Favorite Quote: "Not here. And for the first time ever, I very much wish he was." -- Threepio, responding to a bounty hunter's question about Han Solo's location (after said bounty hunter sucker-punched Chewie)
I decided to add a quote here, and will likely do so in subsequent reviews, because Aaron continues to deliver spectacular one-liners in this series. This issue is full of them, so I chose the one that made me LOL. Moreover, these quips aren't just great on their own; they're also great because you can hear the characters saying them. They're the perfect examples of Aaron's ability to mimic the rhythm of the dialogue from the movies. In that way, they also help to move along the story, because we all now that rhythm. In this example, the bounty hunter again demands that Threepio tells him where Han Solo is. By this point, you just know that the next scene is going to be Han doing exactly what he winds up doing here: announcing his presence by shooing the bounty hunter and telling him to get his hands off Chewie.
But, again, it's not all scripting genius. Aaron is no slouch in the plot department, and this issue just adds to the surprises. While Luke is fighting for his life in the arena, we learn that the Gamemaster is actually an Imperial agent. (We learned that Grakkus spared the Gamemaster's life because he couldn't bear to see the best slave to fight in his arena die, making Grakkus wonder if the Gamemaster has come to feel the same way about Luke. Instead, it's more likely that the emotion that Grakkus was sensing from the Gamemaster was his anxiety over needing to radio in support.) We also learn -- at long last -- that Han "married" Sana as part of a complicated revenge scheme. (Apparently, some crime lord was double-crossing smugglers, and Han had to stage a wedding to cover the break-in designed to even up the score. I can't wait for that one-shot.) Han delivers this information to Leia through a closed door, a conversation made all the more awkward when he tries to explain that he and Sana never consummated the marriage. Of course, again, the rhythm of this conversation foreshadows the outcome: Leia isn't actually behind the door by the time Han gets frustrated and opens it. With the Sana mystery solved, Han and Leia are able to head to Nar Shadda once they hear of Luke's predicament.
By the end of the issue, Aaron has maneuvered everyone onto Nar Shadda, setting the scene for a truly spectacular escape sequence as the Imperials are heading their way. I can't wait for next issue!
**** (four of five stars)