– Spoiler Review –
Star Wars #24 is largely a return to form after the previous uneven issue, as SCAR squad comes out of the shadows and everything turns to (entertaining) bantha poodoo in an instant.
The problems continue to get worse for the limited Rebellion group trying to man the Star Destroyer, including maintenance crews going suspiciously missing. The SCAR squad, who snuck aboard at the end of last issue, is responsible and they finally play their hand, coordinating an attack to retake the Harbinger. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and Sana all get caught in the crossfire, each facing a situation growing ever more dire as they can’t turn back and the Empire is bringing its full might against them…including a visit from Darth Vader himself.
Having Luke interacting with Sana has been a really great decision for this arc, as it’s nice to have him against a more experienced, well-traveled person that isn’t really his friend (i.e. Han). It highlights his naivety, which makes his bravery even more impressive, while giving us a chance to learn a little more about Sana as a person (as well as some history, like in last issue). Likewise, having Kreel as a possible recurring villain was a great move, as it gives Luke someone to battle lightsabers with that isn’t Vader, while also allowing him to either defeat the villain or lose to them (without it being hard to explain how he didn’t die). Luke seems to be holding his own in their battle, which in a way Kreel has to blame himself for a tougher battle due to him training Luke back on Nar Shaddaa…or maybe he’s happy he trained him so he has a battle that’s worthwhile. Either way, I do hope Kreel lives to fight another day and that his boss doesn’t take the spotlight from him here.
Unlike last week’s oddly (and pretty poorly timed) flirting race in the middle of their mercy mission to Tureen VII, the Han and Leia material gets back to normal here. Han continues to point out how obviously bad the mission is going, insistent still they make a stop for repairs, but Leia knows him good enough by now to take advantage of his need to impress her: she offers him the helmsman position in an effort to keep his piloting ego in check and to stop him from arguing with her every step of the way. The gambit works, but she has a bit of an entertaining slip up that Han can’t help but pounce on: she says she needs a crazy pilot, which he assumes she means Luke, only for her to say, “I want you.” Han’s flabbergasted and honored, only she manages to catch herself in time and add the part about wanting him as helmsman, so he lets it go…for now. It was a really cute, pleasant, and funny moment in an otherwise tense and action-packed issue that didn’t feel off tone like their race did last week. Good save, Jason Aaron.
SCAR squad’s attack was very efficient and entertaining, letting them live up to their reputation for the first time since their introduction issue. The squadron splits up, attempting to take over all critical areas of the ship. The big hulking Zuke thinks he has it easy taking over the reactor room, running into Threepio and Artoo, but he soon finds a big furry surprise: Chewie! We don’t get to see much of their battle, but I look forward to a chance to get a few panels in about that. Misty, the sniper, goes after the bridge, putting Han and Leia in his sights. Luke is separated from Sana and their search team by Kreel, leaving Sana all alone with a bunch of nameless rebels who’ll likely end up dead. She nearly does too because one of them decides to vent an airlock to take out the troopers, but she manages to hang on a live to fight another day. Everyone’s various situations are left as cliffhangers, with only Sana left free as a wild card, which I look forward to seeing what trouble she can brew up. But after all that, with only one issue left in this arc, it certainly feels like this was too little too late with trying to cash-in on all the build up to the SCAR squadron’s appearance. Besides their introduction, this is the first time we’ve actually seen them in action and now suddenly they might be overshadowed by their boss aka a certain Dark Lord of the Sith named Darth Vader, as he makes an appearance at the end of the issue.
The whole point of SCAR squad was to give the heroes an enemy (much like I explained with Kreel and Luke) they could win or lose against that wouldn’t be someone like Vader who needs his reputation kept (therefore can’t be seen to lose often) otherwise we’d be running into a General Grievous situation like in The Clone Wars. In Star Wars Rebels the Inquisitors essentially filled the role the SCAR squadron does here, and while eventually Vader did come in and he would’ve wiped the heroes off the map had it not been for Ahsoka Tano, his appearance didn’t diminish the Inquisitor threat throughout the season. But for him to show up now, with only one true issue under the SCAR’s belt against our heroes, it could totally ruin their chances at being a threat or even end up making them seem somewhat pointless. If they can deal with the problem without Vader’s interference, that would increase their threat-level in both the eyes of the heroes and of us readers. So far everyone from Aaron up to the editors have proven they know how to handle these type of things, but I’m certainly concerned at the moment. We’ll find out how it all shakes out next month when issue #25 drops.
Here are a few other things:
- My big question of the week is: how did SCAR squadron know the rebels were on-board the Harbinger and why didn’t they tell anyone else in the Empire? Did Vader know Luke was involved and wanted to take it himself so he could get his son?
- One of my favorite lines of the issue comes from Threepio when he translates for Chewie, who’s desperately working in the reactor to keep it from blowing, “He says he’s working but…Oh, my! Why are there so many words for bloodshed in the Wookiee language?”
- As much as I’ve gotten used to Jorge Molina’s style, assisted in colors and inks by Matt Milla and Scott Hanna, it still isn’t one I really enjoy. SCAR squad looks great in his style though and they actually do fit pretty well with his stylized take on everything else, so overall I can’t really complain.
All said, Star Wars #24 leaves everything on an action-packed cliffhanger that I’ll be excited to see unravel in the finale, but has SCAR squadron been set up for failure by the creative team or will they prove themselves worthy of any of the hype thrown their way? We’ll find out in a month.
+ Humor on point
+ SCAR squadron brings the pain…
– …but is it too little too late to make them dangerous in the eyes of the reader?
CANON COMIC REVIEWS:
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 | #22 | #23 | #25 | Yoda’s Secret War (#26-30) | Out Among the Stars (#33-37) | 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 (#7-12)
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)