Published: March 20, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN: OPERATION VENGEANCE! KANCHAR returns, and he’s still got an amazing cybernetic arm. Does QUEEN TRIOS feel regret over all she’s done? Spoilers: She will soon, if LEIA has anything to do with it.
The second part of The Scourging of Shu-Torun, opens on the named planet with Queen Trios justifying her actions against the Rebels to Commander Kanchar. It is also the time where she explains to him about The Spike, the centre of the world that literally holds the planet together.
We are quickly moved to our heroes (Luke, Han and Leia), who’s plan centres around disabling The Spike. With the plans to The Spike, Leia knows how to take it down, but first they need to get access to the security system so they can lock everyone down. For this, they will need a scan of the queen’s eye. To do that, they need to impersonate an ore duke so they can get close enough to the queen. And to start the ball rolling, they need to kidnap said ore duke! The plan, although not easy, seems sound. The Partisans like it and are quite happy to get started, yet Meorti has some doubts.
On his way to a party being held by the queen, an ore duke is complaining to his guard and driver that he will be late. Before his guard can reply, their speeder is clamped and boarded by Han and Leia, who stun the duke and guard. While continuing the journey of the speeder, the Rebels get ready for the next part of the plan. Threepio is fitted with a scanner that will scan the eye of the queen, while Tunga transforms into the duke. Luke and Chewie are waiting in the Falcon near the Spike, ready for when the eye scan has been caught.
At the party, Tunga greets the queen and is able to get the scan of the eye. Leia tells him to make sure he delivers a message. However, on hearing the message, the queen stops, having recognised those exact words…
Last issue felt very much like the calm before the storm. Introductions were made (or remade) that brought all readers up to speed and a steady pace was set. In this issue, the pace continues until the plan is initiated, where I do believe we won’t be slowing again until the very end.
I have to begin with the best part of the whole issue: the art. As soon as I saw there had been a switch in artists, and a switch to Angel Unzueta, my heart leapt! Having reviewed the Poe Dameron series for over a year, I’m very familiar with Unzueta’s work and I still say that he is one of the very best artists working at Marvel. To find that he would be doing the art for a story set in the Original trilogy was fantastic. And the man does not disappoint. The artwork in this issue is magnificent, from the first page to the last, it is a feast for your eyes. As soon as the three characters of Luke, Han and Leia were shown, I was beside myself. The likeness of each character is so incredibly close, that you feel like you are seeing the actual actors. Even down to the way the characters hold themselves. A simple thing, like Leia sitting a certain way in a chair, is so perfect that I’m sure Carrie Fisher must have posed for Unzueta. The way he has composed the panels is also brilliant, from when the Rebels are laying out the plan, to when Tunga is transforming. This is a master of his craft at work and helping to create a cinematic feel to these comics.
I suppose I should also mention the story! The story is incredible. We get to see Queen Trios trying to explain her actions. It adds another dimension to the character and an aspect that a lot of systems under the Empire can relate to. She’s not happy about her actions, but she has had to do them for her people. Whether you agree with her or not, her justification is a noble one (from a certain point of view). Is it any worse than Leia telling Tarkin the Rebels were on Dantooine to save Alderaan? And to me this is where this story is coming into its own. The comparison between Leia and Trios that actually the two are not very different, is fascinating. Leia hates Trios, yet if Tarkin had destroyed Dantooine as opposed to Alderaan, would a lot of people not be feeling the same hate to Leia?
And then we come to Leia, who is ‘destroying’ a planet. Her justification is that the people will have time to leave. But it is still their planet. With the ending as it is, and the look on Leia’s face, is she not going down a dark route? The aim of her plan is ultimately for revenge. Last issue, it seemed like it was to strike a blow at the Empire, but the message and look say otherwise. Is Leia not becoming the very thing she thinks Trios is? It makes us, the reader, and question how noble Leia is. It is only circumstance that have made her appear so, yet if things were different, would Leia not be Trios?
With so many questions and a plan that is obviously going to have a fair few problems on the way, Gillen has written an exceptional second part to this story arc. The comparison between Leia and Trios is one that i can’t wait to see play out, which I’m sure will have Leia looking into the mirror of herself. Added to that, the art of Unzueta, and you have two leading fan favourites, two extremely talented people, creating some of the very best Star Wars. How this partnership is going to end in a few short issues is beyond me, as the stars seem to have aligned to create this super team! If for some unknown reason you have not started reading this story arc, then you should, it is stimulation for your mind and eyes on a level you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere in the Star Wars universe. And Marvel? Please don’t let this be the only story arc Gillen and Unzueta are working on….please…
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.