Ok - main SW Title Issues 7 - 12
We left this series as Han Solo was trapped by his wife, Vader first hears the word 'Skywalker' and Luke has found Ben's holocron/journal.
Issue 7 is a standalone story told from Ben's journal. It basically describes Ben's struggle in how he has given up his powers and yet Jabba's thugs are stealing water from the Tatooine farmers causes deaths. It explains how he is protecting the Lars homestead and ends with him rescuing Luke from a kidnapping attempt when Luke attempted to steal the water back. It is an excellent stand alone and it really explains how hard Ben must have had it. Alone with no assistance, no force and no communications - looking after a boy even though his Uncle refuses him permission to assist or train him.
Back to main story - we start with Han/Leia/Sana triangle. Are they married? Han says no. Leia is unsure. Sana wants Solo back but understands that Leia is valuable and could raise some money. She's clearly trying to drive a wedge between them. The Empire cannot find them so proceed to bomb the entire planet. Leia gets more and more suspicious as to Han's motives, after all she doesn't really know him. The Empire arrive. Meanwhile Luke heads off to Nar Shaddaa in an attempt to find a ship that'd take him to Coruscant. He doesn't see the journal as having any value. Predictably he gets into a bar fight and his lightsaber is stolen. Luke chases the thief, performs a ridiculous leap and falls from a great height to survive and rescue the saber. Can you believe that he lands on those awning type things that you see in those crappy US movies of the 70s to break his fall as he goes go passed a hotel on his drop.
Luke's powers were weak before, now he's heading towards superhuman. Back to Han as the TFPs land and have them covered. Leia fires her blaster and predictably all the shots from the Imperials miss Han and Sana who are standing there arguing. Luke is now attacked by some Magna Guards who are under the control of a Jedi relic collecting Hutt. He captures Luke and takes him to a Jedi Museum in his private collection. Yet another Jedi museum and what a coincidence!
Luke proves to the Hutt that he can open Holocrons and we see more Jedi come to life - is one of them Ahsoka? Luke is referred to as The Last Jedi by the Hutt
Wonder if that means something? R2 sends a message to the Rebellion that Luke is in trouble. The message is picked up by Chewie (after Mon Mothma says it's too dangerous to help) and a fleeing Solo. Luke is being trained by a swordsman called The Gamesmaster. Seems the Hutt is hoping to make money by using Luke in the fighting pits. Luke is easily defeated many times in training which is better. Some really funny dialogue and panels with regards to the Solo triangle and Chewie interrogating the locals about the whereabouts of Luke. We then find Dengar on the trail too, after talking to a Gungan
who is hopefully not JarJar but talks exactly like him. Dengar has been sent by Jabba - he wants Solo. He defeats Chewie by using bombs and explosives as Luke battles a huge beast with lightsaber deflecting armour in a pit. Han explains that the marriage to Sana was an undercover operation that Sana has taken too seriously and it was all a sham as far as he's concerned. The Beastmaster turns out to be an Imperial Spy - this is odd. Why would an Imperial be training Beasts for a Hutt? Seems to be that the empire were concerned with the collection of Jedi relics and thought it best to keep a close watch. Luke is getting his ass kicked in the pit and Han arrives to shoot Dengar in the back to free Chewie. Dengar is then thrown off a building and bombed too. Yet he still survives for Empire?
Makes you wonder if some of these writes have seen the movies. The Imperial Spy stuns the beast by triggering its shock collar and the Empire move in to arrest the Hutt. However, the Hutt releases an EMP which kills the Imperials guns. R2 arrives with 1/2 dozen or so lightsabers and we see Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie wielding them. Stupid, stupid, stupid idea.
Our heroes escape and Sana admits she knows the marriage was a sham. Han and stolen her share of a deal year ago and wanted her cut back. We end by finding out that the Imperial Spy was a Stormtrooper from Vader's Fist. He is interrogated by Vader who is wanting to know more about the Young Jedi.
Good points - The Han Solo is he/isn't he married twist is great. Leia is really questionning his motives. The Journal is a great idea and I can see some good stories coming from this to break up the main narrative. There are a lot of funny moments in these issues. C3PO, Chewie and the Solo triangle in particular. Luke is still very weak and is no match for a trained fighter.
Bad points - Does Luke really need to get into a bar fight and then draw his lightsaber like Ben did? All attention now on Luke. He also announces that he wants to go to Coruscant to a packed bar.
Luke is too strong a force user at times. The fall from the great height should have killed him and yet he gets up without a scratch. Too many Aliens that we've already seen. At one point we have a Snaggletooth, a Rodian, A Gran, A Twi-lek all sitting together watching the fights in the pits. What happens to Chewies, Leias and Han's lightsabers? Why are they even allowed to have them?
Overall - a good continuation but some silly elements are starting to creep in.