Star Wars #11 Review

With The Force Awakens nigh, the interest in all things Star Wars is increasing. In case you didn’t notice among all of the trailers, toys, novels and fan theories, Marvel is producing a regular series set firmly between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Written by Jason Aaron, known for his work on Southern Bastards and Thor, among many other comics, the book sits firmly near the top of the sales charts every month. However, how does the latest issue hold up?

STK685616STAR WARS #11

(W) Jason Aaron
(A/CA) Stuart Immonen
In Shops: 11/4/2015/ $3.99/ Rated T

Solicitation:
• Chewbacca Unleashed!
• Skywalker in chains!
• Han Solo…with a ball and chain?!?

Review:
The solicitation doesn’t set the stage for the story, so let me put in here the opening text scrawl for this issue that brings new readers up to date:

It is a period of renewed hope for the Rebellion. Luke Skywalker’s quest to learn the ways of the Jedi brought him to the infamous moon of Nar Shaddaa, where his lightsaber made him a quick target for the Jedi artifact collector GRAKKUS THE HUTT, and he is now being held prisoner.

After Sana Solo – the woman who claims to be Han’s wife – rescued the smuggler and Princess Leia from Imperial fire, Leia received a distress call from the rebel fleet informing them of Luke’s predicament. Meanwhile, C-3PO and Chewbacca have already arrived on the Smuggler’s Moon in search of their friend.

However, with a new bounty hunter on the tail of the Wookie warrior, the rebels must get to Luke before Grakkus and the Gamesmaster send him to the arena and a fight to the death….

Star-Wars-(2015-)-011-006

Jason Aaron’s story matches the tone of Star Wars, albeit the bleaker points in the original trilogy. With Luke a prisoner of a Hutt, it does seem very much like the first part of Return of the Jedi, except with a Luke that despite all of his confidence is far from being a Jedi.The new character Sana Solo gets very little screen time here, but is an addition that I would like to see developed further than being “the mysterious woman from Han’s past.” He does explain how Sana is his wife here, which is so simple because it seems Jason Aaron is exploring the ramifications of Han’s past and how Leia handles it more than the details about how it actually happened.

Too many times in past Star Wars series, a past event was given to us in so much detail that advancing the main story seemed to take a back seat. This culminated in the prequels which seemingly got so set on showing us how everything happened prior to the formation of the Empire that it lost focus on the main story of Anakin falling to the Dark Side. Jason Aaron is focusing in this issue on telling a story and bringing the core characters back together.

Stuart Immonen provides the art in this issue and as is the case with his work, it is awesome. Dengar is the big triumph as Immonen convincingly portrays Aaron’s script of the bounty hunter facing against a wookie and doing more than holding his own. Every panel is given care and establishing shots are the big attraction as Immonen doesn’t skimp on setting a scene. If there is a flaw, and it’s really nitpicking to find one, its that some shots seem too referenced from shots from the films. However the highs points are so high, that these references help remind us that we are reading a Star Wars story, and this definitely feels like a Star Wars story.