Han, Luke, and Leia are still stuck on Hubin, but not for the lack of trying. Luke has assembled a communication device for help while Leia has planned to attack Shu-Torun, but an old menace arrives to accost them in Star Wars No. 59.
Star Wars is beginning to ramp back up with this issue after taking the much-needed narrative breath that it took for a good portion of this arc. While said narrative breath was needed though, there was a lot to be desired in the story that was being told. Much of it seemed stripped down and basic, while also feeling unnecessarily complicated at times. In this issue though, things have really begun to feel right back on track with the story being told combined with set-up for the next major storyline.
Image by Marvel Comics/Art by Angel Unzueta
Still dealing with the fallout of “Hope Dies,” Kieron Gillen really begins to set-up the next major storyline for Star Wars, which essentially seems that it will something along the lines of the second Shu-Torun war, the first being in the pages of his Darth Vader run. This really is the most interesting aspect of this issue even though the entire number of pages dedicated to it are extremely low. Regardless, this is how a writer does set-up correctly. There’s a reason why a character is foreshadowing the upcoming story is that of past actions and current circumstances. It doesn’t feel like exposition.
As for the rest of the issue, a good portion of falls into the camp that much of the arc has fallen into, just our three leads wasting time until they can leave the planet. There’s something properly western about it (which is good because Star Wars is partially a space western), but much of the issue lacks the forward momentum that it needs to keep things interesting. That forward momentum really comes in the last five or so pages and propels the series to the next issues much more than any other issue of this current storyline has done.
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There are also some great jokes in here, again revolving around Han and Leia. There is one joke in particular that, while kind of cliched, is perfect for the pair and very funny to read, which is definitely because of the art. Angel Unzueta’s style of hyper-realistic faces continues to be something that is very entertaining to read. Other artists have a similar style as well, but none have really been able to capture facial expressions as well as Unzueta. It’s hard to really gauge how his style as a whole compares to someone with a style like his, I.e. Salvador Larroca, because of the lack of action scenes in recent issues, but his expressions alone are much better.
In fact, the way that Unzueta does facial expressions is the best part about the art in this issue. He nails every humorous beat as well as every serious beat perfectly, which really adds to the overall quality of the issue.
Star Wars begins to ramp up its intensity again before leading into the next probable big storyline, while still being humorous.