Note: This blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin” #2
The second issue to the bestselling title, “Star Wars,” is full of secret missions and familiar faces – along with some surprises.
When Entertainment Weekly published a sneak peak at this issue last month, it turns out that was the opening for this month’s story. Han Solo and Chewbacca are drifting in the Corsair Outback, on a rendezvous mission assigned by Mon Monthma.
Even though they sit in deep space, among space debris, the smuggler and his companion are discovered by Slave I. This story transpires before Empire Strikes Back, so Boba Fett is hunting Solo due to the bounty placed on his head by Jabba the Hutt.
Solo is forced to make a space jump after Slave I opens fire on his ship. They end up making seven jumps before they’re clear of the bounty hunter. This was disappointing – the issue was marketed as showing the appearance of Boba Fett – but we never actually see the Mandalorian. In fact, the three page preview is the entirety of Fett’s appearance in the issue.
This was a chance for Dark Horse to tear down common tropes comic books have executed with the relationship between Boba Fett and Han Solo. Instead, they kept to the formula of Han Solo being tracked down by Fett, he makes a run for it and escapes. Let’s hope this story arc doesn’t consist of repeated “near encounters” between the adversaries.
I’ve said this in an earlier blog entry – let Solo be captured by Boba Fett, but manage to escape. We need to see why the presence of Boba Fett strikes the fear Solo experiences in the films, that don’t come up with other encounters with bounty hunters, like Greedo.
The issue also sets up two more plot points. In many ways this issue sets up what we should anticipate for the rest of the story arc. Monthma gives Leia a secret assignment, as does the Emperor to Darth Vader. These secret assignments introduce two characters to keep an eye on.
Leia puts together a team of X-Wing pilots to conduct a secret mission to locate a base for the Rebels. This assignment must be done in secret, because Monthma suspects a spy in their ranks.
Among the pilots is Rus Kal from Durkteel. Kal is part of a subspecies of Transdoshan – the race of Bossk. I’m engaged by this member of the team. I don’t know too much about this species, but I have to wonder how close their characteristics are from their cousins, Transdoshans.
Am I overanalyzing things, or is this foreshadowing that we may see Bossk in the near future pop up?
The second character of interest is Colonel Bircher, who has been put in charge of Darth Vader’s crew and Star Destroyer. While Vader is on his secret mission, Bircher is leading the charge of hunting down the Rebel Alliance.
I enjoyed this issue and the artwork is some of the best that’s come out of Dark Horse, besides the work being down in “Agent of the Empire.” I need to emphasize my disappointment though, we were teased with Boba Fett and Darth Vader in the official synopsis of the issue, but Boba Fett is only in a couple panels and Vader is only mentioned by name.
It only took 24 hours for Dark Horse’s new series, “Star Wars,” to sell out during its debut on Jan. 9. Set in the original trilogy era, the happenings of the story arc, “In the Shadow of Yavin,” document the fallout from the destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance.
Within a few days of its release, Dark Horse staff announced a second print would be made available on Feb. 6, featuring a cover stripped of any text, so fans can revel in the cover art by comic legend Alex Ross.
The same day as the first issue’s release, a blog entry by the comic’s writer, Brian Wood, was ran on StarWars.com, and a few days later re-posted on Dark Horse’s website. Wood shares he aimed to capture the tone and feel of the original trilogy and feature a story that transpires only days after the final events of “A New Hope.”
Wood teases the series will be, “heavy on space battles and snubfighter dogfights. A series that gets into the emotional states of our post-Tattooine, post-Alderaan, post-Yavin characters who have lost so much yet press on in their fight for freedom.”
If there were any doubts that Wood would deliver the space battles and tales of peril he promises, fans were rewarded with a four-page preview of “Star Wars” #2 through the digital pages of Entertainment Weekly.
What is guaranteed to entice another sold out issue is the reveal that the second issue features the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett. In the preview, we see the Millennium Falcon avoiding fire by Slave I as the smugglers navigate space debris.
Scheduled for release on Feb. 13, the second issue hones in on Han Solo and Chewbacca as they attempt to evade the capture of Boba Fett; we’ll also see Darth Vader carry out a secret mission assigned to him by the Emperor.
While the Empire doesn’t formally issue a bounty for Han Solo and company until “Empire Strikes Back,” it is already known after Solo’s encounter with Greedo in “A New Hope” that he is wanted by Jabba the Hutt.
Hiding in space debris, Solo believes they’re safe from being found, however, a ship appears on their radar. When identifying the ship, Solo realizes the immediate danger once they see Slave I fast approaching. Why is this interesting? This tells us Solo and Boba Fett have a history before the happenings of the original trilogy.
The chase between Fett and Solo is a common trope in Star Wars comics, so the challenge for Woods will be to make it fresh and new. How will Han Solo escape, or will he? I’d be interested to see what story unfolds if Solo and Chewbacca are actually captured – and later escape, of course.
Whatever happens though, this story needs to expand on the relationship between the bounty hunter and smuggler – besides the tired “cat and mouse” angle to their encounters. Unlike other bounty hunters, consider his run in with Greedo at the Catina – the films illustrate Han Solo having a genuine fear toward Fett.
I’m crossing my fingers we get a tale that explains why Solo takes the threat of Boba Fett more seriously than other hired guns.