Star Wars (2020) #17 Review

by NumidianPrime on September 30, 2021

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Letterer: VC's Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel

The latest installment in Charles Soule's run on the Star Wars comic draws us ever closer to the finale for the War of the Bounty Hunters event. Darth Vader has successfully captured the frozen body of Han Solo and began pursuing Luke in his TIE fighter across Jekara. Meanwhile, Leia, Lando, and Chewie desperately try to restore power to the Millennium Falcon as Boba Fett and the Hutts launch their own attempts to steal Solo from Vader's shuttle. 

The majority of the issues in the regular ongoing series for the last few months have had the recurring problem of being unable to progress their stories very much, due to being tie-ins to a much bigger event where the story progresses almost exclusively in the main miniseries. Because the issues haven't been plot-packed, they've instead had to mostly focus very tightly on developing their cast and the motivations of the characters, to mixed results sometimes. I was very pleased with how this issue managed to pull that off; the story doesn't move any further than we've seen elsewhere, but a handful of very emotional and satisfying scenes make the issue important in furthering multiple character arcs. 

The first stretch of the issue is primarily action-based as Vader and Luke are engaged in a fighter chase. We don't see much here that we haven't seen in other issues already but this is where Rosanas' art shines the most, with some particularly memorable ship maneuvers and a flow to the chase that makes it pretty fun to follow. I'm happy that Luke and Vader still haven't come face-to-face and that it doesn't seem as if they will at all. These issues have taken Luke in an interesting direction with his fear of facing Vader and it feels like he's at a midpoint for his arc in this series. 

After this, we switch to following the crew of the Falcon and their struggle to get the ship operational again. Its with these Lando scenes that the issue shines brightest. Because he might be the character who changes the most between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, his arc has been one of the best parts of the run since it started. This issue ends up being a major turning point for him, culminating with a very touching conversation between him and Leia that's one of my favorite scenes to come from this entire event. 

This is definitely one of the better War of the Bounty Hunter tie-in issues, and one that makes me more convinced that this massive event was worthwhile. These character arcs and stories are making the series a must-read for Star Wars fans, particularly those who want to fill in the gap between the final two Original Trilogy films and learn what caused the character shifts evident in Return of the Jedi. Next issue is probably the one I've been looking forward to most since the event started: the first meeting of Leia and Qi'ra. After that, we start a new Luke story, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what direction he goes from here. While this series and crossover have had some ups and downs for me, issues like this remind me why I love to keep following along. 

Our Score:


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