|STAR WARS No. 8, October 2015|
Potentially there’s an awful lot to like about this opening instalment of “Showdown On The Smugglers’ Moon”. For not only does Jason Aaron’s script amply demonstrate just how powerful the Emperor’s Imperial Navy can be, courtesy of a planet-wide proton bombardment upon “an unnamed planet near the Monsua Nebula.” But it also attempts to replicate the bustling dangerously extra-terrestrial atmosphere of Wuher’s Mos Eisley Cantina by depicting the still all-too naïve Skywalker brawling with the cut-throat clientele of a Nar Shaddaa bar.
Disappointingly however, neither of these ‘separate’ storylines probably managed to totally enthral this comic’s 145,066 strong readership, with the Alabama-born writer’s inclusion of some quite ludicrous ‘Keystone Cop capers’ depicting Luke, along with the rest of the disreputable drinking establishment's customers, scrambling after the thief who stole his father’s lightsaber, undermining what initially looked set to be rather tense stand-off between the aspiring Jedi and “an entire world of pirates and outlaws.” Indeed the American author’s portrayal of the ‘headstrong farmer boy’ is arguably so unrecognisable that it is almost as if “the young rebel pilot” has learnt nothing from his part in the destruction of “the evil Galactic Empire’s greatest weapon.”
Equally as questionable though has to be Aaron’s decision to populate the Imperial Star Destroyer’s target with the nauseatingly irksome Sana Solo. Referred to by Rebel Editor Jordan D. White in the “Star Words” Letters Page as “pesky”, Han’s supposed wife proves incredibly annoying just as soon as she appears and interrupts the smooth-talking scoundrel’s entertainingly ham-fisted attempt to woo Leia Organa. Overly confident and arrogantly presumptuous, the dislikeable ‘bounty hunter’ is clearly as ‘crazy’ as she is obsessed with having the ex-smuggler “come back where you belong… with me” and ruins an otherwise enjoyable opportunity to explore the early fiery relationship between the Alderaan princess and Millennium Falcon captain.
Fortunately Issue Eight of “Star Wars” is blessed with some truly terrific-looking artwork by Stuart Immonen. Who in difference to his predecessor’s inconsistent attempt to capture the likenesses of the film trilogy’s main actors instead still manages to make Luke, Han and Leia instantly recognisable by focussing his attention upon each of the characters more familiar physical attributes, such as Skywalker’s blond tousled hair or Solo’s Corellian attire. In addition the Canadian’s dynamic drawings of Anakin’s son fighting his way through a bar room full of rabble rousers are charged full of energy, with the scene’s backgrounds literally bristling with a plethora of detailed alien faces and forms.
|The regular cover art of "STAR WARS" No. 8 by Stuart Immonen|