The new *Star Wars* comic is pretty good.

Over the years, I have almost entirely avoided the Star Wars expanded universe, my first and last foray into it being the first book in Timothy Zahn's Heir To the Empire series when it first came out.

I remember almost nothing about the plot of the book. What I do recall is that while I started the book very excited about new Star Wars stories, I rapidly grew weary of what seemed like heavy-handed callbacks to the movies. "You guys loved this in the movie, so let's repeat here! Over and over!" The experience soured me on the expanded universe in general, and as the book series multiplied, it seemed like they were strip-mining every aspect of the already thin stories of the films in order to feed fans hungry for anything Star Wars-related.

So, you can imagine that I was not particularly excited when Marvel announced a new comic series.

The reviews of been pretty good, though, so I decided to pick up the first issue. You know what? It's actually pretty good. The story (at least so far) takes place between Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, and focuses on the core group of characters from the movies. The writers do a pretty good job of capturing the voices without lifting lines directly from the films (something that drove me crazy with the Zahn stuff).

The comic still has the problem of any prequel, in that we all know where the story is headed. I suppose the good thing is that with the culling of the expanded universe, the writers don't have to worry about showing a droid that looks like IG-88 and having fans starts screaming "But in Star Wars Missions 11: Bounty Hunters vs. Battle Droids, it clearly states that…" Maybe there is enough room now to tell some interesting new stories.

I will probably stick with it for at least a few issues.

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