The rebels’ struggle on the dying world of Jedha continues. While the Empire is trying to harvest what’s left of the kyber crystals on the planet, the Rebels are teaming up with the followers of deceased extremist, Saw Gererra, to resist them. The last issue ended with Luke leaving the group temporarily to look at a temple along with a pilgrim to further learn about the force.
Written by Kieron Gillen, Star Wars 38 moves the story closer to its conclusion brilliantly. Luke’s lesson at the temple is a bit of a scary one. Although he doesn’t seem to fully understand it right away, those stationed at the temple are wise enough to explain it. Sadly, the pilgrim doesn’t survive the lesson. It’s also a lesson that will eventually help lead him to Yoda. Meanwhile, the Empire brings down a much larger mining platform than the one the Rebels destroyed earlier – one that seems impervious to the equipment they have.
The main story in this issue is mostly build-up, but it’s not without some action. It builds up the serious mining that the new platform is performing, and how the rebels need some sort of alternate plan to take it down. The build-up is done well, with a couple good character moments here and there, but besides Luke’s lesson in the force, this isn’t as good of an issue as the rest of the story arc. It’s still a good issue, just not quite great like the previous few.
The art by Salvador Larroca is brilliant. The environmental detail is consistently impressive, whether it’s the debris heavy dust in the air on the dying world, the rusty old hideouts, or all the character outfits complete with dirt and wrinkles. Facial expression do a fantastic job at showing emotions, like Luke’s inquisitive look while the guides at the temple are talking, the hopeless look in one rebel’s eyes when their attack completely failed, and Han’s annoyed look when he talks her down for taking a pointless suicide mission that got her friends killed. Guru-eFX’s colouring is also great. The dying planet’s exterior is dominated by red and brown, slightly balanced out by blue uniforms worn by some of the rebels, while other environments are more colourful. It’s an overall dark looking comic, but it’s just the right level of dark to match the story’s tone.
While this isn’t the best issue in Gillen’s Star Wars run so far, considering how fantastic it’s been since he took over the series, that’s not saying much. It’s still a strong build-up issue with a brilliant moment at the temple where Luke learns the dangers of the dark side first hand. It also shows a touch of how easily discouraged Luke is, which he needs to grow out of between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The ending promises an alternate plan for the rebels in the next issue, which will hopefully lead to a great action scene. And with the series as a whole getting closer to The Empire Strikes Back, it’s hard not to get excited. How much longer until we see exactly what put the falcon in such disrepair for the start of Empire? In any case, this series is worth reading for Star Wars fans, and this story in particular is worth picking up if you’re interested in learning more about the aftermath of the Rogue One movie.
I also picked up Hawkeye 14 today, but I have a bit of a cold and don’t have the energy to review it in full. Instead, here are my quick thoughts. It’s fun. The villain really touches a soft spot with Kate Bishop, promising to bring her mother back if she helps kill Clint Barton (original Hawkeye). Meanwhile, Clint hatches a plan that if anything, makes the situation more dangerous. So yeah, this issue was fun, and the next one should be too.