Having narrowly escaped the Imperial forces invading Aquilae, Jedi-Bendu General Luke Skywalker and his comrades have set a course for the Ophuchi system. But before they can reach the safety of the Chrome Companies, which have pledged their support in the fight against the Empire, they find themselves under attack by pursuing Imperial fighters.
An interesting thing happened to me while reading this issue… I enjoyed it. Those of you who've read my previous reviews for this series know that I've been pretty disappointed in it so far and consider it on the whole to be a missed opportunity. But this issue dumped most of what hasn't worked and focused on a straightforward adventure story featuring just the main characters.
And it worked fantastically. From the asteroid pursuit to Annikin's battle with the wookiee chieftain, this issue was just fun to read. It also sets up the conclusion to the series very well.
I'm beginning to run out of ways to praise the amazing artwork always on display in this series. In spite of my general dislike for the overall story, Nick Runge's covers never fail to convince me that this is a series I want to read. Something about them is always so exciting. He captures the spirit of this project perfectly every month. Even here, when the cover image is taken from one of the story's more ludicrous elements, his representation of the event gives it an ethereal, mythic quality. It's beautiful, and worthy of appreciation.
Equally worthy of appreciation is the artwork of Mike Mayhew, whose images consistently elevate the story material and always keeps me entertained while reading the series. His pencils for the portions of the story set on Yavin are particularly impressive. The way he draws the lush foliage surrounding the characters marries brilliantly with colorist Rain Beredo's verdant greens. Their combination already has me anticipating how awesome the upcoming battle between the wookiees and the Empire is going to look splashed across the pages of the next issue.
This issue worked for me. While it still contained some of the same dialogue issues that have plagued this series since its start, there weren't as many of them and they weren't as obvious as they have been in the past. For the first time in a while, I'm actually looking forward to the next issue.
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