Published: October 2, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Phil Noto
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
The time for answers is upon us – and destinies will change! As CHEWIE grapples with a terrible moral choice, LORD VADER reveals his plan for the rock people of K43! As LUKE questions where he’s placed his trust, WARBA reveals her origins and true relationship to the FORCE! And as LEIA and DAR spin around the dance floor, HAN uncovers the real villains of Lanz Carpo!
Last issue moved things about for me. Having always liked the Luke storyline, I was surprised to enjoy the Chewie/3PO thread so much. With flashbacks and Vader, it was just so much Star Wars. I was eager to get back into part five, to see where Pak was going to take us next…
The story begins with C-3PO and Vader and right from the start, we see a lot more Vader. He’s not overused, and I like that he only says one of two words; keeping the mystery of the character. I’ve mentioned in my Doctor Aphra review for this week, that at the moment, Marvel seem to be utilising Vader to perfection. There is never too much of him. The writers (Pak in this case) seem to have realised failures of their predecessors and are keeping Vader’s appearance to a minimum. It can be somewhat infuriating with Pak as he does it so well! Although as he has just been announced as the writer of a new Darth Vader comic series, this gives me a lot of hope.
Vader is fascinated by the rock people linking their existence to that of droids. You almost see the old Anakin, who is trying to process how these things work. They are fascinating because they are a mystery. It is a very well written character moment, one that I wouldn’t expect from Vader but am awfully glad it is there. Even with Vader intrigued, he never gets far from his main goal: getting Skywalker. With something so rare a find, we see that obsession part, that Vader, with all the distractions, is still fixed on this one aim. It is a beautifully written part by Pak.
We then move to the Luke storyline and… well… let’s be honest, we’ve seen it coming. Yes, Warba is a con artist. And yes, you want to do one of two things: Shake Luke and go come on! Or grab Han and tell him to slap some sense into the boy! Yet for its obvious moves, I found this part of Luke’s adventures to be one of the most compelling. Yes, Luke is being a little blind, you would think that through knowing Han he would have it figured out. But there is a desperation to Luke, one that makes all the naivete make sense. Luke knows he needs a teacher. He knows that he needs a teacher to be able to help his friends and make a difference. It has been close to three years without one, and the glimmer of someone being able to teach him is enough to go head strong into this situation. I can’t say I don’t blame him. When you think about it some more, it also makes sense with The Empire Strikes Back. Delirious, not quite with it, you see a vision of your dead master (not knowing too much of the force), you leave your friends (who need you) to go to a planet no one has heard of… again, desperation. It makes me see that whole part of the film differently and really makes you understand where Luke is at this point in time.
I’m liking Warba a bit more as well. Her back story about being from Jedha fits perfectly. Why she would know the ways of the force (at least enough to fool Luke), why she is now having to be a thief because she has nothing left, it all fits so neatly.
Finally, we have the Han/Leia arc, which is by far the shortest in this issue. We get to see Han’s jealousy rearing its ugly head and getting him into trouble. I have to say this is the weakest of the arcs (for me). As I said last week, Pak has to sacrifice at least one of the arcs to allow the others to shine through. I can see where this story is heading, as it’ll be a rescue of Han and I’m sure Pak will dedicate more time to this part next issue.
Noto’s artwork is on form again this week, guiding us through the story. I could be wrong, but I think he rather enjoys drawing Vader. Whenever Vader appears, I’m in awe of the artwork. Noto is able to capture something about the character that I can’t quite put my finger on. There is that old piece of art that shows the same Vader going through a range of emotions. Noto is somehow able to show emotions with Vader and it works well.
The Han/Leia story arc has taken a hit this week I won’t lie; it’s definitely there to set up future issues. However, by giving this part so few pages, has allowed the other two to shine, and brightly. There is a depth that is really coming through the Chewie/3PO and Luke story arcs and they keep giving more and more. How Pak is able to juggle these so well I don’t know and although I say the Han/Leia arc has taken a hit, I fully trust Pak that by next issue that will be on top form. The way this story fits into the film mythos is just beautiful and it’s making me rethink how I see certain aspects of the Original Trilogy. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we want? To have our assumptions challenged, to understand our characters better. I can’t wait to see where Pak goes next and I’ll be honest, I can’t actually wait for his Vader comic in January. From what I’ve seen here, he’s just the man for the job…
Star Wars 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.