It’s the scene from Attack of the Clones in the arena on Geonosis where the small cadre of surviving Jedi are encircled by the Seperatist droids, their slaughter imminent, when a laser blast suddenly streams from above, Yoda having arrived with an army of clones in tow to rescue our heroes. It’s the scene in A New Hope when the Death Star has cleared Yavin, its beam ready to fire upon the hidden rebel base, and Luke’s X-Wing is square in Vader’s sights, when suddenly the TIE adjacent his is blasted out of nowhere, the Millennium Falcon and its not-so-mercenary captain having returned to the fret after all. It’s the scene in Return of the Jedi when Luke, having given into his anger, strikes down his father and severs his hand, and upon witnessing the same metal and circuitry as in his own prosthetic limb finally sees himself in Vader, and Vader in himself, more clearly than even in the cave on Dagobah; he tosses his saber away, turns to the Emperor, defiantly proclaiming, “You’ve failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
Such a scene is not unique to the Star Wars films, but it’s certainly signature of such. It’s the bated breath as all hope seems lost only for eucatastrophe to suddenly strike, the balance between Light and Dark tipping in that very moment, the whole history of the galaxy pivoting with them.
This particular type of dramatic moment Aaron had not quite had success in replicating since issue #3, but he and Immonen pace out this issue perfectly, leading to a final page which sees our heroes’ fortunes turn (though, in my experience, there’s no such thing as luck), with the promise of a truly climactic battle next month.
Moreover, it seems we’re finally done with the Sana “Solo” subplot that’s been dragging down the series since issue #6. It would never have been in keeping with his character for Han to have been married to this laser-breathed Cathar, and Leia’s utter refusal to hear out his perfectly reasonable explanation did little but reduce her own character to a bit of a “witch of Dathomir.”
Immonen continues to deliver on art, giving each and every panel the exact size of space needed to move the reader’s eyes along at a cinematic pace. He lacks the sheer realism of Cassaday or Checchetto’s recent work on the Star Wars property, but his pencils are still worth the price of admission nonetheless.
From everything I’ve heard most of Star Wars’ non-comics media, the first fledgling replacements of the once great Expanded Universe are a hot steaming pile of bantha poodoo. We comic readers have the Force on our side, apparently. Gillen’s Darth Vader is wonderfully cerebral, Rucka’s Shattered Empire could have rightfully been called Episode VII, and Aaron’s marquee title will certainly play a role in one day in recompensing fans the loss of Legacy, Republic, and Tales of the Jedi from the Star Wars canon. This issue definitely helps towards that.