It’s hardly surprising that Studio Fun, the same company that published Sabine’s Sketchbook, is also behind last month’s Bomber Command by Jason Fry with illustrations by Cyril Nouvel. This was the Paige Tico Appreciation Book that I’d hoped for since I first saw The Last Jedi as Fry and Nouvel take us through Paige’s journal in the weeks leading up to the Battle of D’Qar. Good news: they absolutely deliver.
In a way, Bomber Command serves as a companion book to Cobalt Squadron but I think it stands nicely on its own. From the very first page, this book had me and it made me love Paige even more than I did before. Immediately, it gets to the heart of who she is as a person: smart, capable as heck, and with her own dreams and fears. Many of these dreams and fears are tied to her younger sister Rose. Paige knows how much her sister looks up to her and how smart she is in her own right even if Rose doesn’t recognize it. It’s almost heartbreaking when you realize that even Paige seems to know that Rose won’t reach her full potential until she steps out of her shadow.
What really makes these Studio Fun journals stand out is the mix of writing styles, illustrations, and supplemental materials. The book offers a really neat view into a bomber with illustrations and pullout inserts of the schematics and instruction manuals that offer a “real” feel to this journal along with an even better sense for how these ships function. Bombers might be slow and lumbering but they’re crucial parts of the fleet that require multiple people to keep them operating smoothly. It’s far from an easy job and definitely not as glamorous as that of a starfighter pilot. Paige includes more than just bomber facts though. She also puts in things like one of Leia’s speeches to the Senate and First Order recruitment material, which help flesh out the galaxy even more. Two years after The Force Awakens, we still don’t really know everything about how the galaxy is and books like this helps us learn more. All of this helps make this journal (and others that Studio Fun has released) under appreciated Star Wars gems.
Above all though, this is a book that does right by Paige Tico. Bomber Command is the perfect book for both younger and older readers who want to know more about her. If you’re going to pick up one book about the Tico sisters, definitely make it this one.