REVIEW: "Star Wars #13: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: The Hunt for Han Solo" by Charles Soule
This issue continues the preludes to the upcoming "War of the Bounty Hunters" mini-series. As such, it did its job in setting us up a bit for what comes next. Chewie, Luke, C-3PO, and R2-D2 travel to Nar Shaddaa on a tip that Boba Fett (the man who possesses Han's carbonite-frozen body) has been fighting in the Garkata Fighting Arena. Unfortunately, the man went by Jango and left no other identifying information with the Arena personnel. But that's not all that's unfortunate...the Pa'lowick who runs the entry gate calls in some Kanji once she feels like our Rebel crew has been asking too many questions. A firefight ensues and the visuals are off the charts good, especially the lightsaber action!! I definitely felt drawn into the story.
In addition to the hunt for Han, and consequentially Boba Fett, R2 has a special message for Luke--the locations of all known Jedi outposts!! According to Luke, there's enough in R2's databanks to keep them busy for decades. Hopefully we'll get to see some of these adventures in the stories to come!
One gripe I had with this issue was the excessive exposition from C-3PO. He's one of my absolute favorite characters but I feel like this issue went a bit overboard with his verbosity. Going into the 6 million forms of communication spiel a couple of times just seems out of place and overbearing. Luke knows C-3PO's capabilities and so does not need 3PO to explain to him that he can be his translator. This whole bit felt very odd to me. I did love this quote though, "my translation skills will be absolutely essential on this mission! What a pleasure to fulfill my primary function." He is such a precious character. I adore that he gets so much happiness from doing what he was made to do!
My second gripe is that the title crawl contained plot points about Shara Bey being on the Star Destroyer, yet her story was never once addressed in the entire issue. I guess this is because, although being a continuation of the "Star Wars" comic series, this issue is also a prelude for a mini-series so its main focus was to help set up the new storyline, not tie in loose ends from the current storyline. I'm sure they'll get back to Shara Bey in the next issue anyway. I just thought it odd to include her predicament in the title crawl period.
On an awesome note, there are tons of canon connections throughout!! My favorite is the inclusion of the Wookiee Sagwa who Chewie rescued from the Spice Mines of Kessel in Solo!!! He happens to be Chewie's contact on Nar Shaddaa!! I was so excited to see him reappear in canon. Then there's of course the mention of the planet Elphrona where Luke found his current yellow lightsaber, a planet found in both the "Rise of Kylo Ren" comic mini-series as well as the High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi. R2's message about the Jedi outposts potentially connects to Force Awakens in that R2 says the database came from his time on the Death Star--maybe this is how he got the map to Ahch-To... Wait, a second, he's had this info for over 3 years?!? What has he been doing with it all this time??? Lastly, the Kanji connects to Kanjiklub from The Force Awakens as they were a group of people who freed themselves from the Kanji Hutts. At this point in the timeline, the Kanji Hutts still control a bunch of people. That's a pretty hefty list of canon connections and I could only be happier if there had been a connection to Rogue One.
So overall, a visually engaging read with some exciting canon connections. It'll definitely be interesting to see how all these different storylines connect throughout the upcoming "Bounty Hunters," "Darth Vader," and "Doctor Aphra" preludes, as well as, of course, the "War of the Bounty Hunters" mini-series itself.
MY SCORE: 7.5/10 because while the visuals were great and the canon connections were a lot of fun, nothing really happened in this story except a lot of action. Nothing truly new was revealed or hinted at. I feel like they're promising us a lot with this cross-over event and I just hope that it gives us a unique story that feels integral to the mythos...I guess that's a pretty tall order...I should probably temper my expectations! But regardless, I'm still enjoying the story so far.
"Star Wars #13: War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude: The Hunt for Han Solo" written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Ramon Rosanas and Rachelle Rosenberg
I am so excited to have joined the Beyond the Blast Doors Star Wars conversation! As a person who is deeply passionate about every aspect of the galaxy far, far away, I'm always looking for ways to spread my Star Wars joy and love.
I've spoken at cons and written articles on a variety of Star Wars topics but one of my biggest passions is the canon literature. I hope to help you find your way through the Maelstrom because what is out there is truly amazing!