Star Wars #8 – Showdown on the Smugglers’ Moon

"Star Wars #8" Cover

“Showdown on the Smugglers’ Moon”
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor

Related Reviews: Star Wars v1: Skywalker Strikes | Star Wars #9
Tradepaperback: Star Wars v2: Showdown on Smugglers’ Moon

Star Wars #6 ended on a rather shocking cliffhanger two months back, but we are only just getting around to resolving it now.  Marvel apparently decided it would be best to let that sit through a full issue as the plot sidetracked to explore some of the things Obi-Wan Kenobi was up to between the end of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, which ended up being pretty much what you would expect of someone stuck on Tatooine.  This month we are finally back to the story in progress with Leia and Han being confronted by Sana Solo, who claims to be Han’s wife.  As expected there is quite a bit of question into the veracity of that statement, and no small part of it depends on whether or not Sana is all that sane to begin with.

The question of Han’s marital status hopefully interests you, because it takes up most of the book.  Given how much time is spent with Sana, Leia and Han you would perhaps be surprised to find that we are no closer to the answer to that question than we were at the beginning of the book.  The signs certainly seem to point in the direction that Sana is delusional (or, more likely, a woman left at the altar) and the marriage never actually went through officially, but with Han’s questionable past the possibility is never quite extinguished.  Leia, of course, is a bit off put by the whole thing, but interestingly she handles it rather well.  It is easy to think of Han and Leia as a couple since they have been presented as one for decades now, but in the aftermath of A New Hope it makes sense that Leia is not impressed with his ‘charm’ yet.  This should not come as a surprise, but somehow my expectations were still subverted by how Leia decided to handle her situation.

Han, Leia and Sana in "Star Wars #8"
Han, Leia and Sana in “Star Wars #8”

Over in the other half of the book we have Luke reacting to the information he learned about Obi-Wan last issue, and him realizing that it does not really help him that much at all.  He decides that his best plan is to go to Nar Shaddaa so he can hitch a ride to Coruscant, capital of the Empire.  In one of the more entertaining sequences we have had in this series so far, Luke figures that his best bet is to go to the shadiest bar he can find since that worked so well for Obi-Wan in A New Hope.  The results are predictable, but no less hilarious for being so.  This is another case where we our impression of Luke as the skilled, intelligent warrior could potentially throw us for a loop in this story, but the twist is so well telegraphed that it does not happen here.  Still, it is clear that writer Jason Aaron has considered where these characters would be, skill-wise and intelligence-wise, at this point in their adventure.  The consequences of his actions will likely be the subject of the rest of this arc.  Interestingly enough Luke losing his lightsaber seems to be a recurring plot point in this series.

The art in the first arc was handled primarily by John Cassadey, who is considered to be one of the top artists in comics today.  He is also one of the slowest in the business (the cost of his highly detailed work), and so this second arc sees Stuart Immonen take over on art.  Mr. Immonen’s work tends to be more angular and heavier on the linework than Cassadey’s (though he does seem to have tempered that to help with visual consistency), but he is also typically better at kinetic action sequences.  There is not much of that this month, but the ending to the issue suggests that is only a temporary situation for this book.  He probably would not have been who I immediately thought of as a replacement for Cassadey, but the fact is he does an admirable job of filling those shoes, and I doubt there will be too many complaints about the change.

We may not yet have answers to the questions raised by the end of Skywalker Strikes, but the story so far has at least remained entertaining.  Sana Solo is in some desperate need of fleshing out, but I expect that is coming soon.  In the meantime Han and Leia’s relationship remains entertaining, and Luke’s blunders make for some amusing pages.  This series continues to impress, and I am finding it hard to wait each month for the new issues.

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