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‘Star Wars #9’ (review)

Written by Charles Soule
Art by Jan Bazaluda
Published by Marvel Comics

 

The newest story arc, “Operation Starlight,” opens with the Rebel Fleet’s fourth and seventh divisions on the run and no way to contact the other divisions. Imperial agents have figured out how to crack all Rebel encryption codes, and a new communication method is needed.

A particular droid who is fluent in over six million forms of communication has an idea. However, it requires a trip to the Imperial homeworld, otherwise known as Coruscant.

The idea of a heist on Coruscant is super intriguing.

It’s the last place in the galaxy any member of the Rebel Alliance should go. Getting on and off the planet sounds like a daunting task alone.

Unfortunately, the efficiently told caper is a real whimper.

Just when it looks like we’re going to see Luke Skywalker, Chewie, Leia and Lando do their thing; the rug gets pulled from out underneath the reader.

The Special Forces group called the Pathfinders are assigned the mission. Sure, Lando and Lobot tag along; however, Charles Soule puts the spotlight on the team, led by Poe Dameron’s father, Kes.

The museum where their prize is stored is managed by a bulbous curator who is a real piece of work. Soule wrote him as a guy who values a planet’s treasures more than its people and culture, making him the most interesting character in the book.

Jan Bazaluda’s artwork didn’t deliver any standout images. However, the art direction presented a smooth Ocean’s Eleven vibe, where the crime and how to pull it off is shown.

The Pathfinders are a cool looking threesome consisting of two aliens along with Dameron.

Sadly, we do not get to know them. One team member makes the ultimate sacrifice in a fashion that fails to resonate.

It wasn’t clear what happened until after the fact. While it’s understood Coruscant is a no-fly zone, the heist’s grave stakes were never conveyed in the slightest. Plus, the team’s remaining members didn’t even attempt a rescue, revealing it was a one way trip, if caught, again, after the fact.

Leia’s frustration with the mission’s collateral damage is telling. She’s shaken by her brutal encounter with Commander Zahra, which is uncharted territory for the princess of Alderaan. Now that the new method of transmitting codes are acquired, the question becomes, can Threepio get it to work?

Despite its problems, Charles Soule produced a fun enough read that gave us something new with The Pathfinders. Hopefully, Soule can flesh out the team more in future issues.

 Rating: C+

 

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