Star Wars Lost Stars: Vol. 1

adapted by Yusaku Komiyama. illus. by Yusaku Komiyama. 192p. Yen. May 2018. pap. $13. ISBN 9781975326531. POP
Gr 6 Up–This graphic novel adaptation of Gray's prose work of the same name opens with the events leading up to The Empire Strikes Back. Thane Kyrell, an expert pilot for the Rebel Alliance, reflects on the lives lost during the battle on the ice planet Hoth and flashes back to life before the war, back on the planet Jelucan. As a child, Thane becomes best friends with Ciena despite Jelucan's class divisions: Ciena's family are First Wave settlers and have remained relatively poor, while Thane's Second Wave ancestors came after and established an economy and commerce. The Galactic Empire, gaining power and prominence, promises to fulfill their lofty ambitions. The teens join the army and are submitted to rigorous training. When sabotage threatens both of them, Thane defects to the Rebel Alliance, leaving Ciena ever determined to become the best soldier in the Imperial Army. The narrative explores class struggle, racial identity, and societal disillusionment. Teen and adult readers will enjoy this tale that features favorite characters such as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and even Grand Moff Tarkin. Manga-style illustrations enhance action-packed scenes with full-page explosions and magnified views of ships and gadgets. Komiyama gives the story a decidedly intergalactic feel, enlarging its scope with artwork that spills out of the frames.
VERDICT Perfect for reluctant readers and anyone who enjoys the "Star Wars" franchise.

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