia is a hotshot X-Wing pilot, Luke flirts with a fellow pilot, Han seems totally unconcerned with the bounty on his head, and Vader says "May the Force by with You." Let's think about this for a few seconds. If Leia were such a hot pilot, wouldn't she have flown against the Death Star in Episode IV? If Luke were a flirt, wouldn't he have been smoother with Leia in Episode V, rather than acting like a klutz? If Han were so blasé about the bounty, why was he so desperate in Episode IV to get the money to Jabba? Again, it doesn't fit.

Finally, the art is a bit too anime for my tastes. I know some people really like Carlos D'Anda's style, but I didn't think it fit Star Wars. I didn't even recognize the characters in some frames. I think the story, and the sometimes grim and bloody nature of some of the scenes, really called for more realistic art, something along the lines of Jan Duursema's work in Legacy.

I think the one redeeming value is that Brian Wood did manage to find a way to craft a story that has some mystery. I really don't know who or what the leak is. I'm somewhat curious to find out. I just don't know if I'm curious enough to buy the next issue.

I realize I might be in the minority and that this comic series is selling out. But I just can't recommend it. It doesn't feel like Star Wars.
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