Monday, November 2, 2015

Star Wars #9 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

While the Han/Leia story develops along somewhat predictable lines, it's the Luke story that really takes an unexpected turn.

On the "unknown world in the Outer Rim," Sana is surprised to learn that Han is also a rebel.  As a result, she realizes that her plan to throw Leia to the Empire and ride into the sunset with him isn't going to work.  As wave upon wave of TIE Fighters arrive, Han convinces Leia to flee with them on Sana's ship.  Although the plot goes more or less how I thought it would, Aaron still infuses it with fun.  We get the TIE Fighter pilot asking, "This is a princess?" as Leia makes short work of his colleagues with her blaster, and Leia and Sana telling Han to shut up when he insists that he (and not Sana) should be flying the ship.  Again, this series really just sounds the way that it should.

However, i
t's the developments on Nar Shaddaa that are the most surprising, particularly in terms of our understanding of Luke's development as a Jedi.  Luke successfully chases down the guy that stole his lightsaber at the end of last issue, only to fall into the hands of the guy's boss, a Hutt named Grakkus.  We learn that he's a collector of Jedi antiquities, and he wants Luke not just for his lightsaber but also for his ability to open a Jedi holocron.  (I'll admit that I'm a little skeptical about the coincidence of Luke stumbling upon a Hutt that collects Jedi antiquities.  That said, if I were a Hutt collecting said antiquities, I'd definitely have them stashed on a smuggler planet that escapes the watchful eye of the Empire.)  When Luke opens the device, it's revealed to contain the lost teachings of one "Master Phin-law Wo of the Jedi Temple on Vrogas Vas."  Grakkus realizes that Luke is the last Jedi and sees him as the perfect addition to his collection.  As he orders Luke to the arena, Artoo radios for help and Chewbacca volunteers to rescue Luke (along with a reluctant Threepio).

The holocron development is fascinating for two reasons.  First, it could be how Luke initially learns to become a Jedi, explaining the development of his skills between the first and second movies.  Second, it could redirect him from his current mission to get to Coruscant, sending him instead to Vrogas Vas since he now knows about the Temple.  It also makes sense that, somewhere along the way, he discovers the existence of Dagobah.  It's a good reminder of why this series is so exciting.  We not only have fun untold adventures like the one with Han and Leia, but also the realization that some of these adventures will fill in key gaps in our knowledge from the movies.  I really can't wait to see where the Luke story goes.  But, this anxiety is also part of Aaron's brilliance.  He's not rushing it.  After all, Chewbacca has to spring Luke from Grakkus before Luke can do anything with all this knowledge.  It doesn't look like it's going to be easy.

**** (four of five stars)

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