Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artists: Immonen, Von Grawbadger, Ponsor
The last 4 issues have led to this point, all of the separate stories have converged together on Nar Shaddaa to save Luke from Grakkus the Hutt. We also get the truth behind Han’s estranged wife and what is really going on inside Grakkus organization.
The issue opens right where the previous issue left off. Dengar and Chewbacca are engaged in a nasty fight, but Han has shown up just in time to save his friend. Because Dengar appears in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, we know that he survives this encounter, but it’s really difficult to see how he would survive. Chewbacca doesn’t let him off easily.
With that fight settled our heroes focus on saving Luke. It seems not only does Luke have to deal with the monsters inside Grakkus’ arena but he is now having to fight off the Empire as well. It’s fortunate for Luke that the Empire did show up because things weren’t exactly going his way in the arena. Turns out the Gamemaster was an Imperial spy. I was hoping for a bigger reveal on the Gamemaster, that he was either a character we already knew or maybe he was an Inquisitor, but he simply says he’s a Stormtrooper. Although I did love that the 501st got a small mention.
Grakkus is not one to go down easily. The arena is rigged with an EMP generator to disable all electronics. It’s a great twist taking away everyone’s blasters, but the EMP seems very selective on what it does and does not disable. While it disables the blasters and the monster’s shock collar, it doesn’t disable lightsabers. The device is a bit too convenient for my liking, but it does give a terrific scene as Leia, Han, and Chewie all charge into battle with lightsabers.
Sana finally comes clean after being rescued by Leia. Leia’s compassion shows as she could have easily left Sana to rot in the rubble or at least left her for the Empire to pick up. Turns out Sana was never Han’s legitimate wife, she was using the story as leverage against him. It’s nice to have the truth revealed, but I still feel a lack of closure on her story and it’s unclear if they are parting as friends or if she is still going to come after Han in the future.
Jason Aaron delivers a solid story with plenty of twists to keep us guessing. Stuart Immonen’s art captures all the action and excitement well. His artwork has been a high point for me during this last story arc. This issue closes out the story arc and sets the stage for the Vader Down crossover event. It’s mostly a satisfying conclusion, although I was expecting a bit more.