Story: Charles Soule
Art: Jay Bazaldua
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
What They Say:
OPERATION STARLIGHT GOES SUPERNOVA! The mission to reunite the REBEL FLEET is countered by a deadly trap sprung by the cunning COMMANDER ZAHRA! How will WEDGE ANTILLES, SHARA BEY and the other elite pilots of STARLIGHT SQUADRON survive? And then there’s LANDO CALRISSIAN… forced to choose between THE REBELLION and one of his oldest friends!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Operation Starlight hits its third installment here and there’s definitely some rough events going on as Charles Soule puts the cast through its pace. Sticking with the feeling of ESB, we get some grim moments and dark elements that fit with the tone of that film and how it ended, leaving the characters in this rough place. Jay Bazaldua does a solid job of capturing the cast here once again, though it’s not my favorite of the Star Wars artists in rotation, but he’s got a great handle on the more technical aspects of it and some very fun fight sequence bits when it comes to what’s going on with Shara’s story. All together, it makes for a solid book that still feels like it just needs that little extra oomph to the story.
The more character-focused sequence continues with what Leia is up to in getting the new code set using the old droid from the Imperial Museum with its lost language. The problem with it is that it’s basically killing Lobot in a big way and that’s pushing tensions as Lando wants to stop but Kes needs it to continue in order to ensure what his wife Shara is doing on the current mission succeeds. It does build its tension well as Lando and Kes get into it, and both are in the right on it, but it’s Leia running the show and she does her best with it here to achieve her larger goal. Which she does with a bit of a trick, one that you could see coming because you know she doesn’t want to be reliant on a droid like this one, but it’s just a hard play to make and it now has Lando on the side of distrusting the Rebellion in a big way.
The Starlight Squadron mission takes up the other half of the book and this one is a little rougher in how it unfolds but it has some good material to it that will push things forward. Zahara has some real potential and I love having her on this ship named after Tarkin, but she lets things get too out of control here as Shara and her group manage to realize what they’re up to and shift gears by taking their ships into the Star Destroyer itself with its hangar. This lets them cause a lot of damage, and go up against some AT-ST type machines, but it also has a couple of them hitting the deck to swipe an astromech that has key navigational data on it. Because, as is the running joke, nobody pays attention to droids. The downside is that Shara gets stranded which has payoff with Kes but could give Shara some good standalone time as she has to navigate the ship and what’s going to happen there herself.
This Star Wars storyline is working well for me overall as I like what it’s trying to accomplish with the codes as a part of trying to bring the fleet back together. We get a better handle on what’s been lost here and we see how Leia is now ready to start shifting gears by going on the hunt after having to be on the run for so long and keeping everything going and everyone alive. Soule’s script covers some good stuff here and I hope to see more of how Lando and Lobot deal with the fallout from it considering how Lando is in the next film. It’s a solid entry in the series and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next as it change its approach.