– Spoiler Review –
Sana and Leia might just start to bond over their desire to put snarky Han in his place while Luke gets Hutt-slapped into slavery. Okay, it doesn’t happen exactly like that, but the latest issue of Star Wars, #9, is a return to form and full of fun, adventure-filled moments we’ve come to expect from the flagship series.
Luke’s trip to Nar Shaddaa fell a little flat, but ended with some real promise in #8 when a thief wearing some magnetic gloves stole his lightsaber. What I didn’t expect was for Luke’s story to pick up as much as it did in #9, going some really unexpected, unique, and exciting places. Proudly proclaiming himself a Skywalker after recklessly jumping after the thief and bringing them crashing down into the lower levels of Nar Shaddaa, Luke finds himself in the most dangerous territory of all: a Hutt controlled part of town. Hutta Town is ruled by Grakkus the Hutt, who owns MagnaGuards (the ones Grievous used in the Clone Wars as bodyguards), has mechanical legs allowing him to get around much faster than other Hutts, and wears a necklace of lightsabers(!), the necklace being only a hint of what’s to come from him. Luke does only what his limited skills allow him to do against the MagnaGuards (though he’s battled an opponent with a electrostaff before in The Weapon of a Jedi), but it ends up being a cold-cocked punch from Grakkus that does him in. A Hutt just punched Luke Skywalker, I repeat: A Hutt just punched Luke Skywalker. Not only could I not be happier getting to write that sentence, but it’s in that moment when Grakkus knocks Luke out I knew I would like the Hutt. I highly doubt Luke will fess up to that part of the story when he eventually gets rescued.
When he awakes, Luke finds himself in Grakkus’ clutches, where he reveals his storeroom of Jedi memorabilia and threatens Luke into opening a Jedi Holocron. With holocron’s being news to him and his connection and control of the Force so limited, he pleads with the Hutt he can’t do it, finally resorting to calling on Ben’s aid to open it. Whether it was Ben, Luke, or a combination, not only did it open the holocron Grakkus was holding, but all the ones in the entire room. There’s some teases of the knowledge both fans and Luke could gain: a Master Phin-law Wo from the Jedi Temple on Vrogas Vas is revealed, both her and the planet brand new; The Hundred-Year Darkness is canon again, well at least the concept and idea that the Sith were born after the Darkness; and Shaak-Ti made a holocron seemingly after Order 66, imploring the viewer of the holocron to not let their deaths be in vain and makes one wonder how long she survived. After that glorious moment for both readers and Luke, Grakkus brings it all back to reality and has him sent off to fight in the arena.
Thankfully Artoo wasn’t captured with his Master and was able to get a message back to the fleet, where Mon Mothma, Ackbar, and Dodonna discuss rescuing Skywalker. It’s decided, no matter if he destroyed the Death Star or not, it’s not worth creating a war with the Hutts to get him back. But just when things look bleak, Chewie volunteers himself and Threepio to rescue Luke! From the Hutt encounter, the Jedi collection she has, to Chewie going after Luke, things really picked up in entertaining and exciting ways for Skywalker’s half of the current storyline and have me looking forward to the next issue.
On top of all that, Sana quickly backpedals on giving up Leia to the Empire when she finds out her husband is a Rebel and will be taken as well. No, we still don’t learn what the real deal is here, but the emphasis being placed on words like home or grief being spoken by Sana make her dialogue come off as more flippant and sarcastic than actually romantic and loving. I’m sticking by my earlier thoughts (in previous reviews) that she was part of a job gone wrong at one point, but I won’t mind being wrong and excited to see where they take her. Either way, Sana and Leia are suddenly so busy fighting between each other on who should be in control, which they both obviously are used to, that they might just bond over always putting Han in his place when he thinks he should have control. Their dynamic got way less confusing and way more interesting.
Here are a few other things:
- Best line of the issue had to be from one of the TIE pilots who realizes just how dangerous Leia can be, “This is a princess?”
- Mothma, Dodonna, and Ackbar made the right call about not going to rescue Luke. And while I think Chewie will be more than enough to rescue Luke, I feel like we might see Sana, Leia, and Han travel on over for the assist.
- Wookieepedia has either assumed or knows for sure, but they are calling Grakkus a male Hutt. Maybe? Does it matter? In the end, some gendered Hutt punched Luke Skywalker. It’ll be a while before that gets old typing.
- Thought it was interesting that the Star Wars series has someone hoarding Jedi relics, while the Lando series has someone hoarding Sith relics (though with Palpatine, it makes more sense for him to be doing so).
- UPDATE 7/9/16: Grakkus isn’t done punching people in the face yet…He has appeared in the Poe Dameron comic’s second arc, “Lockdown!”
Luke finds himself in more trouble than he could possibly imagine, even though he hit the Jedi knowledge goldmine, while Sana and Leia might just bond because of Han’s attitude, making Star Wars #9 another thoroughly entertaining and fun ride for the series.
+ Luke getting sucker-punched by a Hutt
+ Jedi collection
+ Hints of Sana and Leia possibly bonding
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Skywalker Strikes (#1-6) | Old Ben’s Journals | Showdown on Smuggler’s Moon: #8 | #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)