Synopsis: DESTINED FOR HOTH! Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa and smuggler Han Solo have struck blow after winning blow against the Empire. The Rebels are digging in their defenses on the remote ice world of Hoth but how long will they truly be safe from their many enemies? Darth Vader will stop at nothing to crush the rebels but his efforts to locate their new base have been in vain. Will the dark side of the Force guide him to the missing rebels and to young Skywalker or mire the dark lord in the conflicts of his past? Despite a life riddled with treachery and destruction, Doctor Aphra has found a family (of sorts). Former Imperial inspector Magna Tolvan and Aphra’s young ward Vulaada will have to face the struggles of a life of rebellion…while Aphra reckons with her legacy. Former Imperial loyalist turned cyborg bounty hunter BEILERT VALANCE is taking on a dangerous new mission. And the lives of the entire Rebellion—including his old buddy HAN SOLO’s—are at stake should he fail!
Review: At 48 pages. This book comprises of four Star Wars series in the form of the Star Wars 2020, which is focused on setting up the base on Hoth, Star Wars: Darth Vader 2020, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, and Doctor Aphra. All of which will be relaunched in 2020 as they fill in the events that took place in the Star Wars Universe prior to Empire Strikes Back.
The opening story is focused on the main Star Wars Universe where we see a husband and wife working on the tunnels for the new base that the Rebels are building on Hoth. When part of the tunnel’s structure collapses on them when they try to drill a new passageway. The couple begins to think the worst and set about recording a message to their son. This is where we learn that they are connected to a certain future X-Wing Pilot.
The second story is set within the ‘Darth Vader’ comic, which again is undergoing a relaunch as the focus shifts to events, which build up to ‘Empire Strikes Back.’ In the issue we see a couple of scientists discussing the fate of some seriously injured stormtroopers, which is a prelude to them becoming Elite imperial soldiers.
The Third story is centered on a Bounty Hunter friend of Han Solo. In a nutshell, Han asks his friend to transport some vital information to the Rebellion. This is an introduction to the newest addition to the Star Wars comics universe ‘Star Wars: Bounty Hunters’.
The four and final story is set within the world of ‘Doctor Aphra’. The issue centers on her family who is now living amongst the rebels on Hot. Her family is basically discussing whether or not Aphra has survived her most recent mission, which has gone some way to buying time for the rebellion. There is a really interesting conversation in this where one of the characters says that all Rebellions start off with good intentions, but once they touch power they become the villains over time.
The artwork throughout all these stories is by various artists and its all pretty damn good. But out of all of the books. I was most impressed with the art from the main ‘Star Wars’ title in which Jesus Saiz does some great work with regards to the snowy and cold environment. The other artist working on these comics include Roland Boschi, Paolo Villanelli, and Caspar Wijngaard. All of who do pretty solid work.
Star Wars: Empire Ascendant is a great way to show readers the larger ‘Star Wars’ comicsverse and show off all the talent and different stories that are on offer. At present, we only really cover the main Star Wars title and plan to continue to do so as well as picking up the odd mini-series along the way. But reading this book has given me some food for thought in regards to whether we should add one of the other ongoing titles.