After a controversial sequel trilogy, both The Mandalorian and the final season of The Clone Wars have received an incredible reception, and Star Wars fans are looking forward to the future of the franchise, eagerly anticipating the new shows announced for Disney Plus and fresh stories set in the new High Republic era. But aspiring Jedi, Rebels, and Imperials who are getting impatient with the wait should turn their attention to another comic series that is well worthy of their attention.
Saga, an ongoing comic series by writer Michael K. Vaughn and artist Fiona Staples tells a story about a young family searching for its place in the universe amidst an interstellar war. The central conflict between technologically advanced Landfall Coalition and the magical moon of Wreath has metathesized, with both sides outsourcing their conflict to countless planets and worlds. When two combatants on opposing sides fall in love and conceive a child however, they unwittingly becoming a disruptive symbol of forbidden peace. Harried by bounty hunters, former allies, and other parties trying to capitalize on their sensational story, Marko and Alana have no choice but to flee for their lives. Like Star Wars, the scene is set for an incredible, family-driven adventure.
Since its initial release in 2013, Saga has made major waves in the comic book world, winning a literal dozen Eisner Awards, as well as numerous Harvey awards, and Staples has claimed the Joe Schuster and Inkwell All-In-One awards for her artwork. But sci-fi fans could be forgiven for never having heard of the comic, as the creators have declined offers from studios to adapt the comic for the screen, as Vaughn feels the necessary technology and production capabilities aren't quite there yet.
The story of Saga is narrated in retrospect from Hazel, the daughter of the titles' star-crossed lovers, Marko and Alana. While the comic's initial arcs read like a romance, the narrative quickly grows complicated. The core cast grows to include Izabel, an alien ghost who acts as a baby sitter; Prince Robot IV, royalty from a race of television-headed droids; a bounty hunter, The Will, who has been hired to catch the couple, and his partner, Lying Cat; an enormous green sphinx, with the inherent ability to announce when people are lying.
This ensemble, which shrinks, expands, and changes over the course of the comic, allows the creators to tell a multifaceted story that hits many Star Wars bases. Hazel has the makings for a Skywalker-like child of destiny, on a collision course to alter the fate of the galaxy, while Marko and Alana are the perfect parents, which is to say they are deeply flawed, totally human, and desperate to protect their child and each other, offering a glimpse of what Han and Leia's post original-trilogy relationship might have looked like. Mandalorian fans will love to follow The Will as he tracks down "the good guys." And while he lacks the gravitas of Darth Vader, Prince Robot makes a compelling, chilling antagonist.
Above all though, Vaughn and Staples' world is brimming with potential. Anything feels possible, but the lasting consequences of characters' actions makes everything feel grounded and believable despite the often-surreal scenarios and settings. Marko's race has access to a form of magic that requires interesting payments, including vocally expressing secrets. Prince Robot, apart from projecting images on his monitor that betray his thoughts, has a personality as rich as any droid in Star Wars, and the ability to form a Mega Man-esque cannon in place of his hand. And Lying Cat even addresses the essential, cute-companion component of Star Wars, as represented by The Mandalorian's Grogu, Ewoks, BB-8, and R2D2.
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