I am positively amazed by Brian Wood’s continued ability to take characters who have been around for decades – many of whom have been the subjects of innumerable stories – and still make them interesting.
Star Wars #10, the latest issue in the ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, showcases some of the greatest moments to grace the page since this story began. #10 also sees the return of artist Carlos D’Anda, who, after a three-issue absence, picks up right where Ryan Kelly left off. Every arc thus far gets its share of attention, some of which feature character moments you never would have expected and will not soon forget. The prime example comes right at the start as we rejoin Luke and Wedge during their infiltration of the Star Destroyer Devastator. Wedge Antilles, generally considered to be a side character, yet beloved by millions, opens up in a way not befitting an unflappable X-Wing pilot, but appropriate for a man speaking to his friend while neck-deep in a life-or-death situation. It’s an amazing moment that catches the reader completely off guard and manages to present the character in a whole new light. Keeping with the theme of displaying uncharacteristic behavior, we even see a side of the ever-composed Mon Mothma that throws her figurehead status out the airlock and reveals the qualities of a passionate leader that clearly helped her reach the position she holds.
Back on Coruscant, we finally wrap up Han and Chewie’s adventure on the Imperial capital. I have to admit, this arc felt like it was turning into an anime-style storyline; you know, the ones where Goku is charging up for 7 episodes. It’s about time the boys and their new friend Perla got off the planet. It also brought their scuffle with Boba Fett and Bossk to a head. Wood continues to brilliantly portray Fett as the relentless professional that truly deserves the distinction of “The Best.” Now it’s time to find a safe port. Perhaps the Lando system?
Elsewhere in the galaxy, we wrap up Leia’s encounter with Rogaren, the guilt-ridden architect of the Death Star superlaser. In another emotional display, the broken old man, expecting a swift punishment for his crimes, is left to wallow in his guilt; a fate far worse than death. Leia indicates that she left a homing beacon aboard his ship so that the Alliance authorities can find him, so I have a feeling we’re not done with Rogaren.
The carousel of characters continues as we catch up the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, sequestered in the Endor system, still serving his punishment for failure at Yavin. Upon receiving further intelligence from Birra Seah regarding the identities of the pair of Rebels who have infiltrated the Devastator, Vader begins to make good on a line from the opening crawl of The Empire Strikes Back. The genesis of his obsession with Luke Skywalker is clear as he demands every available resource to assure the capture of the young rebel.
The issue then comes full circle as Col. Bircher and the Devastator, with Luke and Wedge still aboard, arrive at the Rebel fleet, ready to attack. Taking a move out of his own playbook, Luke prompts Wedge to don some Stormtrooper armor, but takes it one step further as the pair commandeer a pair of TIEs and join the fighter attack force on the fleet. Brian Wood leaves the reader on that particular moment, concluding a jam-packed issue with a cliffhanger that will have fans clambering for issue #11 next month.
Star Wars #10 is just a brilliant piece of storytelling. This issue not only showcases every parallel arc of the is series, but also starts to see the convergence of several of them. Brian Wood continues to excel at keeping Star Wars fun, exciting, and compelling with great action and amazing character exploration. Throw in Carlo D’Anda’s art, which is just as fitting to the SW universe as Wood’s words, and you have a combination that will undoubtedly continue to amaze.
Star Wars #10 from Dark Horse Comics arrives today.