“Antilles.” “A family name foul with rebel ties.“
I guess that’s an easy generalization to make when it’s practically the “Smith” of the Star Wars universe.
August brings us issue #8 of Dark Horse’s Star Wars series, and tension rises as the paths of the heroes and villains begin to cross. Making good on his scheme to infiltrate the Imperials from issue #7, Luke brings Wedge along as they make it on board the Star Destroyer that has been hindering the Rebellion’s search for a suitable new base. Naturally, this is the Devastator, under the command of Col. Bircher, putting the flyboys right under our primary villain’s nose. Plus, to make this particular Star Destroyer a potential hub of intrigue, Darth Vader’s spy, Birra Seah, has also arrived.
Most of the 7 preceding issues have focused on the Leia & Luke arc, but finally, we get a good chunk of the Han & Chewie action that hasn’t received much more than a page or two per issue thus far. Let’s face it, when you have these two fan-favorites in the spotlight AND they’re being pursued by two of the best bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe, you’re going to want more. The action is broken up within the issue, but the pure “Solo-ness” of it all is right on point. From surprise maneuvers, to amusing banter, to a full-blown ballsy risk that you almost wish had been in the movies, Han, Chewie, and their new acquaintance, garbage scow pilot Perla, go toe-to-toe with Boba Fett and Bossk in the skies above Coruscant. As a self-proclaimed Bossk fanboy, I have to point out not only Brian Wood’s exceptional nod to the Trandoshan’s culture, but also artist Ryan Kelly’s single panel that beautifully encapsulates the character’s ruthless personality.
With this overdue bit of action finally getting the amount of attention it deserves, the momentum of the series is maintained but also furthered by what Luke and Wedge pull off aboard the Devastator. However, action has only been part of this story that Brian Wood continues to craft. The other side of that coin is the mystery of the mole within the Rebellion, which continues to plague Princess Leia. Issue #8 finds her still struggling with this particular problem, but she manages to find the time for a personal errand that yields an unexpected surprise straight out of an era long past.
Brian Wood continues to keep us entertained and guessing what comes next while still conveying his evident knowledge of the Star Wars universe. Throwing in something like Prithi pulling a maneuver not unfamiliar to Star Wars fans: attaching her X-Wing to the underbelly of a Star Destroyer to avoid detection, connects this story to what we already know and love on a very detail-oriented level. Ryan Kelly maintains the feel of Carlos D’Anda’s art style from issues 1-6, especially with the space action, but tends to follow his own interpretation of the characters. He’s only on board for one more issue, but he keeps the bar high.
Keep up with the ongoing struggle between the Rebels and the Empire in Star Wars #8 this week!