Jason Aaron’s final issue has two stories in this extra-sized issue focused on Sand People and Scar Squadron.
Jason Aaron says goodbye to the Star Wars series he has masterfully written from issue #1 with this issue. Given how long this series has held up a very high quality we’ll shed no tears, but dammit this extra sized issue better be a nice farewell!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Scar Squadron is back…with their deadliest attack yet!
Why does this matter?
Jason Aaron writes two stories here, one focused on the totally badass Stormtrooper group known as Scar Squadron and the other about the hard life of Sand People. Joining him are artists Salvador Larroca and Andrea Sorrentino who are superstars in their own right. He’s also joined by a person named Dash Aaron on the Sand People story, which I can only assume is Jason’s son. Nice!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Comic books have allowed writers like Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen to flesh out the aliens and worlds in the Star Wars universe and this issue is a perfect example of that. It’s easy to give Stormtroopers in general little to no credit or attention given how easily they die and how many there are. Scar Squadron has fleshed them out in interesting ways with a variety of different looking Stormtroopers with interesting personalities. The most interesting aspect of Scar Squadron has been how it allows readers to peer into their mindset. In their view Rebels are evil terrorists and they certainly have blood on their hands. This issue exemplifies that by showing how the Scar Squadron leader Sergeant Kreel truly hates the Rebels and would die for the Emperor. It allows us to see there’s another rational point of view and that even though the movies have shown the Emperor to be evil these Stormtroopers aren’t necessarily wrong.
Before it dives into the war scenes Aaron gives readers a treat with Sargeant Kreel meeting with Darth Vader. It’s an interesting scene in part because they discuss Kreel’s lightsaber, which you would think Darth Vader would be totally annoyed about. There’s also a quick meeting between Kreel and a key character, which I won’t name to avoid spoilers, but Kreel’s point of view on this character exemplifies his dying duty to the Empire.
Larroca draws this story and does a great job capturing the chaos of war in the battle scenes as well as the likeness of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader. There’s some cool lightsaber fighting going on too as well as an interesting appearance of our favorite heroes.
The second story focuses on Sand People, and again, it does well to capture the unique point of view of these people. It’s easy to cast them as evil monsters, but Aaron (and Dash Aaron) does a good job establishing their humanity and lifestyle. It’s all about survival in the deserts and the captions do well to make it clear this lifestyle is why they are seemingly so cutthroat. Sorrentino draws some beautiful pages here (when does he not?) with interesting layouts helping to convey the stark and dangerous landscape of the deserts of Tatooine. The use of color in these scenes by Lee Loughridge is quite good too, which only enhances the gritty and atmospheric landscapes.
I love the different armors.
It can’t be perfect can it?
For Aaron’s last issue on the series I was hoping for more closure or at least some big surprises. Alas, nothing big happens and with Scar Squadron we really just get more of the same by the end. They’re badass, it’s a fun story, but nothing changes. The Sand People story is good and it’s a great example of how this series can do amazing things, but again, nothing new transpires.
Is It Good?
This issue is the epitome of how and why this series is great. It can shine a light on underrepresented characters and races, giving you a new perspective and further enriching the Star Wars universe. Aaron wraps up his run here, but this issue is a reminder what he has done will last for years to come.