By Jason Aaron, Stuart Immonen, & Wade Von Grawbadger
The tenth issue in Marvel’s flagship Star Wars series follows the Showdown on The Smuggler’s Moon story, the third part of the second arc that we’ve had so far. Writer Jason Aaron is focusing on Luke Skywalker’s quest to learn the ways of the Jedi, and this has taken him to Nar Shaddaa, notorious home to Smugglers who have a strong eye on the lightsaber in his pocket. Being Luke of course, it doesn’t take him long to find himself in trouble and be at the mercy of a Jedi artefact collector named Grakkus the Hutt. Meanwhile, Princess Leia and Han Solo are having their own problems. Han’s so-called wife, Sana Solo, has just made the call to turn Leia over to the Imperials. It’s a pretty exciting start to the chapter and Aaron throws us straight into the thick of things, combining a dual narrative between both Luke and Leia and Han’s stories very well, opening with a fantastic space battle that’s brought to life in a true Star Wars fashion by artist Stuart Immonen and colourist Wade Von Grawbadger.
The issue itself is paced well despite being slower than what we’ve come to expect, but still remainss a pretty quick read. With ten issues under his belt, Aaron now has plenty of experience writing these characters and it shows. Whilst not much ground in terms of story development is covered in this issue it still remains a fairly good chapter with plenty of action. Of course Aaron can’t do anything drastic like kill off a major character because they have to be around for Episode V (in case you forgot, this series takes place after Episode IV, but before The Empire Strikes Back), but he does his best to come up with inventive ways to put the characters in tense situations. For example, Luke finds himself thrust into a conflict in a gladiatorial combat arena, which should be interesting to see how this is resolved when Aaron teases a potential conflict with an alien that will be “something special,” according to Grakkus.
The artwork by Stuart Immonen is on top form. It feels very cinematic and very Star Wars-y, which is a great thing. If you loved his and Wade Von Grawbadger’s work on Brian Michael Bendis’ All New X-Men then you’ll love it here, with Grawbadger’s colours helping to create the atmospheric feel of the issue very well indeed. Several striking panels like the opening space conflict and when Luke is fighting in the arena stand out, helping to make the book an engaging, well-rounded read.
Star Wars, under the helm of Aaron, Immonen and Von Grawbadger continues to be an excellent read, capturing the feel of the movies with some fantastic stories that will keep fans engaged until and after The Force Awakens hits before the end of the year. It’ll be very interesting to see what the creative team has in store for us next month.