Published: May 15, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 5! QUEEN TRIOS vs. PRINCESS LEIA at last! Can LUKE SKYWALKER hold out against the attack of overwhelming force…from his own allies?! And when you think things couldn’t get worse for our Rebels, there’s always an orbital bombardment to survive!
The fifth part of The Scourging of Shu-Torun, begins with the Devotees of Central Isopter waiting on the planet, claiming that they are just in time. The story quickly moves to the Imperial Retreat, where Han and Leia are doing battle with Queen Trios and her men. An orbital blast rocks the retreat, impacting on the shields. At this, Han and Leia decide it is a good time to retreat.
Queen Trios is horrified to find that the bombardment is from Commander Kanchar, who gets confirmation from the queen that Princess Leia is on the planet. Queen Trios cannot believe that Kanchar continues the orbital attack in his quest to destroy Leia. With not much else to do, Trios summons her men to her.
Leia and Han hole up in the throne room, realising that they still can’t contact Luke. Leia knows that they must try and hold Trios off as long as they can, to give Luke as much time as they can.
Luke, however, is on the run with R2-D2, running from the Partisans, who need R2 to slice into the computers. Seeing little way to outrun them, Luke tells R2 to hide while the Partisans chase him.
Trios enters the throne room, coming face to face with Leia, who begin to duel. Han is left to deal with the other guards. During the battle, Leia realises that the bombardment is not the queen’s doing but the Imperials. Trios then screams at Leia that she is destroying the planet, allowing Leia a chance to strike a fatal blow. Leia then understands that something has gone wrong. She promises the queen she will stop the planet from being destroyed as the queen dies.
Luke is captured by the Partisans, who broadcast a message for R2 to hear, saying that if the droid does not do what they say, they will kill Luke. R2 arrives and does as the Partisans ask…
It is bittersweet to know that this wonderful writer/artist combination must come to an end soon, too soon. Every issue so far has been a feast for the mind as well as the eyes and this comic is no different.
For the majority of these issues, I’ve said it’s the art that really draws you in, and the same can be said again. Unzueta is a master of his craft, and the likeness of the characters is uncanny. This really struck me when looking at the scenes with Luke and R2. You can almost imagine it is something from The Empire Strikes Back, with Luke being in his Bespin fatigues. And Han, Harrison Ford Han, wearing the same gear from Solo, it all complements each other so well, that it feels so new. The action scenes between the characters are very well done, that you are able to follow, with almost cinematic frames, the battles.
But let’s stick with R2. As soon as I saw the artwork with him, and remembering Empire, you come to realise that Luke and R2 have been on lots of adventures together (obvious I know). In this comic, we see how much R2 is willing to sacrifice to Luke, that he is completely loyal to Skywalker. It’s touching to see. I don’t think there has been as much of this as there should be. Even in The Last Jedi, when Luke is reunited with R2, it’s an important and emotional moment, but then the little droid is pushed aside. In Legends, Luke and R2 went on adventures together all the time, we seem to have lost that with the ‘reboot’. I want more of it. This feels like what Star Wars should feel like, that the astromech is much more than a droid.
Kanchar shows us in this issue just how much the Imperial’s aspire to climb the hierarchy of the Empire. He doesn’t care about the consequences, just the results. In this case, destroying Leia. It is a very Vader thing to do, and I’m sure must be echoed across the galaxy. I never tire of seeing this, the Imperial’s lust for power.
We finally get to see the show off between Leia and Trios, a very medieval style fight. Yet it is this, and I’m not surprised, that finally wakes Leia up to the fact that her plan has gone amiss. Yet even in death, Trios shows just how much like Leia she is, concerned more about her people than for herself. It’s almost a shame to see her go, but then I think it is the right time for her to leave. We don’t need two characters who are so similar together, particularly one as grand as Leia.
And finally, there’s the devotees. The bookends onto this issue are superb and add a real mystical quality to it all. Have they predicted correctly, or will Leia, somehow be able to save them?
As always, this dream team just keeps on giving. For me the real star in this issue is R2, but maybe that’s because I feel we need more R2 at the moment. This is exactly what Star Wars should be, our heroes in compelling stories, off on adventures, doing their thing. I can’t wait to read the final issue, although I will be very sad to see the duo of Unzueta and Gillen split. I also worry where this series will go. It has not got the best track record until recently, and with that writer soon to be gone, what are we to expect? Maybe I speak too soon. For now, this is a story arc you need to read, for the complex writing, to the mouth-watering art; it has it all.
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