Story: Greg Pak
Art: Phil Noto
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
What They Say:
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!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With three more installments left after this before the series wraps up, Greg Pak feels like he’s in a storyline that’s stretched out further than it should be and it’s getting harder to pull it all together. This issue leaves you in a place where you’re trying to remember why the three separate storylines are important, even if there are some fun moments. Phil Noto continues to do a really great job with the visual design of the book as the characters look great and I love the settings, especially the more complex ones involving civilization. His character designs feel like they’re really where they need to be in capturing the likeness of the actors without being beholden to every detail.
While I’ve disliked the Threepio/Chewie story in the previous issues it’s the one that works the best in this one, which isn’t saying a lot. With Vader and the Empire having arrived there as part of the trap, Chewie’s off trying to deal with disarming the explosives while Threepio plays at being the interpreter for the rock people. In a sign of how little attention people pay to droids, Vader still has no clue as to who Threepio is and just questions him for details on the rock creatures while they confer about what Vader has come to them about. I do like that they confound Vader because while they’re alive they’re completely different in form, making it impossible for him to read their emotions and to get a handle on who they are.
With Luke and Warba, they did well in dealing with the payroll heist and that has them heading back so that Warba can get further details from her main contact, Ranja. Ranja, unfortunately, is being shaken down by the Imperials there as she’s plugged into everything and should have something to give them. It’s not a bad subplot but it largely rests on Luke trying to get things out of Warba about the Force and she’s either come across as cagey and unwilling or just pulling a scam on him. That she tricks him and runs off with the money doesn’t speak well for either of them and it just feels like we’re spinning our wheels. Which is about all I can say about the Champion/Leia storyline as they set things in motion against Carpo while looking like they’re getting really close. And that’s enough to put things in an accidental way where Han gets picked up and is being delivered to Carpo. But it’s been so drawn out that like the Luke storyline, we’ve lost the plot.
While I don’t believe the intention was to run out the clock on this series to get to 75 issues, knowing a new team is taking over with that book and that we’re going to get a different cast to work with since Han’ll be out of the picture, this storyline just isn’t delivering what’s needed. Everything feels like it’s just kind of hanging there and far too decompressed without enough meat in each installment to make it feel worthwhile. I like some aspects of what Pak is doing here and I’m still surprised how much I’m liking how Noto is illustrating it, but this is likely going to be the least memorable arc in the run for me.
Age Rating: All Ages
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: October 2nd, 2019