Note: The following blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars #8
In “Star Wars” #8 we finally get more than just a handful of panels dealing with the subplot of Han Solo on the run from Boba Fett and Bossk. The chase began in issue #2 and we’ve been building to a hopeful conflict – which writer Brian Wood delivers in this action packed issue.
While Luke Skywalker and Wedge sneak aboard a Star Destroyer, the real action takes place on Coruscant. We are treated to a massive dogfight, that highlights the cunning evasive skills of Chewbacca and Han Solo – as well as showcases the hunting skills of Boba Fett.
When we last left Han Solo and Chewbacca, they had hired garbage-barge pilot, Perla, to aid them in an escape from bounty hunters Boba Fett and Bossk, who tracked them to Coruscant. The smugglers are forced to split up as Slave I engages them – navigating the Falcon as Han Solo and Perla remain aboard the barge.
The tactic worked, as Boba Fett hadn’t planned on a firefight above the Imperial Center. With Chewbacca’s counterattacks on the Slave I, Fett is forced to allow the Garbage-barge to gain distance – the risk of killing Solo in the dogfight is too high, and he attends to capture him alive to collect on the dual bounty, one from the Hutt Cartel and the other the Empire.
Han Solo tells Perla he is surprised to see the bounty hunter in an Imperial Jurisdiction. Unfortunately for Perla and Solo, the space battle put them on the Imperial security radar, blowing their cover in the process. Once catching up, the Slave I continue to attack the garbage-barge, but aims for its cargo, resulting in Perla to lose large portions of her cargo and jeopardizing their ability to maneuver.
Meanwhile, Bossk chases down Chewbacca in the Falcon. The bounty is on Solo’s head, so Bossk is intent on destroying both, the Falcon and Chewbacca.
Han Solo crashes the barge into the Imperial Center. He believes it’s a calculated risk, which will payoff in their escape, but the plan comes up short as Slave I hones in one the smuggler and Perla, with them outgunned and without a ship on the ground floor of the Imperial Center.
There are several items of note in this issue: first, Wood emphasizes that it’s unusual for Boba Fett to engage his prey in Imperial borders. This must be foreshadowing for the next issue, why are these areas off limits to Boba Fett? Could his saving grace be Imperial Security Forces stepping in right as Slave I closes in on the marooned Perla and Solo?
Ryan Kelly’s art goes above and beyond in this issue. The most haunting image, in my opinion, are the skulls and bodily remains decorating Bossk’s cockpit seat.
We’ve still yet to be told how Boba Fett and Bossk became a team in this issue. Or are they building on the rebooted relationship between the two, which has already been expanded upon in The Clone Wars?
The confrontation will continue in “Star Wars” #9 will be released on Sept. 11
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.