It’s issues like this that make me glad I started picking up Star Wars comics again, after stopping with issue 3 a while back. The main story in this comic takes place in a rebel prison, on a base dangerously close to a star. The prison, which is currently holding Darth Vader’s AI specialist, Aphra, is under siege by a murderer who’s killing the prisoners. While they try to take back the prison, Leia and Sana Solo debate over the morality of whether they should let the dangerous criminals live or not, which adds depth to the story as a whole.
Meanwhile, Han and Luke’s side story is just fun as they’re trying to make back the money Han lost while gambling by smuggling, well … I won’t spoil it, but it adds hilarious context to one of Han and Leia’s arguments in Empire Strikes Back. The only complaint I have about this issue is that when the murderer releases several very dangerous criminals to try and make Leia kill them herself, she takes out one particularly dangerous criminal a bit too easily. Sure, Leia was always portrayed as pretty tough in the movies, but not on the level of who is described as the evil Imperial equivalent of Rambo.
The art by Leinil Francis Yu is good. It’s a slightly gritty feel, which works well for an intergalactic prison, but the images are still clear and well detailed. Leia’s facial expressions perfectly capture her anger, as do Han’s when he realizes what they’re smuggling. The invaders look appropriately intimidating, and so do the murderers in the prison. Even if I complained about how easily Leia took out one dangerous criminal earlier, the fight scene is appropriately intense and it flows well. Sunny Gho’s colouring is also good. There’s an overall orange hue, which makes sense for a prison so close to a sun, but there’s enough variety within the orange hue that it doesn’t look washed out.
Writer Jason Aaron is handling this series very well from what I’ve seen. He captures the personalities of Luke, Han and Leia perfectly, and the tone matches that of the original movie. There’s a great balance of dramatic storytelling and fun, with just enough references to remind us of why we love Star Wars without going overboard. This issue is no exception. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you should strongly consider picking up this series, as well as Darth Vader’s solo title.