Star Wars: Sana Starros #1 Review

Writer: Justina Ireland

Art: Pere Perez

Color Artist: Jay David Ramos

Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Publisher: Marvel

Price: 4.99

Release Date: February 1, 2023

Reviewer: David Dunham

When everything in your life’s going wrong, it’s tempting to go home. That’s what Sana Starros chooses when a perilous heist on an Imperial world fails to deliver on her expectations. Yet despite the beauty of her homeworld, there are signs that this visit with her family will prove less restful than she had hoped. Let’s dive into Star Wars: Sana Starros #1 and see how this first issue shakes out.

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Writer Justina Ireland launches us into this cosmic romp from the very first page and has you chuckling by the second. Her smart, witty banter lightens the tone, yet doesn’t distract from the action as Sana battles Imperial Stormtroopers. Sana’s return to her homeworld brings more exciting action and a comforting reunion with her family. Yet subtle clues hint that the lives of Sana’s family members—her grandmother, aunt, and cousin—are every bit as complicated as her own.

Ireland delivers plenty of dialogue, yet the writing never seems wordy. Not only does she help us understand and empathize with the characters, but we’re falling in love with them as well. When trouble comes—as it always does in the Star Wars universe—we’re instantly rooting for Sana and her family. Hey, I even want to know more about her wrinkled friend Jand, a fellow thief who prizes things Sana readily dismisses.


The size of letterer Travis Lanham’s uppercase font never taxes the eyes. His restrained use of bold letters helps us hear the character’s intonations. Colorful sound effects enhance the action. Even when they call attention to themselves, they celebrate the action gloriously. The penciling and inking of Pere Perez help imbue the comic with the big-screen cosmic scenes the Star Wars films are known for. Characters are drawn believably, and the filled-in backgrounds and excellent use of shadows give this book a cinematic look. Even on the rare instances that a panel focuses solely on a character’s head, the background is filled with a texture that reminds us of the film’s lived-in quality.

When the story moves to Sana’s homeworld, Perez reveals a planet that we want to know more about. His portrayal of Sana’s family home suggests a very unconventional upbringing for Sana, without spelling out exactly why the “home” looks the way it does. Like writer Justina Ireland, Perez’s art makes me want to know more about the everyday lives of this fun and caring family. None of this takes away from the coloring of Jay David Ramos, which is excellent throughout. His soft, rich palette gives this issue a warm, comfortable feeling. Space glows with distant, burning stars, and light sources and directions bring warmth to the characters. Even blaster bursts display color and richness. And when Ireland needs to fortify the action and drama with a little backstory, Ramos imbues those scenes with a softer tonality, while still providing depth and appeal.

Final Thoughts

Star Wars: Sana Starros #1 is not a perfect comic. No matter how well writer Justina Ireland paves the way when Sana gets into trouble, she opts for an over-used plot device to escape and turn the table on her attackers. Secondly, one character also comes off as two-dimensional. Lastly, sound effects such as BAP BAP and PEW PEW struck me as inadequate expressions of blaster fire. Yet these seem minor quibbles for a story filled with a rich cast of characters, exciting action, and jaw-dropping beauty. The way the story opens at the end suggests the infinite possibilities this series could deliver. Star Wars: Sana Starros #1 is a beautiful, heartwarming comic that celebrates diversity and the mythic storytelling of the beloved Star Wars franchise. Don’t miss it!


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