Star Wars #9
Star Wars #9 (Book II, Part III – Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artists: Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Justin Ponsor
Star Wars #9 may be cheap storytelling, but it’s entertaining. Han, Leia and Sana Solo are still in a mess on an unknown world in the Outer Rim with no more revealing clues on who the heck Sana is or what the deal is with the whole marriage storyline. Meanwhile Luke is in his own trouble on Nar Shaddaa as chasing after his stolen lightsaber leads to Hutt trouble. There’s also some nice artwork to help wash it all down. While it’s not a great issue, it is enjoyable.
I really love the open shot in Star Wars #9. There’s a half page panel stretch across two pages showcases the galactic mess of the Smuggler’s Moon. It’s a nice shot full of detail, pleasing colors, and it helps cement the reader on where everything is taking place. With action shots follows, Luke is quickly in a race with the lightsaber their as they jump across rooftops. The arrangement of the panels sets the pacing and captures the action. My one gripe with the whole chase scene is the inevitable fall and the unrealistic cushion that saves everyone involved. Mostly it’s a write off, but if you look closely, they crashed through two awnings and landed on some boxes of produce. Considering the fell at least twenty stories, I’d say that isn’t quite enough to save someone from certain death. Still, the artwork on the pages looks really good.
What follows on the next page, however, is a Hutt. Now I’m a sucker for Hutts, so maybe that why I enjoyed this issue. Not only do we get a Hutt, but muscular Hutt with tiny robot legs and a penchant for collecting Jedi relics. It’s weird, but I enjoyed it. Seeing Luke unlock a holocron full of dead Jedi masters, getting a glimpse of Grakkus the Hutt’s treasure trove, and the idea of a Hutt actually preserving the history and knowledge of the Jedi were all pretty cool things that I just gobbled up. But, there was some cliche storytelling going on. From Luke being given five seconds to unlock the Holocron at blaster point, to his ultimate fate of being sent into gladiatorial combat, it’s kind of cheesey. For whatever reason, I was still able to enjoy it, though.
Beyond the Nar Shaddaa stuff, there’s Han, Leia and Sana. If there was one thing I thought the artwork got wrong in this issue, it’s those three. Han’s face looked odd in all the panels, and Sana looked very different from how she was depicted before. Leia was hit and miss. Most of the time she looked good, but sometimes she looked off. On the flip side, I liked TIE pilots getting into some ground combat and all of them looked top notch. Sadly, there about as good a shots as stormtroopers. Aside from the artwork, I thought this chunk of the story was a little sloppy in jamming Han, Leia and Sana all onto the same side again as they escaped the Imperials. Sana seemed dead set on turning Leia and Han over to the Empire. In fact I thought the whole point of tracking down Han was because he had a bounty on his head. But when Han tells Sana he’s part of the Rebellion, she quickly changes her game plans and everyone books off together. The character directions just seem a little wishy washy. Plus, at this early point in the game, Sana is not a well defined character, so it’s hard to pinpoint just who she is and what the heck she is doing. This issue definitely doesn’t make it any clearer. But she’s not the only problem. Ever since Sana has showed up, there’s been something about Han that seemed off but I couldn’t quite place my finger on it until now. The problem is that all is dialog is ineffectual. It doesn’t achieve anything and it doesn’t strengthen his character. Instead, he feels helpless and powerless. He’s just flailing through the whole situation. To me, that doesn’t seem like Han. While he might not think ahead, he has a knack for making things up as he goes along and doing pretty good for himself on pure luck and a little skill.
The ending note of the issue is the Rebel high command deciding what to do about Luke Skywalker. They’ve learned he’s in trouble, but the conditions aren’t right for a rescue mission. In steps Chewbacca and C-3PO as they volunteer, and that ends the issue. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with that, and it’s a decent way to leave the issue.
All in all, the artwork is good and the writing is hit and miss but still manages to turn out a enjoyable story. I give it a three out of five metal bikinis.
Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.