Star Wars #33 Review

By
comic books:
Tom Bacon

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 5, 2017
Last modified:July 5, 2017

Summary:

Issue #33 is a wonderful character driven tale starring Luke and Leia and one of the strongest Star Wars comics to date.

A skilled writer carefully paces out their story. The big events – like “The Screaming Citadel” – are inevitably followed by quiet moments of reflection, giving readers a chance to catch their breath. That’s what Jason Aaron gives us in Star Wars #33.

This is a wonderful, character-centric story of the type we don’t often get in modern-day comics. Fleeing from the Empire, Luke and Leia crash land on a waterworld with only the one island. As TIE Fighters sweep across the planet hunting them down, the two must somehow manage to survive. Unfortunately, in a true Star Wars touch, they don’t realize that this waterworld is inhabited.

It’s a wonderful tale from top to bottom, and Jason Aaron takes the time to dive into Princess Leia’s thoughts in a way we haven’t seen since Mark Waid’s Princess Leia miniseries. There are so many effective character moments here, with Luke and Leia laid side by side on the beach talking, and we can’t help but realize how similar the twins are. Aaron puts a lot of thought into what survival skills Luke and Leia will have learned over the course of their lives, right down to Luke’s background as a moisture farmer meaning they won’t be short of drinking water.

As a longterm Star Wars fan, I can’t help approaching this issue with a sense of nostalgia. The waterworld is deliberately reminiscent of one explored in the old classic Marvel Star Wars series (albeit lacking in pirates). What’s more, some of the camping scenes reminded me of Alan Dean Foster’s classic Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Unlike Foster, of course, Aaron knows that Luke and Leia are siblings, and he avoids giving us awkward romantic moments.

It’s as the story goes on, though, that Aaron gives artist Salvador Larroca the chance to strut his stuff. He reveals that the waterworld is actually inhabited, and soon we’re diving into the depths to see a coral world. Larroca revels in it, while colorist Edgar Delgado has a blast. I love the contrasts; the pinks of the nebula, the greens of the jungle, the blue-greens of the sea. The undoubted standout moment is when Luke Skywalker stands in front of the fire, lightsaber in his hand. Larroca renders it beautifully, and Delgado’s colors create a superb sense of flickering light.

As the book draws to a close, with Luke and Leia taking on the Empire, I’m reminded of the Vietnam War inspiration for Star Wars. It’s the military might of the Empire against the scrappy Rebels, and as ever the Empire fall before a guerrilla assault. That side of Star Wars was mostly forgotten until Rogue One, and now it’s clearly in vogue again.

I realize character issues aren’t to everyone’s taste, but personally I’ve always held that these are the issues where a team show what they can do. No panel can be wasted in a good character story, and every member has to work in sync with the rest. These are the books that prove the quality of an artistic team, and in this case — the team’s star has shone brightly indeed.

Star Wars #33 Review
Top Honors

Issue #33 is a wonderful character driven tale starring Luke and Leia and one of the strongest Star Wars comics to date.

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