IDW’s Rogue One A Star Wars Story Graphic Novel Adaptation

Manuscript Adaptation: Alessandro Ferrari
Character Studies: Igor Chimisso
Layout: Matteo Piana
Clean Up and Ink: Igor Chimisso, Stefano Simeone
Paint (Background and Settings): Davide Turotti
Paint (Characters): Kawaii Creative Studio
Cover: Eric Jones
Editors: Justin Eisinger, Alonzo Simon
Publisher: IDW Publishing

A review by Kylee Sills

If you’re looking for a fantastic all-ages comic of Rogue One to revisit the story, IDW has published the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Graphic Novel Adaptation. It’s a streamlined, somewhat sanitized, retelling of the film. But it still manages to pack the same emotional punch into a new medium.

While the film itself clocked in over two hours, there are only so many pages in the graphic novel adaptation to hit the same story beats. As a result, there is less nuance to conversations and relationships between characters. They become truncated to fit panels and, unfortunately, that affects some of the arcs that the characters experience.

Jyn’s reluctance to join the rebellion, for example, and some of her agency feels like it’s been flattened for the sake of uncomplicating the story somewhat. Likewise, Chirrut and Baze have much of their dialogue and scenes cut short or removed so that the focus can be kept on Jyn and Cassian. In the same vein, a lot of the questionable things done by the rebels – like Cassian’s introduction where he kills a man and Saw Gerrera’s torture of Bodhi – are left out as well. This story choice makes for a neater, more obvious villain in the form of the Galactic Empire.

However, those divisions from the movie are exactly what make IDW’s adaptation perfect for younger audiences. The straightforward, cohesive story lets readers the plot from start to finish easier. And focusing on Jyn and Cassian draws a big arrow pointing towards the heroes to root for.

Alessandro Ferrari did the manuscript adaptation and did a wonderful job conveying the same story in a new way. The beginning of the graphic novel even has a ‘Meet the Characters’ section that gives a brief history and overview of each of the important characters, which allows for everyone to come into the story with the same baseline of knowledge.

A massive art team collaborated to put together a gorgeous graphic novel, often pulling scenes from the movie directly and translating them onto the pages nearly shot for shot. Igor Chimisso did the character studies while Stefano Simeone helped him clean up the inks. Davide Turotti did the background and settings painting and Kawaii Creative Studio did the painting for the characters.

The detail and dedication that went into portraying Rogue One in comic form is amazing. There is motion in every battle scene, emotion in every character’s face, and plenty of details in the background to drool over. The artwork manages to capture the actor’s likenesses and personality, connecting them to the readers quickly and easily. It’s easier than ever to root for the rebellion with the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Graphic Novel Adaptation from IDW.

The Verdict
Buy It! I will caution this, don’t pick this one up if your favorite part of Rogue One was the gritty realism of war. However, if you bonded to the characters and their tenacious hopefulness or if you’re new to the story altogether, this is easily the cinematic experience in graphic novel form. It packs the same powerful emotions into every word balloon and character rendering as the film, while keeping the story safely all-ages with beautiful artistic renderings.

Kylee Sills
Kylee is a twentysomething year old nerd who is perpetually behind on comic book movies. She writes in her free time and enjoys sci-fi, horror, and fantasy settings in all of her media. Fluent in sarcasm, she can't pick a favorite food because the answer is 'all food.'

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