I’ve been curious about Yoda’s Secret War for a while now. Why wouldn’t I be? I love me my favourite space frog, that ancient green lad of fine repute. The war itself, alas, is not altogether my cup of tea. Someone must’ve pointed out the Mad Max/Earthbender nonsense going on here, and if they did, they’re right on the money. Master Yoda hears a disturbance in the Force and follows it to another one of those planets that do not appear on any star maps, which confirms my suspicions that star maps ain’t worth a buck; once he lands, he discovers himself in the middle of a conflict between two tribes of children. He agrees to help one, is summarily captured by the other and–how is the greatest living Jedi captured by children, you ask? Something about glowing blue rocks he can’t control.
The children send Yoda into the sacred mountain of blue rock, where he humbles himself before a new master who teaches him to Rockbend. This, I liked – it’s true to character. The rest of it is–there’s no way getting past this–bland. Despite the occasionally interesting moments and character interactions, there’s a lot here I read through not because I was hooked but because I wanted to be done faster, to “get to the good part”. I suppose the ending is okay, something about a character learning a lesson, which is very textbook, but executed well enough.
Oh, I liked the annual! Leia’s in trouble and badly hurt–thankfully, she is saved by Pash, a capable engineer on the planet Skorii-Lei. Pash, affectionately called “Bash” by her fellow workers, wants nothing to do with the rebels or the Empire. All she desires is to live her life–but she’s too decent a person. What follows is a fun little romp that shows Leia at her most vulnerable, and introduces a side character I hope Aaron will use in future volumes. It’s a tight enough story and after I got over my usual reluctance to read annual stories (they’re usually a let-down) I found myself enjoying it more than I did the secret war itself.
Aaron’s writing is Strange-levels bland, as I mentioned. Larroca’s art is great here, and that alone makes browsing through the pages worth it. Yoda’s look is recognizably Prequel trilogy in the best ways possible. Kelly Thompson pens the annual, and I enjoyed Emilio Laiso does the art for the annual; I liked it plenty, and hope to see Laiso do more Star Wars in the future (I mean, he probably has, I’m just abysmally behind and too lazy to check).
The verdict? It was okay, could’ve been better, if you live near a library that offers it, get it. Don’t waste your money otherwise.