It's hard to explain just how amazing of a job Aaron does in capturing the essence of these characters. I doubt anyone reading these issues doesn't hear the dialogue in the voices of the actors from the original trilogy. As I said last issue, it really does feel like you're somehow watching a long-lost sequel to "Star Wars."
But, Aaron doesn't make it just be about everyone sounding like they should. The interesting development here isn't Han's struggle with temperamental technology, but Luke's confrontation with a dominant Vader. Not surprisingly, Vader pwns him; Luke can't even keep his hands on his lightsaber. I'll admit, the purist in me rankled a bit at this exchange. It felt like it cheapened their confrontation at the end of "Empire Strikes Back," since it's no longer the first time that they face each other. But, Aaron knows that he's going to have to confront that sentiment with every story that he tells, and he just continues telling his story unapologetically. As a result, I eventually saw the point that he was making
First, he reminds us that Luke had no training at this point. Sure, Obi-wan had given him the lightsaber, but they only ran a few drills together in the Millennium Falcon before Vader killed him. If you think about it, it makes no sense that a totally green Luke Skywalker could just waltz into a fight with a Sith Lord and do as well as he does at the end of "Empire Strikes Back." Sure, he gets his ass handed to him in the end, but the fact that he gives a good fight for a while shows some skill. By showing us Luke without that skill in these scenes, Aaron reminds us that the story that we're "watching" in this series is these characters getting the experience that they need to engage in the fights that they have in "Empire Strikes Back." We're indirectly asked to take that experience on faith in the movie, but, here, we're actually getting the details. We now understand why Luke is ready to confront Vader in "Empire Strikes Back:" he'd already faced him, at least once. He knows that he's now better prepared than he was the first time that they met, so he approaches it with something close to calm, a calm that he clearly doesn't have here.
But, let's face it, even if the plot is great, we're all really here to spend time with these characters. Aaron knows that, and, man, he delivers. He reminds us how evil Vader is at this point, casually telling Luke that he's murdered a lot of fathers when Luke accuses him of murdering his own father. Han and Leia bicker,and Han expresses jealously when Leia announces her desire to kiss Artoo after he successfully fixes the At-At Walker's cannon system, saving them from Vader. Threepio dithers. Again, they all sound exactly like they're supposed to sound and do exactly what they're supposed to do. In other words, really, these issues are as much fun as I remember ever having reading comics. I just hope that it continues.
***** (five of five stars)