The comic series, Star Wars, written by Jason Aaron, bridges A New Hope to The Empire Strikes Back and has been my favorite series out of the new Star Wars comics and I am constantly looking forward to the next issue. Star Wars #12 is a very fun and exciting issue, putting lightsabers in the hands of unexpected characters that have never wielded such a weapon. The latest installment answers many questions while setting up new storylines and closes other ones.
The issue starts on the planet of Nar Shaada with Leia and Han standing on Sana’s collerian ship, pointing their blasters at Dengar. They tell him to leave Chewbacca alone, only to have Dengar reveal that he has a thermal detonator, ready to blow them all up. The Wookie picks up the bounty hunter and throws him off the rooftop. He falls down and the detonator blows up, making it unclear if he survived. The heroes regroup and wonder how they will find their friend, Luke Skywalker. Leia looks up only to find Imperial T.I.E. fighters flying by. The Rebels follow their path hoping to find their lost friend.
The comic then cuts to the fighters flying towards the arena in which Luke is being held up by a massive creature with a robotic arm. The crowd is cheering for the Jedi’s death. The young Skywalker calls upon his old mentor, Ben Kenobi for help when suddenly the monster fell down, releasing the boy.
Grakkus the Hutt, surrounded by magna guards is confused about what happened when a lightsaber decapitates a droid. The gamemaster, wielding a green lightsaber along with Imperial pilots attempt to arrest the Hutt and our hero, Luke. Another squad of pilots encounter more magnaguards while R2-D2 sneaks off to grab a couple lightsabers.
Meanwhile, the Imperial pilots and the gamemaster escort Grakkus out onto the arena. The gamemaster reveals that he has always been an Imperial spy, waiting to take all of the Hutt’s Jedi artifacts for the Empire. Grakkus then uses voice command to signal a local E.M.P making blasters useless. The fat Hutt picks up a T.I.E pilot and throws him across the arena. The crowd starts to get excited and places bets on the violent Hutt. Not only did the E.M.P disable the blasters but the monsters’ shock collar, causing him to wake up. Across the arena, two Imperial pilots attempt to tackle Luke, when Artoo shoots out his lightsaber from the stands. Luke quickly picks up the saber and slashes the pilots.
While this is happening, Han, Chewie, Leia, and Sana notice all the guards are destroyed. They debate whether or not it is a good sign or bad when they realize the fans are stampeding out of the stadium. Han tells the rest of the group to regroup at The Falcon if they are separated. Sana tells her “husband” she isn’t letting them get separated and needs to keep an eye on her investment. Suddenly, the huge creature comes running out of the stadium when the heroes try to shoot it only to find out that their weapons don’t work. After the monster runs by they can’t find Sana but only our favorite astromech droid, R2-D2. The astromech launches sabers into the hands of the Princess, smuggler, and Wookie. They ignite the sabers and engage the Imperial pilots inside the arena.
On the other side, Luke starts to fight the gamemaster only to get easily beaten. After the gamemaster makes easy work of him without a weapon, the Jedi in training is laying on the floor. The gamemaster then reveals that he is a part of Vader’s Fist, the 501st, and he has to take him in. Out of nowhere, Grakkus picks up the 501st member who then takes a lightsaber off of the Hutt’s necklace, proceeding to cut off his robotic legs.
Han and Luke are reunited, standing back to back wielding lightsabers when Artoo comes rolling in. He is holding the journal of Ben Kenobi. Luke wants to go back to get the rest of the artifacts when Imperial Stormtroopers come running in, firing their E-11 blasters. Han tells his big furry friend to pick up Luke and not let him retrieve the lost relics of his religion. Solo then starts his search for Leia.
The issue then cuts to Leia using a lightsaber to free Sana from the rocks that fell on top of her. The princess helps up the “wife” of Solo when she reveals that he name is Sana Starros and isn’t really Han’s wife. She explains that the marriage was a scam and part of a robbery. Han took her cut and left her. The group meets up at The Falcon and Sana’s corellian ship and flies off of Nar Shaddaa.
The gamemaster stands in the Jedi artifacts room as a squad of Stormtroopers escort Grakkus to his prison. The Imperial spy reports to Lord Vader, telling him the artifacts are secure while the boy is lost. The Sith Lord asks if he learned the name only to have him report he heard nothing. Vader requests to hear everything from the 501st member. The issue ends with Luke reading the journal of his old mentor while sitting at the iconic chess board upon The Falcon. The story will continue in Vader Down #1.
Star Wars #12 is a very fun, fast, and entertaining comic that puts lightsabers into the hands of character we could have never imagined. Jason Aaron’s writing definitely fits with the Star Wars label and Stuart Immonen’s penciling depicts our heroes in a new yet familiar way. It shows us a death(?) to Dengar even though we see him in The Empire Strikes Back. I hate it when someone “dies” and comes back with little or no explanation so I hope we revisit Dengar. This issue finally (and I mean finally) answers our questions about Sana Solo actually being a Solo which is nice to finally have some closure. However, I feel like the reveal was a little rushed and random. Also, Sana’s explanation is very vague and doesn’t give us a full understanding. I hope they take time in a future issue to fully flesh out what happened. It was very fun and unexpected to see lightsabers in the hands of Han, Leia and Chewbacca. I would say Star Wars #12 closes the latest arc in a great way making me want to read Vader Down. I would give this issue a solid 8/10. Totally worth picking up.
The new film is to be released on December 18th!