Published: January 29, 2020
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Charles Soule
Penciler: Jesus Saiz
Colourist: Arif Prianto
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: R.B. Silva, Guru-eFX
“No…I am your father.” In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. And after being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke’s father Anakin–Vader is Luke’s father! Now, after narrowly escaping the dark lord’s clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookiee Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance—for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses, is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their rag tag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin’s Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesus Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away next year! With covers by RB Silva (POWERS OF X)!
Oh, how I’ve been looking forward to this! Earlier this year we saw the release of issue one, which completely floored me. I’ve been a long-time fan of Soule and the first issue did nothing but cement that further. With incredible art by Saiz (and colouring), I could not have dreamed of a more perfect issue, one that made me start to question certain scenes I had seen in The Empire Strikes Back. More than that, it brought Luke back as the main character and showed his internal struggle, which I can’t wait to see more of. Issue two, it has been too long a wait…
With anything that Soule writes, you feel like you’ve had a full movie experience in one single issue, he fits so much in. This issue is no different. We may have to wait for these issues, but boy do they keep you going! The focus for this issue is definitely Lando, and it’s interesting to see where his character is at the moment. I’m sure the phrase ‘Lando style’ is going to soon be on everyone’s lips as Soule really shows us more of what Lando is all about. We get to see how Lando can talk his way out of trouble, a skill that Han never seems to match. For me, this works perfectly, Lando should be better at Han at this and Han is the better pilot. It’s reinforced well in this issue. It may be a modern gesture, but Lando dropping the comm from his hand had me in stitches, a very Lando move if there ever was one! What I think works so well here, is that we know that Lando isn’t converted to the side of the Rebels yet, that he is still looking after his own skin. It makes you rethink the end of The Empire Strikes Back, as although Lando seems genuine, he is still leaving his options open. Soule plays this right, as in the time frame, I can’t imagine Lando being converted to the Rebels by this point.
It’s at this point that I need to mention the art, because wow! The art is as gorgeous as it was in the first issue, and the colourist Arif Prianto works incredibly well with Saiz. What really gets me with the artwork this issue are the flashbacks. The panel of Han is easily my favourite panel in the entire comic, my jaw dropped when I saw it. The same could be said for Vader’s appearance. These two characters aren’t directly in the issue, which works very well, but their impact on the group is continually being revisited, you don’t notice that they aren’t there. Coupled with the artwork that grabs your attention, particularly for these moments, is very impactful on the reader.
Luke is relegated in this issue, but I feel sure next issue will be back to a focus on him. He needs time to deal with what he is going through and the break from his story is perhaps the right choice to make. What we do learn is that he is going back for his lightsaber. To fill this gap in the story about the lightsaber, and presumably a little way to explaining how it got to Maz in The Force Awakens, is mind-blowing. It’s an unfinished part of the movie story that fans have been asking about for years. I can’t wait to see this journey! We also see a ‘mysterious’ person holding Luke’s lightsaber. A mystery or Luke? The figure is wearing a cloak like Luke’s and a black glove, it has to be future Luke? Another test like the one in the cave in Dagobah? Oh, my mind reels with question after question! Let alone, if Luke finds his lightsaber, why would he build another? Oh Soule, how you tease!
The organisation of the Rebels is on show this issue, with the group having briefings like that we saw in Return of the Jedi. This sort of discussion I think is great to see, that there is the link to the way they operate in Episode VI. We see Leia once again taking charge, because she needs to, and taking on the mantle of what her father started. Coupled with Luke having to deal with his father issues (which are also technically Leia’s, even if she doesn’t know it yet), Soule is setting the groundwork for some interesting comparisons. It even begins in this issue, with us seeing the struggle Leia is facing with losing Han. Unlike Luke however, she fights through it. She doesn’t want to trust Lando, but she knows she has to as her knowledge does not extend to the criminal side of the galaxy as Lando’s does.
What as issue. To say this series is going to make us all rethink Episode V and VI is perhaps a little short sighted. Soule seems to be taking it to the next level, with filling in gaps that are within the saga as a whole, not two chapters of it. It’s a bold move, yet I can’t think of anyone more perfect for the role. His writing, his style, his deep character development is second to none, and he brings something new and fresh to Star Wars, while still allowing it to fit into the old flawlessly. This is going to be a series that fans will be talking about for years, if not decades. With the incredible artwork by Saiz, you can’t go wrong. For your money you are getting a lot of Star Wars and one that will keep you wanting more. How long until issue 3?!?!?
Star Wars (2020) is an ongoing series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic bookstores. This issue retails at $3.99.