Star Wars Doctor Aphra: Fortune & Fate is MARVEL’s recent addition to the outer-rim lore of Star Wars, following the adventures of titular character, Doctor Aphra. Written by Alyssa Wong and illustrated by Marika Cresta.
Professor by day, Smuggler by night. Indiana Solo? Han Jones? Either way, Doctor Aphra is embarking on her next job with her team of smugglers as well as new and old colleagues. What lies before them comes with the promise of infinite riches, eternal life and the highest price of all; a maddening suicide mission in the depths of an ancient temple.
Firstly, the dialogue depicts some of the archaeological sites and artefacts as grander or more intricate than they appear which is a little disappointing given the subject matter.
On the other hand, a diverse colour palette throughout by Rachelle Rosenberg allows for a balance between the setting and our main characters. This combined with Cresta’s exceptional illustrative expressions and designs give the reader a clear visual narrative to accompany the story.
Fittingly, with the Indiana Jones franchise being synonymous with Lucasfilm, it makes perfect sense to have an Indiana Jones type storyline within the Star Wars mythos! Not only as a nod or homage to another of Ford’s badass thrillseekers, but as a welcome extension to a galaxy far, far away. We’ve rarely been introduced to the academia or archaeology of Star Wars.
Apparently, some of the characters are well known within the comic lore of Star Wars and as a fanatic, I’m ashamed to say I don’t recognise any of them. As my official introduction to these existing characters, I think they are neat. Inventive and interesting while remaining familiar and funny.
For an archaeological adventure story, not unlike the Sith academy trials in Knights of The Old Republic, Wong’s writing is for the most part solid but rudimentary. Where the story shines is in its characters, both in their personalities and in motives. The inclusion of an LGBT relationship is also a nice touch that is treated respectfully and realistically.
In conclusion, Star Wars Doctor Aphra: Fortune & Fate is a harmlessly engaging comic. I say harmless because the storyline, aside from its prologue, is wholly distant from the original saga in which it is set. This story could stand on its own easily in any era of Star Wars which is neither a good or a bad thing, as is the way of a rogue smuggler.
With no prior knowledge of this spin off comic series or its characters, I recommend this for a quick standalone Star Wars adventure with interesting ideas and a homage to the Indiana Jones franchise. Something familiar but new for your May the Fourth!
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on MARVEL’s Star Wars Doctor Aphra: Fortune & Fate, your favourite Star Wars spin off and how you’ll be celebrating May the Fourth! I’ll be watching The Bad Batch premiere, expect a review later today!
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