Monday, 8 February 2016

Star Wars, Volume 2: Showdown on Smuggler's Moon Review (Jason Aaron, Stuart Immonen)

Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, the second volume of Jason Aaron’s Star Wars run sees the core group fractured. Luke has picked up Obi-Wan’s journal from Tatooine and is trying to reach the Jedi Temple on Coruscant at the heart of the Empire - a journey that only the most daring smugglers of Nar Shaddaa can help him with. Meanwhile, Han and Leia bump into a bounty hunter intent on turning them over to the Empire. Oh and she claims to be Han’s wife too! 

I liked the first Marvel Star Wars book so I was disappointed the second, though not bad, wasn’t as great. Part of it is that the Han/Leia/Sana storyline was very static for the most part. They’re in a Mexican stand-off for most of the book which isn’t that interesting to read. 

The Obi-Wan flashback issue was a bit crap too. What was Obi-Wan doing from the end of Revenge of the Sith to A New Hope? Watching over Luke without him knowing. Le sigh. I never understood that - Obi-Wan just did nothing but watch from afar for decades? So pointless. He could’ve tried to do something positive to change things on Tatooine - anything! It just feels like such a dreary fate for a great character. 

Luke’s story is by far the most interesting. From the smuggler’s bar to chasing an assassin, to meeting Grakkus the Hutt (one of Jabba’s relatives with weirdly defined upper-body strength AND he speaks English!), fighting the Rancor-type creature and the lightsaber-packed finale - it’s all good. 

There are other cool moments too like Chewie fighting a bounty hunter and I loved Sana’s ship, the Volt Cobra, as it dodged the Empire’s fleet. There’s something about a squadron of TIE fighters swooping down too that’s utterly amazing - Stuart Immonen kills it with the art. And while I almost puked when I saw the Gungan pirate cameo, I’m pretty sure Aaron threw that in there just to fuck with the fans - laugh it up, fuzzball! 

Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon wasn’t as exciting as the first volume but it’s a decent enough follow-up with Luke making up for the others’ lacklustre storylines. I’m a little perturbed though to see that the series seems to be headed deep into prequel territory - I can only hope they’re in and out of Coruscant in less than 12 parsecs!

Star Wars, Volume 2: Showdown on Smuggler's Moon

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