Kieron Gillen starts moving the pieces across the board ready for the endgame in this story arc.
With the help of Sana Starros, Han, Luke and Leia land on the supposedly uninhabited planet, Hubin whilst the Smuggler heads off to try to find somewhere for the Rebel leaders to hide.
After learning of a settlement after being attacked by the local wildlife, they are welcomed into the home of Thane Markona.
After learning that they will be stuck on the planet for months if Sana doesn’t show up, Han adjusts to life on the planet whilst Leia locks herself away in her room and Luke starts to learn saber techniques from Markona who is the descendent of a Jedi.
Han and Leia’s relationship starts to grow and Leia reveals she has been plotting an attack on Queen Trios and Shu-Torin. A possible romance blossoms for Luke and Markona’s daughter, Tula but tensions rise when Luke makes a transmitter to get help and activates it against her wishes.
Later, they learn that the transmitter wouldn’t have worked anyway but an Imperial Transport arrives, crewed by SCAR Squadron who tortured Sana to get their location.
Luke duels with Sergeant Kreel as a distraction to the settlers to escape. Markona then aids Luke’s escape, allowing him, Han, Leia, Tula, the Droids and the citizens of Hubin to escape on the Imperial ship, leaving SCAR Squadron stranded. They start work on making a transmitter and find Leia’s plans for the Shu-Torin attack.
Sana takes Han, Leia, Luke and the Droids to find the Rebel Alliance, and when they reach Ackbar on Home One, Leia’s tells him her plan.
We finally know what Gillen has been building towards since his ‘Darth Vader’ run started and we are fast approaching the endgame with the ‘Scourge of Shu-Torin’ in the next volume, which allows this volume to give the characters a chance, if only for a short time, space to breathe after the fast pace of the previous volumes.
The settlement on Hubin is a nice change for our heroes, a quiet and peaceful community, that despite the residents pasts as mercenaries, they have built a solid community, their past is just that, in the past and it’s a great change of scenery.
The budding romance between Tula and Luke seems a little forced, especially given his feelings towards the character Nakari from ‘Heir to the Jedi’, and how he felt at the end of that story and given that he obviously has romantic inclinations towards Leia (see ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and yes, ewww) it just feels a bit not right at this point.
Luke does however, continue developing his Jedi skills, being taught lightsaber combat by Thane Markona lets us see where he got those skills prior to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ because we never see that side of his training with Yoda, and he is able to hold his own to a degree against Vader during the climactic duel.
I’m pleased that, by the end, the heroes were reunited with, at least some of the Rebel Alliance. Had they been separate for another run of issues it could have dragged, and we get to see a fantastic moment sequence where Han is reunited with Chewie and the Falcon which has been patched together after the battle with Vader in the previous volume, but obviously not in its fully operational state.
Leia’s obsession with revenge against Trios feels a little out of character, but given the fact that Leia trusted Trios and was then betrayed gives us a good reason, but we never really see that vengeful side of her in the films. Even her killing Jabba in ‘Return of the Jedi’ was more out of necessity than revenge for enslaving her.
Overall, a nice change of pace for Kieron Gillen’s run on the series and a fun story despite my minor qualms. I’m really looking forward to the next volume, which will end Gillen’s pretty successful run on the series and tie up a story he’s been telling for quite a while.
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