- With the Rebel base completely overtaken, our only hope is…
- …Leia…Sana…and APHRA?!?
- Can they save the Imperial prisoners? Do they want to?
The Rebel Jail arc of Marvel’s Star Wars continues this week in issue 18. The spoilers for the full issue follow, so proceed with caution.
Story by Jason Aaron
Art by Leinil Yu
Colors by Sunny Gho
Cover Art by Leinil Yu & Sunny Gho
The issue opens with Han and Luke delivering their nerf cargo which earns them enough money to cover what Han lost gambling and pay for Rebellion’s supplies. Han isn’t happy with no profit or with the state of his ship after their shaggy passengers left. The bickering between Han and Luke is amusing, especially seeing that Luke isn’t beyond a little blackmail to get Han let him fly the Falcon. It is nice to see their friendship develop and grow towards what we see in the Empire Strikes Back. I was a bit critical of their storyline in the previous issues, because it often interrupted the flow of the main events. Putting their story at the beginning was a good choice though and I quite enjoyed it.
Back at Sunspot Prison, the ladies have trouble not just with the attacking droids, but also with each other – especially Sana and Aphra.
May I say that I really enjoy these women together? Their dynamic is fantastic. The writers play to their strengths – with Aphra’s technical abilities and shiftiness, with Sana’s strength and typical smuggler’s sass. But, the star is, obviously Leia. She wants to save as many prisoners as she can, despite of these being some of the most horrible criminals and Empire’s servants. Her determination and strength showcase her ideals – she might be at war, but she never stoops to her enemy’s level. We saw in Vader Down that she was tempted, but managed to fight off these urges – for her friends. Yu’s art adds so much to our perception of Leia, I don’t think she was ever presented as such a badass in comics before, at least not in the new canon.
Meanwhile, the mysterious leader of the Sunspot Prison takeover is going through the cells killing prisoners by himself. In one of the maximum security cells, he finds a man who is convicted of killing three Jedi. Just a moment before he kills him, the bounty hunter reveals him the secret.
This is one point for the theory I have read online and which begins to seem more and more likely by every comic book panel – that the mysterious attacker is none other than Eneb Ray, spy for the Rebellion, of whom we learned in Star Wars Annual #1. Eneb Ray has witnessed Palpatine’s power first hand and on his own skin. Furthermore, he was sent on that assignment by Princess Leia. As he continues to murder the prisoners, the attacker is baiting Leia insinuating the connection between them.
The three ladies manage to break into the control room and save C-3PO and R2-D2. While Leia interrogates the hostile droids, the help arrives. Han and Luke have received the message Sana sent earlier. But, they too have one unexpected visitor.
The Rebel Jail is turning into a quite exciting arc. Put aside the fact that this is the side of the Rebellion we never saw before and Aaron is teaming up enemies as necessary allies, the story has a thread of mystery concerning the main antagonist. If he is telling the truth and had crossed paths with Leia before than Leia might face the consequences of her own actions. At the very least, she might witness the changes the war creates in people. If he is a former ally who went mad, how is this going to change Leia?
The Sunspot Prison is visually stunning and, also, the kind of location we haven’t seen before. I like everything Yu is doing art wise. He and Aaron are excellent team and I hope they will collaborate more within Star Wars galaxy.
I enjoy these shorter arcs a lot, because the story is tighter and more focused. Aaron brings the two storylines together before the culmination in the next issue that promises to be excellent. If you haven’t been reading it, this arc is the right moment to get the flavor of new Star Wars comics. The arc has only four issues and so far it’s excellent. Additionally, Princess Leia is the focus and those who were disappointed by her comic might be very pleasantly surprised.
• Will Leia be able to save a prison full of Imperial forces?
• Or will the mastermind of the takeover strike back against the Empire?
• Find out as “Rebel Jail” concludes!