– Spoiler Review –
Writer Jason Aaron’s farewell tour of the Star Wars mainline series continues in issue #34, “The Thirteen Crates” where Sana Starros pulls Lando Calrissian along for the swindle of the century…which is just another day for Sana.
Sana Starros has been slowly digging her way out of the shadow of her shock reveal as Han Solo’s wife for a very long time. In recent issues, she’s really come into her own, from being a voice of reason for the crazy trio of Luke, Leia, and Han, to attempting (fatal) retribution against her ex-girlfriend, Doctor Aphra. By the end of issue #34, it’s awesome to realize what was once such a big deal, her sham marriage to Han for a job, is now just a joke both the characters and readers are in on, and she’s now thoroughly an intriguing and full-faceted character who can stand on her own. Putting her in the spotlight here was the final straw towards that, and I’m happy Aaron’s sole original character to join the heroes has come into her own, as she’s been misused for far too long. Here’s hoping when Kieron Gillen takes over for Star Wars, he keeps her around to some extent, or she manages to get a miniseries (at the very least), as she has plenty of untapped potential ahead of her, as issue #34 makes excitingly clear.
We’ve known Sana is a smuggler, but we’ve never really seen her do any actual smuggling, which is why the convoluted and thoroughly engaging tale of the double, triple, and quadruple-crosses she leaves in her wake is both a confirmation she’s not just quick on the wit and gives us a giant question: why haven’t we spent more time with her?! Seriously, she’s almost too good at smuggling, and ol’ Lando gets swept along for the ride (with hopes for his own reward, which I’m embarrassed to admit should’ve been more predictable). I was worried Lando co-starring this issue would mean Sana wouldn’t stay the focus here and we’d see Lando wheel and deal instead of her ( something we’ve already seen), but thankfully Sana stays in charge the whole time, surprising both Lando (there’s nothing quite like seeing Lando nearly be sick with disbelief) and the reader alike as her plans get even more convoluted by the second. But ultimately what she does with all the credits she swindles shows a heart of gold hiding somewhere inside her, something we’ve already slightly been privy to during her time with the Rebellion, and it really helps her stand out as someone well worth spending more time on in the comics or elsewhere.
Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado are on artist duties and of course I found their work to be most excellent. I’m really digging what Larroca brings to Sana, giving her a more realistic face, and it’s quickly become my favorite version of her in the comics so far; there’s just an extra bit of nuance to her that she’s been missing, I feel, and his style really puts that in the forefront. Likewise, the Lando traces put Billy Dee Williams inside the comic book in my hands and it’s glorious. Plus, seeing these two working on some of the strange parts of the universe again (with the Krawg pirates, more on them below) like they did in Darth Vader series 1 reminds me even more why I’ve really come to enjoy their work overall. The panels I liked the most this issue are the two where Sana spins on a dime, holding her smoking blaster, after having taken out one of the pirates in Jabba’s Palace.
Here are a few other things:
- My favorite line: “I can’t believe Han never married you for real.” – Lando
- One of the groups Sana messes with in her awesome scheme is the Krawg pirates, a species of giant beetle-like insectoids. They hail from the Mykapo system, which just so happens to be the home of Iron Squadron, the group of rebellious kids introduced in Star Wars Rebels’ S3 episode, “Iron Squadron.” Lando mentions the pirates wiped out a whole town of Rebel sympathizers on Mykapo, so it makes you wonder: was Iron Squad too busy with Rebellion business or are they not around anymore (i.e. possibly dead)? Also, I couldn’t place why the Krawg looked familar, but thanks to BoxerlessBossk on Twitter, I know why now: they look like Mass Effect‘s Krogan!
- In my review of last issue, I said something about this latest arc made it feel like some type of change up was on its way, up to and including a new writer for the Star Wars series. As I mentioned above, with this being Jason Aaron’s farewell tour arc, my feelings proved to be correct as Kieron Gillen will be stepping on once this arc is completed. The original news included some choice tidbits on his plans for the series, but a recent interview at CBR with Gillen reveals a few more details, including Luke and Leia learning about Jyn Erso and her team’s sacrifice! I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re curious to see where he’s going to take this series once “Out Among the Stars” wraps.
- The next issue finds Han smuggling…a Hutt??? And not just any Hutt, but Grakkus himself!
With Star Wars #34, Jason Aaron knocks another issue out of the park in his final arc, giving Sana Starros her long overdue spotlight, who absolutely kills it in the process.
+ Sana Starros’ Serpentine Smuggling Scheme (sorry, couldn’t help myself)
+ Giving Sana the spotlight
+ Really fun, contained issue anyone should pick up for a good Star Wars time
Jason Aaron – Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (#8-12) | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25) | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Out Among the Stars: #33 | #35 | #36 | #37 | Retrospective on Jason Aaron’s Run (#1-37)
Aphra (#1-6) | And the Enormous Profit (#9-13) | Remastered (#14-19) | Annual: #1
The Screaming Citadel (crossover of Doctor Aphra and Star Wars on-goings)
Black Squadron (#1-3) | Lockdown (#4-6) | The Gathering Storm (#7-13) | Legend Lost (#14 – 16) | War Stories (#17-19) | Legend Found (#20-25)
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
The Chosen One (#1-6) | The Dying Light (#7-10) | The Rule of Five (#11-12)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Jedi of the Republic – Mace Windu (miniseries)
Captain Phasma (miniseries)
Darth Maul (miniseries)
Han Solo (miniseries)
Rogue One (adaptation)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (miniseries)
Shattered Empire (miniseries)
Princess Leia (miniseries)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (miniseries)