Story: Claudia Gray
Art: Yusaku Komiyama
Translation/Adaptation: Yusaku Komiyama
Lettering: Abigail Blackman
What They Say
Will the end of the conflict mean the end of their story…?
Thane and Ciena have survived to see the destruction of one Death Star and the construction of another, but as they watch from opposite sides as the Empire crumbles, can anything but tragedy await them at the end of their journey?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This volume picks up with Ciena’s TIE squadron having cornered Thane’s X-Wing unit during their escape with the plans for the second Death Star, but her shock at seeing Thane is only matched by her confusion at her top secret orders to allow the rebels to escape. Her faith in the Empire already shaken, Ciena’s loyalty is shaken ever further when she sees the Emperor for the first time and feels only malevolence in his presence. However, even with the destruction of the Death Star at Endor, and the certainty with which the Empire’s collapse has become, the hold the empire on her still commands her loyalty, and a good captain goes down with her ship.
Claudia Gray’s 2015 novel that this series is based upon was one of the first parts of the new continuity Disney was establishing after their acquisition of Star Wars to help bring us up to speed for the upcoming series of sequel films, beginning with J. J. Abrams’s Episode VII. That YA novel received great critical and popular acclaim, and this manga series attempted to capture that for the Japanese audience. For the most part, I would say that it succeeded, though clocking in at just three volumes, it certainly reads a bit like a Greatest Hits or Cliff’s Notes version of the original novel. All of the important pieces are there, and we give everything that needs it the appropriate attention, but it still feels a little rushed when compared to the original.
Still, it is an admirable effort. It looks amazing and feels appropriately Star Wars-y despite its obvious ties to manga. And Ciela, Thane, and Nash come across great throughout. Even “rushed,” I think this has captured the spirit of Gray’s novel well, and it was great to get to see these characters “in the flesh.” Perhaps it is because of the YA nature of the story, but I think it lent itself well to the manga format. This was a fun, breezy read, and now I might need to go revisit the original.
If you haven’t read the novel Lost Stars before, I’d say that this short series could act as a nice primer to see if the novel would interest you, and if you have, then this is a great way to revisit the characters and story in a fresh way. While I would certainly say the novel is still better, if for no other reason than being more fleshed out than this series was able to handle, this is a worthy adaptation and was a lot of fun to read. Recommended.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: T – Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 12, 2019