Published: March 6, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Andrea Broccardo
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN: ROAD TO REVENGE! How is LEIA going to scourge SHU-TORUN? She’ll need an all-star team…and a plan they won’t see coming!
The first part of ‘Scourging of Shu-Torun’, begins on-board the Falcon, with Princess Leia explaining to Luke, Han, Chewie and the droids that she has a plan to take down Shu-Torun. With the plans she has of the planet, Leia thinks it is possible but it will require certain people to help, the first being a shape shifter.
On Gralack, Tunga is part of an act that shows the saving of Mon Cala, with the heroic Luke, Han and Leia saving the day (A previous story arc). Before the performance can end, stormtroopers break up the show and we see ‘Luke’ turn back to Tunga. Thinking they have found him, the stormtroopers meet the real Luke, who stops the troopers with his lightsaber. Tunga agrees to go with the Rebels on their mission.
On Jedha, Benthic (leader of the Partisans) is still proving a problem for the Empire. Leia meets him to discuss the Partisans helping her with her new mission. While there, Luke goes to look around the Temple of Central Isopter, to discover it’s empty.
Back on Home One, Leia is still in need of one more member for her team, a slicer. Overhearing them, Meorti says how hard it will be to find one, which prompts Leia into realising that Meorti is one. With the team assembled, Leia explains the mission.
On Shu-Torun, a group of devotees of Central Isopter land on the planet believing that there will be much destruction soon to come, destruction that might rival Jedha…
Star Wars. The name means so many things to so many people. To utter its name is to draw millions. So the main comic series to hold that name, well, you’d expect it to be the very best that Marvel has to offer. As this is my first review of this series, I thought I’d better share my views of the series so far. It has been… interesting. To say it is the best would be untrue, as I think there have been better series from Marvel and series’ with better consistency. And for me this has been the major flaw in this series, the consistency. There have been some really good story lines and yet there has also been some ones that I doubt I will read again. There has been a lot of potential and yet there have been times when I don’t think that potential has been exploited to its best. That said, the last few story lines that culminated in The Escape have been a breath of fresh air to the series and have really provided that Star Wars feeling to the comics. This is in no small way thanks to Gillen, who seems to have a very clear direction for the series. The fact this will be his last story arc is both exciting and unfortunate, as he has really done wonders for this series.
The first part of this arc is quite simple, Leia needs a team and we watch her gather it. It is a slow build up but one that I appreciate. We get to meet each member of the team, members who I’m sure will play important parts in the story. Although all are familiar to regular readers, it is a good way to refresh memories as well as helping new readers find their footing. There is a lot of weaving of past stories all throughout this issue. We have Tunga from the saving of Mon Cala, we have the Partisans from Rogue One (as well as another previous story arc) as well as the fact that Shu-Torun was actually first in the original Darth Vader series. That’s a lot of characters from a lot of different aspects of Star Wars and I think Gillen has been very wise to slow this first issue down.
Furthermore, we know that Leia wants revenge on Shu-Torun. The jibe Han makes about her being Vader is an interesting one because as the reader we don’t know how far Leia will go. By having this as a slower issue, it increases the anticipation of what will happen, particularly when the devotees appear on the planet. It also provides us with an interesting look at Leia, who usually we see being calm and collected, even after her home planet is destroyed. Yet here, the question always hangs in the air, how far is she planning on going?
This issue has little humour, yet the parts we do have are very well written. Chewbacca taking offense at the production I thought was wonderful and I like that even in this comic, we get to see those little character moments.
That leaves the art by Broccardo. When I first started looking at it, I have to admit I wasn’t impressed. The faces on the characters just didn’t seem right. That said, I’d rather have this than the digital like faces from previous issues! But as the comic continued, it became really clear that Broccardo knows his Star Wars. There are Easter eggs throughout this issue, and this more than anything, made me appreciate the work he’s done for this issue. Han wearing the outfit in Solo is a nice touch (and adds a bit of variety to Han’s wardrobe). I also loved the costumes for Tunga and the other actors. To base them on Ralph McQuarrie’s original concept work was an ingenious move and didn’t go unnoticed.
Although a simple issue, you can’t help but feel that this is the calm before the storm. Gillen is not going to go out with anything but a page turner and this slow build up feels a wonderful pace to do just that. With links to the previous story arcs, this will be the culmination of his work with this series and I imagine the payoff will be worth reading. If you haven’t kept up with this series, or lost interest due to other arcs, this comic is a perfect gateway back in, to a finale that I’m sure you will not want to miss.
Star Wars is an ongoing series available from Marvel. This issue is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.