I know, jumping in at issue #20 seems a bit odd. A lot of times, despite the catch up blurb in the front of the book, coming in this late in a series I would have absolutely no idea what was going on. But since it was Star Wars, I decided to take a chance. Like everyone else, I’ve seen the films numerous times, and I figured if I was ever going to be able to jump into a series this late, Star Wars would probably be a safe bet. I was right about that, but not on the reasoning: my familiarity with the characters and their universe was helpful, but mostly I was able to jump in because this book is just really well done.
Leia, Luke, Hans, and Chewy are en-route to a rendezvous with one of Leia’s childhood friends, Seren Song. Seren is a rebel agent who has been deep undercover almost since the start of the rebellion, and she’s got intel to pass over to Leia. The problem is, despite using code in their transmissions to each other, Seren doesn’t know she’s being trailed by a droid bounty hunter, and she’s unwittingly leading it straight to the Millennium Falcon as well.
While this book has some of the Han/Leia flirtation you would expect, and a bit of Luke-the-savior as well, what I really loved (apart from seeing Chewy’s vocalizations spelled out) was getting to know more about Leia through her interactions with Seren. It was also cool to see her in action, not only putting Han in his place, but also looking out for her friend and planning on how to get her back into active duty for the rebellion after a long absence. Leia is a strong leader, and this issue nailed that just in the course of a few conversations.
The art is also worth a mention: it’s clean, it’s bright and eye-catching, and it’s really visually appealing. Carlos D’Anda has captured the personalities of the familiar characters without drawing them to look exactly like the actors who portrayed them. For instance, Han is recognizable by more than just his outfit; there’s a stubborn set to his jaw and a way that he carries himself that just screams “Han Solo.” He’s done the same with Luke, Leia, and even Chewy (and making a Wookiee look like an individual is a feat that I didn’t think could be accomplished).
I don’t know if the rest of the series has been this great, but this issue made me want to pick up back issues to find out. Of course I’ve jumped in at the last possible moment, as this is the last issue of the series with Dark Horse. I can only hope it will be out in trade soon, because I give this one 4.5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
STAR WARS #20
Script: Brian Wood
Art: Carlos D’Anda
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Hugh Fleming
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 8/6/14