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Star Wars #11 is hitting comics shelves and our very own Max Silver has a comprehensive review for your, exclusively here on ComiConverse.
Conflict is reaching critical on the smugglers moon of Nar Shaddaa, and while issue #11 is not the grand intersection of Aaron’s assorted stories, the issue delivers on all cylinders; making for one of the most pulpy and action-packed issues of the run thus far.
This is an thrilling issue. Chewbacca versus Dengar and Luke versus, well we’ll get to that later, just know that it makes a Rancor look like a cute plaything in comparison.
This is an action-centric issue and, as such, the romantic quagmire between Sana, Leia and Han gets pushed into the background. A topic that, in my opinion, hasn’t seen much development in prior issues beyond Sana saying you’re my husband, Leia focusing on the task at hand in a passive-aggressive manner and Han being relegated as a broken apologetic record playing to deaf ears.
Fortunately it makes up a small portion of the overall issue and Stuart Immonen helps it along with some clever inversions of the Han and Leia scenes from Empire. It’s not the strong suit of the issue, but what’s there is small and doesn’t detract from the story overall.
The Chewbacca/Dengar fight on the other hand is a marvellously illustrated brawl. Chewbacca, while always having been hinted at as being one tough wookie, is mostly beloved by the fanbase for being a loyal, loveable character. Here he is a brawler, a tough no-holds-barred fighter who can take as much as he can dish out and – if you’re a Star Wars fan who thought Dengar was no more than a mysterious man whose head is wrapped in toilet paper – Aaron and Immonen will make you into believers.
Dengar isn’t given a rich background here but for lack of a better word he is an absolute badass who comes with a bag of toys and tricks you don’t want to mess around with. Taser bolts, energy knives and a ruthless personality makes for a fight that expresses real physical pain and as far as I’m concerned is one of the most brutal Star Wars fights in the new canon. All of this makes Dengar a character I can’t wait to see again.
Luke’s situation is still as perilous as ever. Aaron approaches the conflict from an incredibly engaging angle. Luke is the last Jedi. Whether or not that’s the case depends on your point of view “pun intended”. But what makes these scenes interesting is what the nameless spectators in the arena think of Luke as the last of the Jedi. Looking at an arena spectator express his disappointment that this last Jedi isn’t the little green guy or looking at someone else say that Luke is too young to be a Jedi that, he’s just some half trained padawan gives new insight into what the citizens of the galaxy think and remember of the Jedi beyond what was expressed in the original films. The action on display is fantastic, pitting Luke against a terrifying beast with horns and spikes that has been cybernetically modified with industrial mining equipment so strong even a lightsaber has it’s work cut out for it. Luke isn’t doing great against this monstrosity and every panel shows just how much Luke is staying ahead of becoming mince meat and it’s not by much. It’s tense and terrifying. Just how it should be.
There have been teases that there is more to the Gamemaster than meets the eye and while his Imperial affiliation is a fun surprise the effect it will have next issue makes for a thrilling cliff hanger. The banter is as authentically Star Wars as ever. C-3PO stating that the odds of rescue are almost impossible, Chewbacca heroically ignoring him and C-3PO stating that if they “the crew of the Milennium Falcon” listened to him more he wouldn’t have to always say how the odds are against them. Lines like that are fun twists on classic moments from the films that invoke a great sense of nostalgia but never at the expense of the moment to moment flow of the book. Stuart Immonen continues to nail the gesturing and posture of every character perfectly and finds a unified look that allows for prequel and sequel design sensibilities to work in tandem making for a tense and action packed issue.
Max Silver is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow on Twitter: @MaxSilver4
An average continuation of a fumbling romantic story can’t hold back what is an exceptionally executed action-packed issue that never breaks it’s roaring pace.