Note: The following blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars” #9.
We’re now nine issues deep into the first story arc of Dark Horse’s “Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin.” The story by Brian Wood is superb and continues to capture the spirit of the Original Trilogy, the art is stunning every issue and the book keeps a swift pace – however, I feel this is a story better read in trade paperback.
Having to wait a month between each issue is frustrating, because Wood checks in with each subplot every time. While it’s nice to provide face time to each fan favorite, it’s like watching three minutes of a movie each day – sure, we’ll get to the peak of drama eventually, but its sure taking a while to get there. Each week I keep hoping the next issue is where all the subplots will meet for a giant payoff.
In “Star Wars” #9, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Atilles escape custody and are maneuvering toward the data core to bug the communication system. We get a tie in to The Clone Wars, with Princess Leia receiving contact by the Audacity, a ship from the wartime era. The most staggered storyline, though, continues to be Boba Fett and Han Solo.
At the end of Issue #8, a long-awaiting gunfight was teased between the smuggler and bounty hunter. Promotional images further promised an engaging encounter, as we saw images of Boba Fett ejecting from Slave I to pursue Han Solo face-to-face.
The dialogue written for Boba Fett is great, stating that Jabba pays more for his bounties to be turned in whole, rather than blown to smithereens. However, we’re denied a decent gunfight, as Perla crashes a platform, quickly evading the bounty hunter. Also, we see Bossk hot on the tail of the Falcon, being piloted by Chewbacca.
In the previous issue, there was a passing comment about bounty hunters not usually crossing into Imperial compounds or stations. Unless we see it in the forthcoming issue, I think this was a missed opportunity. All the chaos and destruction and Imperial agents aren’t swarming onto scene?
Woods could have had Imperial Troopers arrive on scene, and that, in my opinion, could have been a better distraction to allow Perla and Solo to escape. Also, more chances to show Boba Fett in action. Once again, we continue to watch the cat-and-mouse game between the two men – which I continue to have faith will result in a payoff in the end.
"Star Wars" #10 will be available Oct. 9.
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
Note: The following contains SPOILERS to Star Wars #7
Over the past months, Dark Horse has delivered an Original Trilogy story arc that has been praised for its ability to capture the tone and dynamic of classic Star Wars. There’s a long list of reasons this is an asset, it is nostalgic and takes readers back to simpler times.
Writer Brian Woods, though, has continued another classic Star Wars trope, which I feel is a negative element –giving Boba Fett only a few panels every few issues. When reading “Star Wars: In The Shadows of Yavin,” the Boba Fett subplot has been a near duplicate of what we see in “Star Wars: Dark Empire.”
When Slave I appeared in Star Wars #2, I wrote in a preview piece that I hoped Dark Horse would break away from the cat-and-mouse story we’ve seen a continuously between Boba Fett and Han Solo. Instead, the cameo lasted a mere few story boxes before Solo makes an escape.
We catch back up with Han Solo a few issues later on Coruscant. Boba Fett tracks him to the seedy underworld, and we learn he’s partnered with Bossk to claim the Imperial bounty. Han Solo once again slips away with the help of an aspiring smuggler, Perla.
In Star Wars #7, Perla’s transport comes under attack by Slave 1 and Hound’s Tooth. The bounty hunters have flanked their prey, and it’s teased that Han Solo, Chewbacca and their new “friend” will have to blast their way out. The entire story arc feels like déjà vu – replace Bossk with Dengar and the story hits most of the plot points in “Dark Empire.”
The focus of this comic centers around the Rebellion, and on that note, the story has been excellent. However, Woods has been slow roasting Solo/Fett’s subplot, which I can only hope we’ll be awarded for our patients with a well deserved space battle and firefight in Star Wars #8.
Specifically, I’d like to see some actual interaction between Boba Fett and Bossk. I’d like to see whether Woods builds on the relationship we see between the two in The Clone Wars or if it’s more of a shaky alliance that existed prior to the retconned partnership – more akin to their interactions in early bounty hunter novels.
The last time we saw Boba Fett he had tracked the Millennium Falcon to a far reach of space, where Han Solo and Chewbacca were hiding within space debris for a rendezvous. The smuggler got away, but Boba Fett has now tracked Solo back to the planet Coruscant – and he’s not alone – the Mandalorian has allied himself with the bounty hunter, Bossk.
I’ve been wondering when writer Brian Wood would check back in with the bounty hunter. In “Star Wars” #5, we finally catch up with this subplot – but it leaves us with more questions than answers. Han Solo has come to Coruscant to obtain forged identification papers, but he and Chewbacca must run for it when they realize they’re being followed.
Boba Fett is torn between the two bounties which have been placed on the smuggler – the original bounty placed by Jabba the Hutt, and the latter by Darth Vader who specifically wants to get his hands on the Falcon. It’s while juggling his options that he loses track of Han Solo.
The Corellian managed to escape the grasp of Boba Fett and Bossk by accepting a proposition of an Imperial Sanitation Officer named Perla. She is aware of the high bounty placed on Solo’s head, a smuggler herself, she capitalizes on Solo’s predicament by offering him a getaway for 10 percent of the bounty reward.
There are a few things to note about this issue: the first is Wood seems to have adopted the retconned relationship between Boba and Bossk – mainly that they have a working relationship that seems (thus far) friendly.
Is this acknowledgment of the history of partnership we saw in The Clone Wars or the shaky partnership forged in the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy of books?
I continue to hope Wood has plans to devote an entire issue to the Boba Fett/Han Solo plot line, rather than giving a few panels to this story every few issues. I also hope he further fleshes out the partnership between Boba Fett and Bossk.
It should also be noted the illustration of Bossk is more similar to his tall and lanky appearance in The Clone Wars than depictions of him in comics and novels prior to any recon stories.
There’s no hints as to whether or not Boba Fett will appear in “Star Wars” #6, but as the story arc concludes – I can only imagine Wood plans to tie up this subplot – meaning chances are strong we won’t have to wait so long for another appearance by the Mandalorian.
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.