– Spoiler Review –
Star Wars #13 is part 3 of Vader Down, the crossover event between it and the Darth Vader on-going. Luke finds himself in the clutches of Aphra, Triple-Zero, and Beetee while Han, Chewie, and Artoo attempt to rescue the unconscious Jedi-to-be in a fun, action-packed issue bringing about some dream meetups only this crossover could make happen.
This issue’s cover is slightly misleading, considering Leia and Vader only really appear and meet at the tail end of the issue. It’s there that Vader, after decimating even more troops, seems to leave Leia alive…for the moment. Is he looking to capture her again, but instead of learning the location of rebel bases (as he can already cross Vrogas Vas off the list since there probably aren’t many rebels left), will he be using her as bait to bring in Luke? Only time will tell, but I’m sure that’s a safe bet. Meantime, the rest of the issue is simply a big showdown between Aphra and her sidekicks against Han and his sidekicks and it’s all sorts of splendid.
Aphra seemed to know who Han was during Triple-Zero’s briefing last issue (though denied it) and it’s interesting to see Han’s at least heard of her, since his quiet reaction upon her introduction is, “Oh, poodoo.” The good Doctor has already established herself quite well over the Darth Vader series’ run and this is a fun and quick way to add even more background for her, as it speaks volumes to her reputation if Han has not only heard of her but is slightly frightened by her. Joel Aaron does a good enough job writing Aphra, keeping her all sorts of consistently awesome and I’m sure he was dying to sneak in a new Indiana Jones reference, one of the first since her intro in DV #3, when he has her paraphrase Indiana’s line about snakes (“Snakes? Why’d it have to be snakes!?”) when a hive of wasp-worms gets dumped on her. Their meeting felt slightly like a letdown since the events had to be construed to make it seem feasible neither would end up dead by the end of the issue, but make no mistake, it was fun overall and I hope they get a chance to face off again (after all, there are 3 more parts left!).
The rest of the battle was taking what each character is best known for and playing it up to 11, which thankfully worked really well despite feeling a little meta. Triple-Zero’s blood-lust only gets more profound and creepier after he doses Chewbacca with a toxin (seriously, the panel where Chewie’s drugged is going to give me nightmares for a long time), Beetee somehow doesn’t run out of rockets/ammo, Artoo gets to be the ultimate hero in the end, and Chewie tears a limb off Triple-Zero and beats him with it. It might not be full of substance, but SW #13 is full of some of the series’ funniest and best action moments yet. No one on either side perishes, not even Triple-Zero after losing both arms and Luke stabbing him in the chestplate with a lightsaber, but you’ll not be thinking about that when it’s all such a blast to see and read.
Here are a few other things:
- So far my theory about Luke and Aphra getting caught up in investigating the Jedi Temple has gone out the window, but I’m still holding out hope. Or at least one of them getting a chance to dig through its secrets a little further would be nice.
- Mike Deodato, artist of Vader Down #1, comes back for both this issue and Star Wars #14 (Vader Down Part 5). After the next Obi-Wan focused SW issue (#15), a new artist will be joining the series, Leinil Yu.
Vader Down Part 3 (Star Wars #13) does what a crossover should: bring together characters who don’t normally get a chance to cross paths in such a large galaxy and have a lot of fun doing so. The focus looks to return back to Vader in the next part, not due to be out until after The Force Awakens (crazy to be saying that!).
+ Han meeting Aphra
+ Battle of the sidekicks
STAR WARS CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
Vader Down (crossover between Star Wars and Darth Vader on-goings)
Part 1: Vader Down #1 | Part 2: DV #13 | Part 4: DV #14 | Part 5: SW #14 | Part 6: DV #15
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)
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)