Star Wars: Han Solo - Imperial Cadet #5 Review

by Kaasen Koy on March 14, 2019

Imperial Cadet #5 Cover
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
Inkers: Daniele Orlandini & Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Arif Prianto
Publisher: Marvel

Star Wars: Han Solo - Imperial Cadet #5 begins right after the action on Qhulosk and concludes this miniseries about Han’s time in the Imperial Navy Academy.

Kicking things off with a high octane speeder sequence (which is really the general source of action throughout), the final episode of this chapter in the smuggler’s life has an urgency that’s been lacking. Or so it seems. Unfortunately, it falls off almost immediately and… almost nothing happens. The entire plot can be summarized: Han and company seek their comrade and find him in a few pages, return to base with no complications - roll credits.

Sure, there’s the threat of complications, and I’ve omitted a core (unrelated to the action) character moment… but that’s really how this goes. The largest threat of complication that never comes to be... anything is a bombing run on Han’s position. The bombing is threatened from the first pages but there's no real danger… no timer ticking off the last few seconds. The gang has a chat, gets on their speeders and ride off. The explosions in the following panel feel like an afterthought.

The same speeder sequence that grabs your attention in the first few pages gets muddy after the first break. You begin to wonder what they’re doing. I say speeder "sequence” because it doesn’t seem to be a chase. Cadets fire blasters off camera and laser blasts come from random directions, but there’s little sign of who is fighting. There don't appear to be enemy combatants. It's just action for the sake of itself. That muddiness carries through the issue more than anything else and contributes to the problems listed above.

The artwork is a huge factor in why this issue feels so clumsy and haphazard. Action panels could be shuffled and laid back down at random without worsening the confusion. There’s no feeling of sequential action and you can’t even blame a lack of room, as this issue spends at least half its page count on aimless speeder shots.

Star Wars: Han Solo - Imperial Cadet #5 is not the worst issue in the series. It isn’t as maddening as the first two were. Sure, It would be maddening as a finale if the series were better because it does so little for the story and characters. A single (and improperly built-to) interaction is the whole comic but… there wasn’t much here to disservice in the first place.

Our Score:


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