Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes is the latest instalment in the new Star Wars Adventures series. SWA is a series of small digest-sized graphic novels, aimed at younger comic readers. The stories are one off adventures starring heroes from the Classic Star Wars Trilogy, more in the vein of the Marvel Star Wars comics, rather than the current Dark Horse continuity monster. This particular story happens to take place between scenes in The Empire Strikes Back, and that’s where this one is interesting.
Remember when Luke was on Dagobah for like, an hour of the movie, much of that only accounting for about 35-30 minutes of screen time? And remember how we always seemed to meet back up with our hero as Yoda was finishing up the latest lesson? And remember how we never saw any lightsaber training, yet Luke was able to hold out against Darth Vader in the movie’s climactic battle on Cloud City? Didn’t you always want to see more of that training, and what it takes to become a Jedi Knight? Well, then this comic was written just for you!
The story follows Luke on one of his training missions on Dagobah. This mission: to retrieve one of Yoda’s prized possessions from the lair of the King of the Dragonsnakes! What’s a dragonsnake you ask? It’s the creature that tried to eat Artoo, but decided that droids don’t taste too good. And this time, it’s more than just a rubber fin breaking the surface of the murky swamp waters.
But the plot is only part of what makes this story great. What this book does bettter than most Star Wars comics, is that it takes you back to that familiar place, and delivers in a way that matches up to what you remember. I’m a pretty hardcore Star Wars fan. I mean, I host my own podcast on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, called Frontlines: The Clone Wars Podcast (shameless plug, I know). And I’m pretty harsh on Dark Horse and the comics they choose to publish sometimes. Heck, I’m hard on the entire Expanded Universe of Star Wars. The truth is, most of it is just merchandise designed to line the wallets of everyone at Lucasfilm. But where those comics fail, this is one of the ones that succeeds!
The writing, by Tom Taylor, manages to flesh out one of the greatest stories ever told on film, while not trampling all over it, and that is a feat unto itself. The art, by Daxiong, also manages to capture a lot of what Dagobah was like, while adding to the landscape, and taking us to new places in that world. My only major criticism is that Yoda’s peculiar dialect is just a little bit off, taking you out of the experience every couple of pages. Overall, the presentation is nice, if only a little difficult to read, just for that fact that it’s in a digest format. But at the pricepoint of $7.95 USD, it’s kind of silly not to pick this one up for your collection.