You might not think it, but the space opera and superhero genres both share a common failing: a tendency toward grandiose battle scenes that fails to hook the reader in. While it’s easy for movies to get away with combat scenes in both genres (assuming they keep them short), when space operas are presented in a graphic format, space battles can risk feeling empty and uninteresting, when read on an update-by-update format. For the most part, Crimson Dark has managed to juggle the ongoing space battle over the planet of Farhaven with pages focusing on the command staff of the liberating Cirin fleet (which in an odd twist has gone from the antagonists of the story to allies of the main cast), the space battle still threatens to overwhelm the story and leave readers adrift.
This is very likely one of the reason theatrical space operas often focus on fighter squadrons over larger ship battles. One such example can be found with the classic Star Wars trilogy, with the audience focusing on the more personal battles of individual fighter pilots while the heavy fighting between capital ships occurred in the background. This helps provide audiences with a more personal fight, while fleet actions remain more abstract in nature; as the audience has a personal connection with the fighter pilots, they get drawn in more easily than they would with the flashy but ultimately empty fleet battle raging around them.
Of course, given the course Crimson Dark has taken (with the protagonists not even in the fight yet), this is easier said than done. Hopefully, the crew of the Scarborough will be arriving soon, so that the story can shift to a more personal view. Because for all the beautiful renders of ships and depictions of starship combat, it’s the human element that truly drives space operas. I’m sure in hindsight, once the chapter is done and the battle is concluded, the pace of the battle will feel less lethargic. But at the moment, the human element is unfortunately scarce.