– Spoiler Review –
This is it folks, the end of an era: Jason Aaron’s Farewell Tour of the Star Wars comic series comes to a close in issue #37, the last part of the “Out Among the Stars” arc. While it’s not as high a note as the previous few issues, it feels like a mostly fitting end to Aaron’s work, made even more so by the bonus one-shot included. In the coming weeks I’ll have a retrospective of his 37-issue run, so for now this review is simply of the final issue.
It should come as no surprise at this point that I’ve not been a fan of SCAR Squad, as they’ve been ineffective against the main heroes of the series when they were meant to prove a formidable new foe for them. What really caught my attention this issue is how Jason Aaron seems to directly confront this criticism from the start, as Darth Vader demands Sergeant Kreel, SCAR squad’s leader, to make him believe SCAR Squad deserves another chance. Kreel is a vicious man, honed to complete loyalty of the Empire after they rescued him from fighting pits, and his deal for the Squad’s continued existence is befitting of the character. What follows is an efficient mission to locate the Rebellion base in the Horox system (where they’ve been since The Screaming Citadel crossover) that turns into a bloodbath of sinister proportions against the rebel soldiers unlucky enough to be on the base at the time of attack. This is a true show of power, which includes some great moves on Kreel’s part in combining his lightsaber skills with his suit’s mini-jetpack, and it allows SCAR Squad to take away some of my criticisms of them, but it’s still not enough. Despite this murder-binge proving SCAR’s effectiveness, it’s still only an attack on some nameless/faceless rebels and not a victory specifically against the Big Three (aka Luke, Leia, and Han). Until they directly affect the Big Three’s plans, until they knock them down in some fashion or cause them some type of injury, SCAR Squad will have not made enough strides for me to consider them convincing foes for our heroes. Valiant last attempt though, Mr. Aaron!
The Big Three, plus Sana Starros, Threepio, and Artoo arrive at the scene of SCAR Squad’s crime after they’ve left, the base crumbling under the furious flames left behind. It’s a somber final moment with the heroes, as they look upon the devastation, debating how to care for the bodies of the soldiers, but Aaron manages to sneak in a fleeting message of hope which doubles as his goodbye to the characters (whom he’s written for nearly three years) while setting up the tone and focus of Kieron Gillen’s new direction for the series.
Once again you won’t find many complaints from me regarding Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado’s work, as there weren’t a lot of faces to trace this issue. While Larroca’s stormtroopers look a little disproportionate, there’s no denying the action panels really pop and he puts Kreel into some neat little action moments. Delgado’s colors bring out the chills of the snow planet and the heat of the destruction of SCAR Squad, while the subtle blood on Kreel’s uniform after his slaughter of rebels is a splendid little touch. While Aaron will be leaving, Larroca will be continuing on, reuniting with Gillen after working with him on Darth Vader (Series 1).
Bonus One-shot: “The Sand Will Provide,” (from Old Ben’s Journal) written by Jason Aaron and Dash Aaron, with Andrea Sorrentino as artist and Lee Loughridge as colorist. This was a delightful, thoughtful one-shot that brings the true and final twilight on Jason Aaron’s run, closing up Obi-Wan’s Journals and providing an important message in a tale about a young Tusken Raider. The artwork reminded me of paintings in every panel and I really dug the look overall. I’d not be against seeing Sorrentino and Loughridge return in some capacity again.
Here are a few other things:
- Kieron Gillen’s run of Star Wars starts next month, 11/8, and sometime before that I’ll have the complete retrospective of Jason Aaron’s run up on the site, where it’ll go over the good, the bad, and the in-between of his 37-issue run.
- UPDATE: Here’s my retrospective on Jason Aaron’s time with the series.
- UPDATE: And here’s Kieron Gillen’s first arc, “The Ashes of Jedha“
While not as strong as the last couple issues of “Out Among the Stars,” Star Wars issue #37 allows Jason Aaron to say his last goodbyes to the characters and to us, the readers. Farewell, Mr. Aaron, and thanks for all the mostly solid fish!
+ SCAR Squad is certainly deadly
+ Fitting farewell, especially the one-shot
– Still doesn’t do enough to make SCAR Squad worth it as villains yet
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 | #34 | #35 | #36 | 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)