It’s an end of an era today as Star Wars #37 is Jason Aaron’s last issue of Star Wars. In honor of the occasion, let’s take a moment to appreciate what a fantastic job he’s done with the book. While I haven’t loved every thing he’s done with the book, he’s written 37 incredibly solid issues of story and I’m sad to see him go especially after this last bunch of issues.
As for Star Wars #37 itself… Sergeant Kreel is not a very happy man and he’s not going to be anything even remotely close to happy until he smashes the Rebels into tiny bits for the glory of the Empire. This… is not good for our heroes or the Rebel Alliance. In a way, this issue is the most surprising way that Aaron could have wrapped up his run because he doesn’t end it like one might expect. It’s open enough to make me wonder if Kieron Gillen might pick up some of these plot elements in his run. Part of what I like about this issue though is that it does surprise me while also giving us a fantastic moment for the Skywalker twins. It’s a moment that feels like both a resolute ending and beginning.
The true highlight of this issue though is the back up story, “The Sand Will Provide” by Jason Aaron and Dash Aaron with art by Andrea Sorrentino. It’s one last hurrah for the excellently executed one-shot stories from Obi-Wan’s journey and is the simple tale of a young tusken raider. It’s a simple story yet beautiful within that simplicity. It’s also oddly sweet and feels like the perfect note for Jason Aaron to end his run on. And honestly, what better note could we end this review on than to praise the issue’s last few pages?
Star Wars #37: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Revenge of the Astromech is a really good title. That should be said right off the bat.
Star Wars #36 is the sort of issue that really leans into what Attack of the Clones did with Artoo and shows him in a very heroic, get things done light and I love it. Does it perhaps involve a little suspension of disbelief? Sure but does that detract from my enjoyment? Nope. In a way, this felt like the best sort of payment possible for having to wait so gosh darn long to find out what happened to poor Threepio. Give me the absurd and ridiculous in Star Wars for reasons like this and I shall happily embrace it!
I think I finally figured out what’s been driving me insane about Salvador Larroca’s art since he joined the main Star Wars book. I (for the most part) enjoyed his art of Darth Vader but it hasn’t felt the same here. What I can’t stand is the contrast between his usual art (as seen in Darth Vader and in much of this issue) and the photorealistic faces. They clash when they’re used together and honestly, I’m not a fan of the photorealistic faces to start with. The book looks way nicer when it’s just Artoo rolling through the Star Destroyer causing mayhem than when it also involved some random officer’s strangely detailed face.
Star Wars #36 feels like a return to the norm after two one-off issues but given that it features Artoo Detoo the Hero and the return to a dangling plot line? I’m 100% okay with that.
Star Wars #36: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Every time I remember that Jason Aaron is leaving this book soon, I get majorly bummed out lately even though I’m simultaneously excited to see what Kieron Gillen has in store. The reason? These delightful, self-contained issues we’ve been getting. As teased at the end of the last issue, it’s Han and Chewie’s time to shine and they’ve been tasked by Mon Mothma with smuggling Grakkus the Hutt through Imperial space. (If your memory needs jogging, he’s the hutt with abs who had the lightsaber collection. And that was a sentence I never thought I’d type.)
While maybe we’ve heard the “ugh I don’t know why I’m still here” internal monologue from Han Solo a few too many times already, that doesn’t stop this issue from being fun. More than once, I could hear Harrison Ford’s voice in my head as I read some of the lines. That’s always a good sign. Han and Chewie definitely needed a good team up adventure (especially after Screaming Citadel) and this one delivers. It’s also nice to see him in a story without Leia or Luke for that matter. The princess might be part of the reason why he stuck around but getting a Han story without Leia is refreshing.
One of the neat things about the comics over the last eight months has been seeing all the little references and nods towards Rogue One pop up. Star Wars #35 is no exception. Not only does General Draven get a name check but Mon Mothma is drawn more closely depicting Genevieve O’Reilly than Caroline Blakiston. It makes sense as to why but it’s definitely still something neat to see happening.
The spotlight issues continue to be a spotlight for Jason Aaron’s run on Star Wars and if they continue in this fashion, he’ll be leaving the book on a very high note.
Star Wars #35: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a fan of the Yoda arc because it just draaaaaagged and made me want to take a nap. It made Screaming Citadel a very welcome reprieve. That said, I wasn’t sure what to expect from these follow up issues. Were we going to get something more like the Yoda arc or more like the far better Nar Shaddaa one? Turns out, the answer was neither and that’s a good thing.
The anthology style is so far really working for Jason Aaron and the main Star Wars book. It’s something that I would have loved to see them continue (with different artists) if Aaron wasn’t going to be handing the reins over to Gillen soon. This go-round, we get a team up between Sana and Lando who has been tragically mostly absent from Star Wars in canon thus far. While we haven’t seen the Han Solo film yet, it makes sense Sana and Lando would have history too. She’s got an insane heist to pull and he’s got the contacts she needs to help pull it off. What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out almost nothing because this story is great. (The art not so much but you’ve already heard my laments about how Larroca draws Sana.) Don’t be fooled: while this is billed as a team up, it’s definitely a Sana story. Lando’s just there to help out because Sana is several steps ahead almost the entire time. It’s awesome getting to see a capable lady kick some ass.
Star Wars #34 is one of those issues that’s both worth picking up and that doesn’t require much prior knowledge of the series. Check it out if you’ve got the time.
Star Wars #34: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
As far as self-contained stories go, Star Wars #33 is actually a really nice one even taking into account a painfully awkward looking panel of Luke Skywalker. The mission is supposed to be a routine one and it is until the Empire catches them and now Luke and Leia are stranded on an island on a planet within a nebula.
This issue was surprisingly more poignant than expected. At one point, Leia and Luke talk about how they’re both orphans in the galaxy now because of the Empire but they’re not alone. It’s within those same few pages where Leia mentions how sometimes, when she looks up at the stars, Alderaan is still there. As a reader, that bit felt particularly painful. One can only imagine how Leia must feel weeks, months, years after her entire planet was destroyed only to occasionally look up and still see it in the sky above.
Jason Aaron’s writing for this entire issue really is spot on. It’s a nice insight into both of the twins and really follows up on the friendship between them. Most people wouldn’t be able to handle being stranded like that for so many weeks. Plus? The level up in badass skills for Leia certainly doesn’t hurt.
In the wake of the less than great Yoda arc and the far more enjoyable Screaming Citadel story, Star Wars #33 serves as both a good place for new readers to jump on and as a nice way for existing readers to readapt to the usual feel of the series.
Star Wars #33: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Things aren’t going very well for our heroes (good guys and bad guys alike) at the Screaming Citadel. Not even Triple Zero and Beetee are having fun. In fact, the only person who seems to have maintained her cool is Leia but that probably shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is Leia Organa we’re talking about, after all. The issue’s filled with a plenty of violence and “oh crap oh crap how are we getting out of this?” moments and gives Screaming Citadel that still very Star Wars feeling in this very gothic tale.
What amuses me is how it’s the men who’ve managed to get themselves captured and/or compromised while the ladies (and droids) are the ones out there getting things done. It’s not entirely Luke’s fault that he’s the naïve sort who trusted Aphra but he’s been captured nonetheless. Speaking of Aphra, she’s got some really great moments in this issues; ones that reinforce my desire for her and Luke to have their own on-going buddy comedy series.
Aphra’s the key here for character relationships that I want to see more of. This issue in particular makes Sana seem very antagonistic towards Aphra… or at least more so than usual. Perhaps we could trade one of the Kenobi journal one-shots for a flashback to Sana and Aphra’s relationship that gives a little more context as to why they are the way they are.
Penultimate issues can be odd sometimes because they can leave a reader wondering how on earth everything’s going to get wrapped up in one final issue. Star Wars #32 is no different. It introduces an “oh snap” moment on the very final page and I’m honestly not sure how Kieron Gillen’s going to do this despite having every faith that he will. Despite all of that… I would like that final issue in my hands now. Please.
Star Wars #32: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Luke Skywalker keeps trying to tell everyone that he’s not really a Jedi yet but no one seems to want to listen. (He’s just Force-shy, okay?)
Star Wars #31 picks up where Screaming Citadel #1 left off with Aphra and Luke as guests of the Queen and Sana convincing Han and Leia that they definitely need to go after Luke sooner rather than later. It’s a fairly fast-paced issue even if the Queen apparently does enjoy playing with her food.
However, there’s something… off about the art in this issue. I liked Larroca’s art on the Vader book but there’s something that feels very inconsistent about his work here. It’s almost like his style changes for some of the panels and I’m fairly sure that Aphra’s outfit inexplicably changes for a few panels. I also don’t care for how he draws Sana’s hair. Honestly, I wish Checchetto was doing this entire arc.
None of that should detract from how enjoyable the story continues to be though. While we may not get anything quite as good as Luke in formalwear wearing a spavat, the dynamics between Aphra and Luke continue to be fantastic. They’re such opposites that any of their interactions can’t help but be fun especially when they’re aligned together. I could read an entire comic series that’s just Aphra taking Luke to dive bars around the galaxy.
Screaming Citadel continues to be a delightfully gothic story with Star Wars #31 leading right into what I can only assume will be an even crazier ride next issue.
Star Wars #31: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
It’s hardly a secret that this Yoda story arc hasn’t really been doing it for me but after finally reaching the end with this issue? I think it’s safe to call it. I did not like this story arc and find it to be very skippable. I did not care for it and honestly, it’s nice that it doesn’t really tie into the main story too much. If this sort of story was your cup of tea? That’s great and I’m very glad that you enjoyed this arc. I did not.
As I’ve said in a past issue review, the journal framing device felt clunky especially when you realize that Obi-Wan never identifies Yoda by name so we can just barely cling to Luke’s confused ‘Yoda?’ line when he’s freezing to death. I also didn’t care for how Larroca drew Luke in this issue. It felt off.
And so there you have it, folks. A Star Wars comic from Marvel’s new run that I just did not like. It was bound to happen eventually, I guess?
Star Wars #30: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
This is the arc that just will not end and honestly, I’m out of things to say about it. I’ve been out of things to say. Luke continues to read Kenobi’s journal and its story about how Yoda went to this weird planet and now Yoda’s communing with a mountain that’s not actually a mountain. Honestly, I’d be far more interested in this story if it had been a two or three issue arc and even then, I’m anxious to get back to our main story at this point. Five issues is feeling a little much.
I mentioned in my review last time that the Luke reading this Yoda story in Ben’s journal felt a little clunky as a framing device and while that still holds true, the purpose is revealed here as Luke impulsively flies to the planet in question. It’s very Skywalker of him and admitted, I’m mildly interested to see what happens.
Overall though? This arc still gets one giant shrug from me. Maybe I’ll have more to say next issue.
Star Wars #29: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Don’t ask me to make sense of comic publishing schedules but apparently we get back-to-back issues of the main Star Wars book this month. Which is… fine? I guess?
It wasn’t as noticeable last issue since we basically just stayed with Yoda except for a panel or two but we’re literally getting a story within a story within a story with this arc. I don’t have a problem with using a Kenobi journal to tell other stories within this main book but man is it starting a feel a little clunky. Just tell the Yoda story that you want to tell and skip all the hoops.
Honestly, just like with the previous issue, there’s not much to say here. This Yoda book just is not my cup of tea. That said, there were definitely some moments within this issue where Jason Aaron completely nailed Yoda’s character. Several of his lines felt like they could have been right out of Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. (For those of you not as familiar with Legends, that’s a high compliment.) I am also interested to see how this story gets wrapped up given how the issue ends but… It’s just another shrug from me. I’m ready for the next story arc.
Star Wars #28: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor