Story: Mark Waid
Art: Terry Dodson
What They Say:
Leia’s mission leads to the underground world of Sullust! The Empire’s forces are on her trail and gaining! Join the galaxy’s toughest Princess on a quest to save her people!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a couple of rescues already in place, Leia has been interesting to watch in this series as she moves towards ensuring as many of her people survive as possible. The idea that the Empire would hunt down Alderaanians is a smart one to work with, one I’m not sure was explored in the Expanded Universe much, as it gives her a real mission to focus on between the film storylines. Her work with Evaan so far has been solid and it’s provided a very engaging series as the two are very different, but you can see how each impacts each other just right. For Evaan, it’s not Leia’s words that are winning her over, reluctantly as it may be, but rather her actions. And Leia is all about putting her words into action and getting results. And that driving motivation is what continues to make the series engaging.
After the encounters so far and the pickup that’s been made on Naboo, it’s now shifted us to Sullust where there’s an enclave of Alderaan citizens operating in a highly protected underground cavern with plenty of surveillance to help make them feel secure. Leia’s arrival there with a guide, Evaan and R2 is certainly not met well overall because after all of the recent events, there’s a huge amount of distrust towards anyone that’s not a part of this group. Leia’s efforts to bring them into the fold are a little blunt and unformed, but the woman leading the Sullust group, Jora, isn’t exactly open to reason or listening to anyone at all at this point. This group is just plain fearful and ready for action. Which is good, because we know there’s an unaware traitor aboard Leia’s ship in orbit that’s talking to her sister, not realizing she’s being betrayed. That has its own intriguing actions but plays well as a subplot.
While the previous issues felt like they flowed well, this one feels just a little off with its quick arrival on Sullust, the background Imperial material and then the quickly harsh side that Jora presents. There’s some good banter along the way between Leia and Evaan about things, but Jora takes it to a radical direction quickly and while they’re not outright trying to kill Leia, it wouldn’t be construed as a bad thing either. This has Leia and Evaan on the run for a bit, using local creatures to build their chance to change their position and to cope with an Imperial assault by stormtrooper. What I do like is seeing another flavor of survivor from Alderaan and the kind of uneasy relationship they’d have with Leia, both for her politics and her actions, never mind if they knew what she actually had done. but here, it just feels like it moves in awkward directions.
While not a misstep for the series, it’s the kind of issue where things stumble just enough to notice and it takes you out of the momentum that had been building. What we get here is solid enough and I’d certainly want to know more about this group of survivors, but they’re presented in such a distinct way that they have to crumble in order to move forward, which isn’t all that engaging. There’s a harsh side to Jora that one can totally understand, but as presented it’s not compelling and borders on caricature. Sullust has plenty of room for exploration and I’d love to see more of it through this lense though. Leia and Evaan are the real stars here once again though, and with some beautiful artwork and panel layouts to keep it moving and very dynamic, even when it stumbles like this the book is simply a beautiful read.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: April 29th, 2015