Were back with issue #9 of STAR WARS: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon. We review this month’s journey with smugglers, hutts, jedi and angry tough females who hate and love Han Solo, you couldn’t ask for more.
Star Wars #9
Book II Part II
Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon
Wade Von Grawbadger
Immonen, Von Gradbadger, Ponsor
Welcome back friends for issue #9 of the main STAR WARS title. I must say with the new art crew I was just a twinge worried the art would take a hit as most comic titles due getting close to a year into it’s run. That’s usually when an artist and crew are getting worn down from drawing the same characters and stories a lot. However with the change over to the new art crew I have to say I they outdid the previous and dare I say exceeded well beyond where I thought they could. Not to bash the previous crew’s work mind you, but I’m a sucker for smuggler landscapes. Maybe it’s the Pirates of the Caribbean fan in me that loves seeing grungy dirty scum-iness done in detail of the “used universe” Lucas introduced the world to. But enough dotting on the superb artstyle and work lets get down to the meat and potatoes of the issue… the story!
We start with Luke on Nar Shadda freshly resurrected from the “old EU” and again a pirate/smugglers moon. Luke’s went there in the previous issue to find passage to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant… yes. THAT jedi temple… /facepalm. However at the end of issue 8 his light saber is stolen in the middle of a bar fight and he’s last seen chasing the thief.
We pick it up during the chase which ends with a high rise fall from a floating speeder down through a cloth overhang onto Nar Shadda’s streets… in the middle of a Hutt controlled area.
Lukes promptly captured by a pair of old Clone Wars magna droids and beat up by a large Hutt wearing a dozen or so lightsabers as a necklace and affixed with android spider legs to hold up his massive girth. He socks Luke while our hero is still dazed from the fall and tried to fight off the magna droids. Hence knocking our blonde haired blue eyes hero unconscious.
During all this hoopla we see the situation back on the hidden moon Han Solo and Princess Leia decided to stow away on with a female bounty hunter claiming to be Han’s wife Sana Solo. She also happens to want to turn over Princess Leia to the Empire and get her our of the picture so she and her hubby Han can live fiendishly ever after. Nice… but unknowningly bad. Then the TIE fighters show up and … ugh… park on their wings… (I’ll rant about that another day). The Tie pilots hop out of their fighters which makes no sense to be honest, since you have the manuverability and fire power superiority over the trio in your vehicles. But alas some of the pilots get out and start shouting orders to them. Sana offers the Princess and well… Leia isn’t having that. The blaster shots fly. After a few quick bits of dialogue as some heroic TIE fighter pilots get blasted by rebel scum Han explains he’s with the Rebels now. Sana who realizes she can’t hand over them over to the Imps because now this means her prized nerfhearding lover would be taken to.
So after a few seconds they all pile into Sana’s ship and because the TIE pilots were on the ground they have to wait to get back into their one fighters to chase after them. OK so there may have been a few above as well, but giving up a tactical advantage like that is beyond dumb, it’s bad writing. Not that I totally blame Jason Aaron, he’s not a military guy as far as I know and I think he probably wrote it as more of “Seeing Tie Pilots fighting on the ground would be cool!” kind of vibe without thinking ahead to the way military minds would assess the situation when confronting enemies….anywho…
They all pile into Sana’s ship (as she blew up Han & Leia’s Imp shuttle last issue) and take off with the TIEs close behind. The girls do however have a certain sisterhood of annoyance when it comes to Han wanting to take over the piloting. Which I found funny.
As the issue progresses I noticed that Immonen doesn’t go in as for the photo-type styled artwork with little to no backgrounds as seen in the previous art crew’s run. Maybe because were now well into the titles run Marvel/Lucasfilm/Disney (hmmm MLD) is loosening up on how the artists are required to have photo-esque shots of the heros to where they can be more stylized that fits better with the over feel of the issues art. I won’t go into my personal distaste for comics with panels with no backgrounds…thank the maker Immonen understands this.
The issue winds down with Luke waking up in a warehouse of sorts with the saber wearing Hutt boss and the magna guards holding him in check. They explain this warehouse is filled with crates and containers of Jedi relics. The Hutt wants to test Luke’s force ability to see if he indeed was a Jedi. The crime-slug offers Luke a test to open a Jedi Holocron, in 5 seconds or die. Luke has never seen one before and has no idea what to do with it. The countdown is on tho… so by the time the Hutt counts to one Luke reaches out with the force….
…this part I find interesting and somehow hope that one day the MLD story group tries to make the mantle of the “chosen one” transition in the Jedi Prophecy of the new canon to Luke rather then Anakin. We see Luke reach out with the force to open the holocron but in this moment of instinctual need, the force flows through him like it never has before and possibly never in any Jedi before… as not onl does the Holocron in the Hutt’s hand start to float then glow and activate, but all around the warehouse of jedi artifacts holocrons packed away in other crates and in bins float and glow and also do as well. Like a swarm of blue fireflies they all light up in the air as holograms of old Jedi start to repeat messages from long ago, some snippets of the old Sith, some words of wisdom, and one of what appears to be Shak-ti. Yes THAT Shak-ti. She looks like she has aged slightly since we last saw her in Revenge of the Sith, which may be putting her fate different from her deleted death scene from RoTS, nor her death in The Force Unleashed video game. However she does saw something that appears telling… to not let our deaths be in vain.
Maybe Shak-ti recorded it shortly before she was to be captured/killed. Or maybe it was long after the end of the Clone Wars and she’s getting on in years and doesn’t have the strength to keep running. Maybe that’s why she’s aged a little in the hologram… either way…the ancient history and lore of jedi/sith/SW universe is a BIG reason I loved the galaxy far far away. Again I didn’t read everything from Tales of Jedi/Golden Age of the Sith era’s in the 90’s but i tried but it’s been 20 years… and my memory isn’t what it used to be.
At the end of this epic scene the Hutt claims Luke is his property as Last of the Jedi (since this Hutt collects Jedi relics and Luke himself counts as one). Fortunately a true hero R2-D2 figures Lukes in some stuff and we assume he’s going to try and call the rebel fleet for help.
The final pages of the issue show General Jan Dodonna, Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma discussing Luke’s apparent capture and can’t spare much if any resources to go after him even if he did, ya know SAVE Princess Leia, destroy the DEATH STAR, and may be the LAST JEDI EVER. Rebel high command is dumb. THANKFULLY Chewbacca realizing these jabroni’s are useless decided to go save him and drag C-3PO with him to get the boy out of the thick of it, since ya know.. the Rebellion and the entire galaxy kinda owe him.
See ya next issue! -Matt