Published: May 1, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 4! Her planet under threat, a heroic princess battles to save it! Not Leia – it’s QUEEN TRIOS OF SHU-TORUN, ally to Darth Vader and the Empire! PRINCESS LEIA’S plan begins to unfold. But some members of her strike team have schemes of their own. When will Leia realize just what she’s set in motion?!
The story opens with Queen Trios of Shu-Torun, trying to figure out how to escape the Abyssal Rooms. The only way is to expose the people with her to the temperatures outside, as there aren’t enough transports for everyone. Although it is extreme, the queen has no choice, as the Rebels can literally do whatever they like with the planet locked down.
Leia and Han are still in the throne room, unable to communicate with Luke as he is too deep within the planet. Luke, with Benthic and the Partisans, are blowing the generators, with much success. With only one left, Luke is confident they can make it back to the Falcon quickly. The Partisans have other ideas.
Queen Trios prepares to leave her prison, trying to soothe the other people there that a rescue will arrive before the external temperatures kill them. On the transport, the queen is finally able to get free and heads straight to the Imperial Retreat, where Han and Leia are.
In the Mid Rim, Commander Kanchar hears news from a stranded team on Hubin, about the attack on Shu-Torun. As it is him who is overseeing production on the planet, he mobilises his star destroyer to go to the rescue.
At the last generator, Benthic tries to hypercharge it, which will cause the planet to be destroyed. Luke doesn’t agree and with the help of R2-D2, makes his escape from the Partisans, hoping there is some way he can stop them.
Han and Leia brace for the arrival of the queen, who crashes her transport into the Rebels. Unbeknownst to any of them, Kanchar has arrived in orbit, giving the order for an orbital bombardment…
Last issue, we watched the plan unfold and how perfectly well it was going for the Rebels. This issue, we see where it all begins to go wrong. So far in this arc, I’ve said how this is the dream-team for Star Wars. Amazing writing backed up with amazing art. This issue is no different.
Whereas in previous issues it was the art that grabbed my attention, this week it is most certainly the writing. That’s not to say the art is bad, it isn’t! But the writing has so many layers this week that it’s hard not to have been wowed by them. So far, we’ve seen a real comparison between Leia and Trios, how the two are very similar and are willing to go to (seemingly) any lengths to help their causes. We see that again here but a new dimension is brought in with Benthic. Benthic is wanting exactly what Leia wants, he wants to cause the same hurt that has been caused him, which is Leia’s motivation for this mission too. In fact, under the Empire, both have suffered the loss of a planet (to be honest I don’t think Benthic’s is quite as bad as Leia’s!). Yet, where Leia doesn’t want to harm innocents, benthic has no such qualms. The story has been set-up to see how far Leia will go to have her revenge on Trios, Benthic, I think, will be the reality check for her. All three of them act the same, yet each with a different point of view of how that should be achieved. It’s fascinating to read. These three are weaving in and out of the story, each with the same motivation, fighting each other, even though they are so similar. Like I said, many layers!
We do see these comparisons with Leia and Trios as well. Trios is very quick to realise that she is the cause of this retaliation, that she has put her people on the line. Much in the same way that Leia believes she is partly at fault for the loss of Alderaan. In Leia’s case she was protecting the Rebellion, in Trios’ she was aiding the Empire. It is these comparisons that make reading this story so enticing and really delve deep in what makes Leia unique.
The other part of the story that I really liked were the droids. Maybe it is just me, but with The Rise of Skywalker trailer out, and the other sequel movies not showing much love for my favourite droids, it was with a smile that I found them here. I’ve missed C-3PO worrying about R2. I’ve missed R2 saving Luke (again). I’ve missed them. Here they are as they should be, helping save the day as they always do and each other having the others back. I hope we see more of them as the story starts to come to a finish. They make Star Wars.
I don’t know what more I can say about this story arc as a whole. This issue continues what has been such a strong storyline from the start. And how could it not be? Gillen and Unzueta are an unstoppable combination and you’d be silly to think otherwise. The writing, the look, the feel, the atmosphere, it’s all here. If you are yet to see what these two can do together then you are doing yourself a disservice. This is some of the finest Star Wars writing and art that you will find. Seriously, what more do you want?
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.