Published: June 19, 2019
Rating: Rated T
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Angel Unzueta
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 6 The fate of an entire world is in the hands of the REBELS! And even then, can anyone manage to escape the Scourging of SHU-TORUN? The cataclysmic end of KIERON GILLEN’s run on STAR WARS!
The final part of ‘The Scourging of Shu-Torun,’ begins with Luke trying to stop Benthic from destroying the planet. Unable to convince him, Luke looks at R2-D2, asking why he ever saved Luke to allow this to happen.
Han, Leia, C-3PO, Tunga and Meorti finally realise what is happening to the planet. Leia asks Han to call Chewbacca and the Falcon to come get them, but Han quickly dismisses it. With all the TIE fighters around, he would be shot to pieces before he even had chance to land. Slipping away, Tunga is able to get past the Imperials that are trying to kill them and takes off in the ship the Rebels arrived in. Impersonating Leia, he sends a broadcast, which instantly gets the Imperial’s attention and gives Chewie the window he needs to land and get our heroes. However, Tunga is shot down in the process, sacrificing his life.
Han, Leia and the Rebels quickly go to find Benthic and Luke. Entering with no weapon, Leia explains to Benthic that if he does this, he lets the Empire win because he will be them. It is enough to convince him to keep to the original plan. With everyone back on the same side, the Rebels board the Falcon and leave. With a blockade and so many TIE fighters, Han puts the Falcon straight the remains of the Spike, a heroic escape for the team.
Commander Kanchar has a visit from Darth Vader, who is not impressed with Kanchar’s actions. Kanchar pays the ultimate price…
After dropping the Partisans on another planet, the Rebels arrive at Home One (there are also three frames where we see that Tunga is actually alive, saved by the cult of Central Isopter). Leia starts looking at their next assignment, a new base for the Rebels…
The last issue (at least for the moment) by Kieron Gillen and it goes with a bang. This last arc has been some of the very best Star Wars we have seen from the main comic and the finale does not disappoint. Too often the ending can feel rushed, as if the writer ran out of time and space, not here. Although the pacing is fast, and it should be, Gillen provides us with the perfect ending for the arc and his run.
For me, this arc has all been about mirrors. The most obvious one being the mirror of Leia and Queen Trios. Leia has really had to examine herself and her principals, to discover who she is and to what lengths she will go to in order to achieve her aim. In this final issue, this mirror comes back. At the beginning of the comic, we see two Rebels willing to make a sacrifice: one to save life, the other to destroy. Only with the intervention of Leia does the latter change. From her own reflection, Leia is able to show Benthic that he is becoming the very thing he is trying to destroy. She forces him to look in his own mirror. It’s an old lesson but one that works beautifully. It helps to finish Leia’s trials in this arc as well as showing that Benthic can change. It shows us just how far Leia has come since the start of this arc, where (at times) I think she would have probably agreed with Benthic and his actions.
I mentioned last issue how much I enjoyed seeing R2 being the hero. He is unfortunately not in this issue as much as I would have liked, but when he is, gosh is it worth it. I like that Luke hasn’t quite got complete trust in his little droid yet, which seems right given the time frame. Yet R2 has complete faith in the force. He is willing to give over to that faith completely in order to save his master, even though if may cost millions of lives. And of course R2 is right, yet it shows that wonderful personality that we all loved from the films.
The humour in this issue is superb, from Han being his typical self (and making me laugh at loud on page 2), to the way Tunga is saved. There isn’t much but just enough that when it is used, it really has an effect.
The artwork is, as always, incredible. Unzueta is such an incredible artist and I can’t sing his praises loud enough. The part that really made my jaw drop, was the work on Vader. Mind blown! It’s Vader from A New Hope and it is so perfectly depicted. It does make me want to wish for Unzueta to work on a Vader series.
This arc has been a match made in heaven. The work of both Gillen and Unzueta has provided a story that is stunning for both the eyes and the mind. This issue is set at a pace worthy of a finale and provides all the closure readers could hope for, as well as plenty of foundations laid for future stories. Gillen is an incredible writer and I have loved this close examination of characters, using mirrors of themselves to really find their true selves. To have Leia show Benthic his own mirror seems to really make the story come full circle and give it the most satisfying ending. Unzueta has helped us travel this story of Gillen’s, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better artist. To see both leaving now, although on a high, is so disappointing, as this is exactly what Star Wars is all about. Great writing, great art and a story that catapults you into a galaxy far, far away. At the end of the issue, there is a farewell by Gillen, and it is incredible just how much he has done for Star Wars comics since its return back to Marvel. From Darth Vader to Doctor Aphra, he seems to have introduced so many fan favourites. This arc is must read for all fans and is a very worthy farewell by Gillen. I do hope it is not the last we see of him, as his presence in our galaxy far, far away will be sorely missed…
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.