Luke, Leia, and Han are on Jedha, which may be enough information for 90% of Star Wars fans to buy this book. But what if there was something deeper going on concerning the Force? The fourth part of Kieron Gillen’s first story arc on Star Wars begins today!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
THE ASHES OF JEDHA, PART 4 The Leviathan is heading for the remains of Jedha, prepared to pick the carcass of the once-holy planet clean. But with Luke Skywalker torn between his allegiance to the Rebellion and pursuing the path of a Jedi, who will lead the charge against the Empire? Rated T
Why does this matter?
For all intents and purposes Marvel has had an edge on the Star Wars comics since day one since they can weave these pre-Empire Strikes Back stories in with the newest movies. Last week’s Star Wars one-shot took place on Crait, for instance. There’s also the added benefit of knowing first hand where Luke’s story will end up and this issue tugs at those strings that prove Luke may not be the golden boy of the Force.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Dang, that is cool looking.
There is some strange and messed up s--t going on in this comic. We all knew Jedha was the planet where Jedi housed some of their oldest secrets, but there’s some more obtuse Force stuff going on too, apparently. Gillen hints at the strangeness with some mysterious religious types who want to show Luke something in this issue. Along the way they nag at him with thoughts about death and that seems to lean towards the Dark Side. I can’t say I came away with any certainty on what they were pushing on Luke, but it does make you think and that’s an exciting element. By the end of the issue it’s quite clear the ways of the Force aren’t always about Sith and Jedi, and there’s a valuable lesson imparted on Luke that can slightly reshape how you view his journey. That’s what makes these canon comics so exciting and Gillen succeeds in that regard.
There’s also plenty of action, mostly on Han and Leia’s side of things. A giant mining excavator touches down on what is left of Jedha (it made it into POP last month) and it’s quite something to look at. Fans of the battle on Hoth are going to get a kick out of a strategy Leia and Han use in this issue. This action dovetails into a nice message about the Rebels not wasting lives (as one might argue they do) and it’s nice to see they aren’t treating even the lowest rank man as cannon fodder. All in all, the Rebel portion mixes well with the Luke portion making for a well balanced and paced issue.
Larroca draws some pretty pictures in this issue. The shrine (if you can call it that) Luke visits opens the book in an impressive (nearly) full page splash. That mining ship also makes another appearance and even though we’ve seen it in a double page splash it’s still a welcome sight. Faces are more even this go around with not a single awkward or non-photorealistic look on the main characters.
Never change, C3-PO.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Luke’s lesson, and really what is going on with these religious zealots, may be a bit too obtuse for its own good. This was a great opportunity to lay down some solid foundation for a mysterious cult-like group, but instead we’re left unsure if they’re legit or simply crazy. There isn’t a lot to go on, but it does offer a promise for more. It’ll be interesting to see if Gillen fleshes these strange characters out, especially since they have some cool looking helmets that’ll make it easy to spot later on.
Is It Good?
One of the reasons why Star Wars is so beloved is because the Force is such a mystical and interesting thing. How does it work, who has this power, and what can it do? These are questions we are always wondering (especially after The Last Jedi), and this issue continues to probe and prod so as to conjure up more debate and thoughts on the subject. For that reason it’s a highly entertaining comic and it just so happens to be mixed up in a rebellion battle that may rival what we’ve seen in the films yet.