‘Yoda’s Secret War’ unveils Yoda’s influence on Luke before ‘Empire’

The latest issue in the main “Star Wars” series of Marvel comics draws closer to concluding Yoda’s story arc while simultaneously setting up Luke Skywalker’s. And conveniently, Yoda’s arc, which took place decades ago, has a direct influence on Skywalker’s. Yoda’s story has been pulled straight from the journal of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and is the journal that Skywalker has been reading while traveling throughout the galaxy.

Concluded in the issue is Yoda’s training with Garro; the young boy he found dwelling inside the heart of the mountain. The same mountain that the planet’s inhabitants fear because of the unknown secrets at its core. With Garro’s help and days of deep-force meditation, Yoda manages to awaken the mountain that once lived among others of its kind; thus, discovering the mountain’s “secret.” The secret being that the mountain is a living being. Garro spills the mountain’s secret to the Rockhawkers, the same group that had abandoned him in the past for being too weak in combat, and leaves Yoda behind, telling him to leave the planet.

Yoda, knowing the Rockhawker’s intentions with the secret of the mountain aren’t good, returns to train the Muckwhackers, the band of children that has been at war with the Rockhawkers, for a completely different kind of war.

Yoda’s story is by far one of the most unique in the “Star Wars” canonical universe right now. Never before have we seen such a strange and relatively unknown part of the galaxy in canon. Writer Jason Aaron nails Yoda’s dialogue, something that has never been easy to do (even some of Yoda’s dialogue in the prequel films is cringe-inducing.) Aaron writes Yoda’s twisted dialogue in a way that makes it feel both natural and familiar.

Penciller Salvador Larroca’s art direction gives us a different but effective perspective on Yoda. Yoda is indeed a small character, but in this comic, he is (most of the time) portrayed as an equal in comparison to his enemies; always without fear and as courageous as ever. Larroca drew Yoda and seemingly disregarded height differences in certain frames. A clever way to show the Jedi master’s dominance in situations.

This issue didn’t give us any huge story revelations or epic battles; it simply set up the next issue. However, some very noteworthy things happened in this issue that are unique to a “Star Wars” story.

As mentioned before, Yoda knew the Rockhawker’s intentions with the mountain’s secret weren’t going to bring any sort of peace to their world or their war. And he was right. The Rockhawkers used the dark side of the force to fill the mountain’s newly awakened mind with anger and thoughts of revenge. Revenge to the humans who exterminated the rest of it’s kind. Yoda, realizing the Rockhawkers had taken control of the mountain in order to destroy the Muckwhackers, courageously sets off to face the now humanoid being that towers over him in a true “size matters not” moment.

Details aren’t given as to how the encounter with Yoda and the mountain unfolded. All we know is that Skywalker, after reading the story told in Kenobi’s journal entry, traveled to the same planet Yoda faced the mountain on, only to discover it’s seemingly lifeless body and the last remnant of the Rockhawkers.

If it weren’t for it’s on-par writing, unique storyline, and homage to an iconic character, the issue would’ve been disappointing. Some of the story took too long to flesh-out, but the revelations in this issue make it worthwhile. And seeing Yoda face the mountain without a hint of fear is about as iconic as his character can get. I’m excited to see how Skywalker’s encounter with the last Rockhawker will tie-in with Yoda’s story in the next issue.

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