Season Two of Star Wars Rebels opens with a large space battle. Since we’ve seen them last the crew of the Ghost has joined the struggling Rebellion, a decision which doesn’t sit well with all members of the crew. Tricked into returning to Lothal to rescue Minister Tua (Kath Soucie) who offers them valuable intelligence for their assistance, the crew is lured into the first of two traps by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones).
The latest issue of Marvel’s main Star Wars offers some surprises along with the first big “Fuck You” to the previously existing Expanded Universe continuity.
In the main storyline a blinded Luke, searching for Obi-Wan‘s journal on Tatooine, faces off againstBoba Fett whose been sent by Darth Vader to bring back the pilot responsible for the destruction of the Death Star (whose name the Dark Lord of the Sith finally learns at least bringing an end to that “mystery”). Offering plenty of action while foreshadowing the Jedi that Luke will become, Skywalker survives mainly through dumb luck and trust in the Force.
The issue’s B-story has wide consequences as Han and Leia run into Han Solo’s ex-wife while running from an Imperial patrol in the Outer Rim. Just what exactly Sana Solo‘s role will be going forward is unclear but her introduction begins a likely wide divergence between the decades of Star Wars comics and novels of the past 25 years. Worth a look.
Princess Leia‘s mission to unite the survivors of Alderaan leads Leia and Evaan (who spends the issue wearing Luke’s jacket from the celebration at the end of Star Wars) to Sullust where the pair are met with a good deal of distrust and animosity by the group’s leader Lord Junn.
Despite the arrival of Imperials, which Juun first blames Leia for, the princess does manage to make inroads with the survivors. With only two issues to go from here the storyline doesn’t appear to have much room to develop much past this point, especially with the Empire now tracking Leia down.
Although I still have mixed feelings about the inking of several panels, Terry Dodson’s art continues to be one of the highlights of the five-issue mini-series which, at least to this point, seems to have bitten off more than it can chew in such a short run. The only real question now is will Evaan survive the final two issues and pop-up somewhere else in Marvel’s current Star Wars run? For fans.
While showcasing the deadly abilities of Aphra’s two droids (who do quite well against the queen’s creations and torturing useful information out of a bounty hunter in the darker moments of the issue) Darth Vader #4 foreshadows what the scientist might be able to create given the resources Vader can provide.
The comic also foreshadows the end of the pair’s relationship which the scientist realizes can only end in her death while pushing the pair towards Vader learning more about who currently has the Emperor‘s favor and setting forth to learn how his new army might change the score. Worth a look.
Facing the wrath of the Emperor who lays the recent defeats, including the destruction of the Death Star, at his feet, Darth Vader begins to put together his own private force to ensure his plans (including learning the identity of that meddlesome farm boy with his old lightsaber who despite being the biggest hero the Rebellion has ever known or celebrated the vast Imperial network has yet to learn so much as his name).
Despite the fact that the storyline for this opening arc boils down to basically the Dark Lord of the Sith being grounded by his dad and sneaking off to do whatever he wants in a fit of teenage rebellion, Darth Vader #3 does entertain thanks in large part to the introduction of Aphra, a new character providing the kind of mechanical expertise Vader needs to quietly rebuild his forces without alerting the Emperor to what he is doing.
Unless the series is going to be Darth Vader cutting a huge swath through the galaxy leaving dead bodies in his wake (don’t get me wrong, that could work), the series needs characters like Aphra to ping conversation and ideas off of. I’m intrigued to see where the comic goes from here. Worth a look.
Star Wars #3 continues the opening arc of Marvel’s new main Star Wars comic as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids attempt to make it out alive where their plan to cripple an Imperial weapons factory blows up in the face thanks to the timely arrival of reinforcements and Darth Vader.
Mostly action (and multiple nods to the classic trilogy including C-3PO getting blown apart, Leia joking about the Falcon‘s condition, and Luke on a speeder bike), the third issue of the series does end on an interesting note suggesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi had left something for Luke in his hovel on Tatooine that will likely become important in the series somewhere down the line.
The storyline also explores Luke’s need to prove himself worthy of a father’s legacy and Kenobi’s teaching while still not understanding how to grow into the Jedi is destined to become which leads him to taking dangerous risks to protect his friends and complete their mission despite the Dark Lord of the Sith standing in his way. For fans.
Beginning with the awards ceremony which closes out the original Star Wars, the first issue of Marvel’s new Princess Leia series centers around Leia struggling to find a new role within the Rebellion following the destruction of her homeworld Alderaan.
Although I think some of inking of artist Terry Dodson’s panels look a tad unfinished in places, Dodson’s art is a solid match for Mark Waid’s storytelling the offers a rationale for Leia to have a few solo missions of her own to fuel the series. Not completely on her own, Waid and Dodson introduce the character of X-Wing Fighter Pilot Evaan who is loyal to the last remaining royal from her homeworld even if she has issues with Leia’s public demeanor.
The First Season of Star Wars Rebels comes to a close with the crew of the Ghost laying everything on the line to rescue Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) from the Empire. With the help of an Imperial shuttle and the stolen T.I.E. Fighter (“Fighter Flight“) and Ezra‘s (Taylor Gray) Jedi senses the crew has their way onto the Star Destroyer and a way to find their missing Jedi although, as is the case with almost all their plans, things don’t go as smoothly as expected.