Star Wars #11: Operation Starlight – Part III: The Last Hope
Imperial Commander Zahra is obsessed with tracking down and destroying Leia Organa, the rebel leader who she blames for her mentor Grand Moff Tarkin’s death. Meanwhile, the warrior princess struggles to create an uncrackable code to bring the scattered rebellion back together. Unfortunately that involves possibly killing the hybroid Lobot during the process, someone Lando is not willing to give up.
This issue is jam-packed with more starfighter action than a Tuskin can wave a Gaffi stick at. This is something the series has lacked so far, focusing more on planning and evasion. But now, it’s time to fight. Leia has formed a squadron of various famous rebels pilots from all over Star Wars canon, led by Wedge Antilles himself, the only X-Wing pilot to survive all three of the original Star Wars films. The new team is dubbed Starlight Squadron and sent out to be a thorn in the Empire’s side. However, Lando has decided it is not worth the risk to his friend, who is being drained of his power and life to help create a new means of untranslatable communications. The issue starts out with him pointing a gun at Kes Dameron and demanding they free his friend. While space battles play out elsewhere, inside the rebel cruiser the delicate standoff continues, all while Threepio continues working on the code Lobot is dying for.
This a very important chapter in this particular story arc. The first arc of this series stood to help prove to the Rebellion that Lando is not the scoundrel he is known to be. This second arc basically destroys that by showing his tendencies to make decisions out of self interest and possibly betray the rebels yet again. This issue pushed that concept almost to the edge. It is also important to start showing Wedge and some actual space fighting. The series is called Star Wars after all, so there should be battles. Sadly despite being such major characters, Wedge and some of the other pilots have been pushed to the background in the world of Star Wars comics. It’s nice to see them all back in the fight, in full focus, desperate a skirmish it most certainly is. This standoff and starfighting are a welcomed speeding up of pace after two issues that basically set up the plot for this to happen. The audience gets double the payoff, having two struggles that add to the intrigue with two different cliffhanger endings. This effectively serves to keep audiences coming back.
Charles Soule and his crew do another great job moving this story along, picking up the speed, yet still working a tone of action in. Getting such beautiful shots of rebel fighters maneuvering in space is a stark contrast to the tense situation on the rebel cruiser. The standoff has with less action and more facial and body language focus, as opposed to telling tales with sweeping spaceships alone. This issue also uses a lot of retro spot-shading as a nice touch. Not only does it harken back to the days of the original run of Star Wars comics, but it reminds the audience what medium they are enjoying. This gives the reader a cue to stop and appreciate the subtleties of this action packed issue. All of this together builds up to a solid well-balanced issue and a strong mid-arc chapter.
This issue ends with a possible betrayal from a beloved character and possible doom for another one. The Rebels now have the way to communicate with other factions of the Alliance, but a lot can change before Leia can expect rescue for her stranded group. It would also seem Lando has made up his mind as well, but a lot can change between now and next issue for him before the arc wraps up.
Star Wars #11: Of Scoundrels and Starfighters
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 6/106/10
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