One of the most impressive aspects of Marvel’s flagship Star Wars comic is its ability to capture the feel of the original trilogy without ever feeling like it’s stuck retreading familiar territory. That balancing act continues in issue #5, which also tackles the monumental challenge of re-introducing the most hyped character in the Star Wars universe: Boba Fett himself.
More from Star Wars Characters
- Every time Boba Fett has escaped the Sarlacc Pit
- Hayden Christensen discusses return to Anakin Skywalker
- 3 major ways the Star Wars Holiday Special changed canon
- Are Cassian and Jyn Star Wars’ most tragic potential romance?
- Celebrating 20 years of Asajj Ventress
To his credit, Jason Aaron pulls it off splendidly. As Luke returns to Tatooine to pay a visit to Obi-Wan’s desert home, Boba Fett is hot on his trail, interrogating local denizens in an effort to fulfill Darth Vader’s assignment and locate the pilot who destroyed the Death Star.
In a nice tonal inversion of A New Hope‘s cantina sequence, the bounty hunter effortlessly intimidates the bar’s patrons and successfully discovers Luke’s name and background. Fett’s actions are pushing this comic line into darker waters, as the cloned Mandalorian executes the young boy who spills the beans on Luke’s name and background.
But the darkness is counterbalanced with a more lighthearted story thread centering on Han and Princess Leia. With the Rebels on the run from the Empire, the two embark on an intergalactic journey in a search for a new location to set up a base. Although it’s great to see more of the simmering romance beneath the two characters’ verbal sparring, it does slow the issue down.
That is, until they run into a pair of TIE fighters. Despite flying incognito in an Imperial transport, Han and Leia are forced to go on the run and breach the atmosphere of a stormy red planet in the Monsua Nebula. Unfortunately, the mysterious agent chasing Han picks up their signal and gives pursuit as well.
Meanwhile, Fett finally catches up to Skywalker at Kenobi’s home and blinds the Jedi with a special explosive, although Luke isn’t yet aware of Fett’s presence. Talk about one hell of a cliffhanger.
Most of the environments are superbly rendered in this issue thanks to John Cassaday, especially the return to the Tatooine cantina. The only exception is the depiction of the Monsua Nebula, with its bright red thunderclouds, which are given a jarring pastel look that clashes with the rest of the coloring.
As the series pulls farther away from Episode IV and closer to Episode V, we’re not only seeing familiar characters and environments, but Aaron is beginning to serve up the darker elements that Empire pioneered 35 years ago. Judging by his handling of Boba Fett, which matches up perfectly with the character’s image and attitude, it looks like the comic is already settling in nicely.