Story: Michael A. Stackpole
Art: Robert Teranishi
Digital Inking: Christopher Chuckry
Color Rendering: Christopher Chuckry
Lettering: Amador Cisneros, Digital Broome
Cover: Duncan Fegredo
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (06/06/2007)
Luke has a bad dream. The bad guys are closing in while Mara and her three attendants are driving around. Luke and Mara unite during a Jedi ceremony officiated by Kam Solusar. Luke meets a lot of friends at the Red Rancor and they all get into a bar fight with swoop gangers.
[alt preview cover]
The Jedi ceremony/wedding mentioned last issue is held, and a lot of Jedi are attending. So it means that the public wedding should happen within the next two issues. None of the Jedi attending are mentioned by name (aside from Kam) but I can recognize Cilghal, Empatayos Brand, Dorsk 82, Tionne and the Solo children. There is also a bunch of others which are not recognizable, and it's kind of frustrating not to know. Same thing with the scene at the Red Rancor; Han and Wedge invited a bunch of Luke's friends, but only a few are recognizable, namely Chewie, Lando, Talon Karrde, Kam Solusar (again) and Gavin Darklighter. The others I can only assume are members of Rogue Squadron. I really wish I could see Stackpole's script for these pages. It's really frustrating espacially when we see two pages of ID cards for the Imperials!
Speaking of which, the group led by the Moff Derran Tekkar have more of a role in this issue. They start by finding a headquarters for their operation, then start surveillance on Mara while she drives around Coruscant with a light escort. There is a scene at a museum where Tekkar expresses his concern that the New Republic does not show the Empire as it was, but rather as exagerated propaganda. How little does he know... Then two of the Imperials start a stakeout of the wedding location, disguised as vermin exterminators. And finally, three of them, including the "main guy" from last issue Banner Sumptor, are sent to the Red Rancor to kill the groom. But when the bar brawl starts, Sumptor decides to secretly stop a Trandoshan from bashing Luke with a table. He later explains that if they are to strike, it has to be known that it is Imperials who killed Skywalker not a bunch of swoop low-lifes.
The story is developping along at a good pace. The Rebels are not aware of the Imperials' presence yet, but it seems to be coming very close, as is the public ceremony. I actually am intrigued to see how it all turns out. Aside from the frustrating number of unknown characters (a comic book doesn't have as much narrative as a novel after all), the story is very good so far.
The facial expressions really shine in this issue, and I still think Teranishi uses photos for reference. How else can someone capture Han's expressions on page 16, or the looks of pure joy from Han and Lando as glasses are flying over their heads in my favorite panel on page 19? But yet somehow the action is a bit hard to follow. It took several glances before I saw how the Imperial Banner "saved" Luke by tripping the Trandoshan with his foot. Plus Teranishi is not as good with aliens, probably for lack of photographic references. One exception is the bottom panel on page 10 where Cilghal looks exactly like one of the photos of Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi. I'm not saying using photographs as reference is bad, just try not to overuse it and make every panel look like a bunch of drawn photos.
The color work has improved a bit from last issue, and the cover is alot better this time around. But just what is the deal with adding Luke there at the last minute? (see the two versions of the cover).
Cool story, could be turned into a novel. Are you listening Lucas Books?
Rating: 8 / 10 Recommended