Marvel’s Star Wars #4: Review


After taking readers on a white-knuckle adventure over a stellar three-issue arc, Marvel’s flagship Star Wars comic line takes a breather with this latest entry as it arranges the pieces for some huge developments next week.

It’s tough times for both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The former is still reeling from the destruction of the first Death Star and the decimation of a weapons factory on Cymoon 1, a plan carried out by Han, Luke, Leia and the rest of the gang in the previous three issues. In light of the damages, Darth Vader visits Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine to strike a deal with the gangster to keep the Imperial supply lines flowing.

Meanwhile, Rebel leaders fear that their attacks have done little to weaken the Empire, prompting Princess Leia to continue pushing for new offensives. But she’s not getting much cooperation from her friends. Han still doesn’t feel like a part of the Alliance, and Luke is full of doubt after he was dismantled by Vader on Cymoon 1. Still unconvinced that he has what it takes to become a Jedi, Luke decides to return to Tatooine to see if he can find the answers he’s looking for.

But the Skywalker child isn’t the only one searching for answers on the desert planet. An unknown female rogue, her face hidden behind a mask, extracts some information from a group of Rodians about the whereabouts of Han Solo. And later on, those same Rodians receive an even more threatening visitor who wants information on Luke Skywalker: the one and only Boba Fett.

It’s a bit jarring for the series to shift its engines into neutral after charging full speed ahead with the multi-segment assault on Cymoon 1. And it doesn’t help that this issue is more focused on where characters are headed rather than where they are now.

There are also several scenes that feel too much like a retread of old material. Star Wars #4 begins with Vader making a trip to Jabba the Hutt’s palace, a scene that also took place in the first issue of the Darth Vader comic series. It makes plenty of plot sense that the Sith Lord and the Hutt are no strangers to each other during this time period, but their encounter here is devoid of tension and bears little difference from their previous meeting in the earlier comic.

The lack of urgency in this issue is compensated somewhat by the appearances of Fett and the mysterious woman after Han Solo, ratcheting up the anticipation for the next issue. It’s unclear exactly why this mysterious figure wants Han, but from the subtle anger in her words, it sounds like this is a personal mission, not some random bounty job.

Star Wars #5 is out on May 20.

Random Thoughts:

  • The unlucky Rodians who run into the mystery woman and Fett are not big fans of Han Solo either, as they are friends of Greedo. I’m willing to bet they’re in the camp that says Han shot first.
  • At the tail end of last month’s issue, we got a glimpse of a box with contents intended for Luke at Ben Kenobi’s house. No word this month on what could be inside, but it seems like it could be at the center of the inevitable showdown between Luke, Fett and Vader next month.
  • “Who knew anyone of note was ever born on Tatooine, eh?” Jabba jokes to Vader aboard his sail barge. I really like the twin suns reflected in Vader’s eyes, too.
  • Not only do Vader and Jabba reference their previous meeting in Darth Vader #1, but the mission that the Sith Lord gave Fett in that same comic (find Luke Skywalker) is about to bear fruit in this series. I hope Marvel continues to weave these connections throughout all of its Star Wars comics line. It makes the universe feel more inhabited and alive.

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