– Spoiler Review –
The second arc, subtitled “Showdown on the Smugglers’ Moon,” for the Star Wars series begins in issue #8 and brings with it a new artist in Stuart Immonen. Luke looks for a way to the Jedi’s home while Han and Leia deal with the fallout of Han’s wife tracking them down, making for an entertaining issue that dodges some bigger questions to bring us some fantastic character moments.
If there’s one thing I liked right away about Immonen’s art, it’s his work on facial expressions. John Cassaday’s faces weren’t bad at all, hitting some memorable looks on familiar characters, but they had a glossy coat which made it hard for them to pass the uncanny valley test from time to time. With Immonen, that isn’t an issue and while his faces seem more anime stylized, they look better all the time, not just in certain poses or familiar grins. Outside of that, I haven’t seen enough to appropriately say Immonen is better than Cassaday for this series, but I’m already leaning in that direction.
Those curious to learn if we uncover the truth behind Sana Solo, it certainly doesn’t happen here (and a look at Marvel’s November solicitations reveals it probably won’t happen until #12). Initially it’s a tad disappointing that explaining the Solo in Sana is dodged in #8 by a bumbling and surprised Han, but the entire interaction between Sana, Han, and Leia is so damn entertaining it’s easy to forget about it. In fact I’d argue this was the right choice to make, as there’s no point in revealing everything about Sana just because we live in a culture where we feel entitled to having everything seemingly be now, now, now; Instead, building on the mystery only strengthens her character and the pull to come back next week and read the following issue. I for one can wait, as it seems Sana points out how little we really know about these characters we thought we knew all this time, a sentiment covered brilliantly at Eleven-ThirtyEight (as they are want to do).
The best thing about the Han, Sana, and Leia conversation was Leia herself, having some outstanding moments both in terms of dialogue and literal kick-assery. I’d go so far as to say how she was presented here in #8 nearly outdoes what her solo series tried to accomplish, which instead seemed better off for Evaan (who’s hard not to love) than Leia. But yes, she literally kicks Han Solo’s butt in what seemed partly like her playing along/improvising her own plan to help her and Han get out of the mess they are in with Sana and partly like her striking out on her own because she doesn’t trust Han. It leans more towards the former than the latter though I think, as the series’ moments so far covering their developing relationship make me believe this whole thing hasn’t completely ruined her trust/interest in Han. Maybe…we’ll see, which is part of the fun of all this.
In the meantime, the “still has much to learn” Luke feels Obi-Wan’s journal is just a bunch of stories which don’t teach him anything about being a Jedi and basically wants to toss the thing away. R2 gets the crazy idea in Luke’s head to visit the Jedi Temple, which means finding a way to get smuggled into the Imperial’s very own homeworld. This brings the pair to Nar Shaddaa (it’s first canonical appearance) where some bars don’t really care for you to give them your money, but they’d rather just take it from you instead. Maybe Luke should’ve let R2 do the talking! In the bar scene, I loved the comment from the Zabrak bartender about how it shouldn’t really matter that his bar and Luke’s saber where from their respective fathers because they are both likely dead. In a way, it’s somewhat true for Luke’s dad, who is dead and buried somewhere in Vader, waiting to be reanimated at the right time. Despite Luke making ground with the locals after the appearance of his lightsaber, things go south when he doesn’t want to give it up and a mysterious alien figure uses a magnetic glove (I think) to steal it right out of Luke’s hands. The chase begins. I felt like Luke’s part wasn’t as on par with the rest of the issue, but it’s heading in the right direction now.
Here are a few other things:
- Luke, if you don’t want Obi-Wan’s journal anymore, I’ll take it. As the review over at EUCantina put it, “Apparently he didn’t enjoy last month’s story as much as we did.”
- Had the events in the bar on Nar Shaddaa taken place after The Empire Strikes Back, the thief’s glove would’ve gotten Luke’s arm as well. Now that’d be a funny sight to see.
The second arc for Star Wars kicks off in issue #8 with more bang than substance, but it’s an entertaining romp either way.
+ Sana, Han, and Leia (mostly Leia)
+ New artist
+ Keeping mystery alive…
– …though a little too obvious they were going out of their way not to have Han explain Sana
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on Smuggler’s Moon: #9 | #10 | #11 | #12 | Rebel Jail (#16-19) | The Last Flight of the Harbinger (#21-25)
Vader Down (crossover of Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Vader (#1-6) | Shadows and Secrets (#7-12) | The Shu-Torun War (#16-19) | End of Games (#20-25) | Annual: #1
The Last Padawan (#1-6) | First Blood (#7-12)
Poe Dameron (on-going)
Han Solo (mini-series)
Obi-Wan & Anakin (mini-series)
Shattered Empire (mini-series)
Princess Leia (mini-series)
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (mini-series)