Last time we checked in with our friends in the Rebel Alliance they were a bit scattered. Luke was chasing down the pick pocket who boosted his lightsaber while Han and Leia – after being confronted by “Mrs. Solo” – were about to be intercepted by Imperial forces. With most Star Wars fans’ attention being on the times after Return Of The Jedi, it’s nice to go back and re-visit more familiar territory. Although, while familiar, it’s still relatively unknown territory and so far the series has filled the gap between Episodes IV and V perfectly.
In Star Wars #9, Luke finds himself in the middle of a rooftop chase reminiscent of the opening chase from Casino Royale on ‘The Smuggler’s Moon,’ Nar Shaddaa. Young Skywalker isn’t the fully formed Jedi Knight we know he later becomes, but he isn’t the whiny farm boy anymore either. This period in Luke’s life is very similar to the awkward hormonal Jedi teen phase that Anakin went through in Attack Of The Clones, which saw him recklessly jumping out of speeders to apprehend an assassin.
Luke’s behavior isn’t the only reminder of the prequels, there are tons of Easter Eggs in this issue once you meet the newest member of the Hutt family. He employs a couple of “relics from the Clone Wars” as bodyguards in his pursuit for the last remnants of the Jedi.
Meanwhile, Leia, Han, and his alleged “wife” begin their escape from the approaching platoon of TIE Fighters. There are some great character moments between the three of them once they’re aboard their escape vehicle. Even though readers know Leia and Han end up together eventually, it’s still a blast seeing them back in their name calling, ‘will they, won’t they’ stage.
Both stories are fun, interesting, and don’t feel at all recycled. All the new characters, planets, gadgets, and scenarios feel grounded in the Star Wars universe we cherish so much, and readers won’t get the sense of anything being out of place. The dialogue is exactly right for the characters and everybody flashes their established swagger just the right amount.
The art team once again does a phenomenal job bringing these new and old Star Wars environments to life. The action is very clean and comprehensive, and even in dark scenes the color and light explode off the page. The designs of the new planets are detailed and proudly presented. Without spoiling the ending, when a certain character shows up in the final panel, it is legitimately the best looking representation of that character I have seen in a comic book.
Star Wars #9 is another extremely enjoyable and fun ride back to before the Empire struck back. Everything Star Wars and Marvel has done together so far has been exactly what we wanted. My fingers are crossed for an eventual appearance by Dash Rendar (Shadows Of The Empire) but I will try not to get my hopes up too high. Star Wars #9 is yet another stellar addition to this already amazing series. As with everything Star Wars that Marvel has put out, this is a must for Star Wars fans everywhere.