I don’t know about you guys, but that Rogue One trailer knocked my socks off. I feel like this December is going to be something Star Wars fans have never seen the likes of. Between all that excitement, not to mention the end of Marvel’s Darth Vader, it made it hard to sit down with the latest issue of Han Solo. In this fourth issue, Han and Chewie continue the Dragon Void race, which Leia has set up as a cover for them to extract informants in danger. SPOILERS AHEAD, AS ALWAYS…
Meet Dorae. We met her at the end of the last issue, as someone who seems to have unfinished business with Han and Chewie. Dorae has some history with the two smugglers, as well as the Neimoidian spy that is being extracted. As Han and Chewie’s adventures spread out across the galaxy in not only this comic series, but all the other Marvel titles they appear in, it’s cool to see how much history they have with a variety of different species and organizations.
As the conversation between the four of them gets more and more heated, the other pilots from the Dragon Void show up to intervene, or at least insist the race keep going. Loo Re Anno, the mysterious pilot who is champion of the Dragon Void, takes Han aside.
The strange, glowing orbs that seem to have taken a liking to Solo are referred to as his “witness”. Loo Re Anno suggests to Han that there is something greater for him, not only in this race, but in the galaxy itself. She has a very interesting family history, which she explains to Han as they talk. The history of the Dragon Void race becomes clear, and that it began as an event to unite different species of the galaxy. She never says anything about the Force, but her cosmic enlightenment seems to allude to a higher power of some sort. Us readers continue to learn that the Force does not simply exist to be wielded by the Jedi or Sith, but has other names and other beings it can move through.
Just as soon as Loo Re Anno leave, Han is back to business. Chewie seems to have repaired whatever bad blood was between them and Dorae. We find out that Dorae is a Rebellion sympathizer due to some unfortunate events on her home planet.
There is still another spy to collect, and as the Dragon Void counts down to resume, Han is forced to watch his eventual disqualification. With the words Loo Re Anno in his head, Han sacrifices his place in the Dragon Void race to do what is needed for the greater good. Our Neimoidian friend is still very skeptical about Dorae, and as he explains the plight to Han, a fresh batch of blaster fire interrupts the discussion.
The last of the Rebel informants makes their way aboard the Falcon, with Stormtroopers right on their tale. A mysterious young man accompanied by a Falleen bodyguard charged by Leia herself, U’Il. Han is not happy Leia hired someone behind his back to help out with the mission he thought he knew everything about. Between the comic titles and Rebels, we are learning more and more of how the Rebel Alliance is a cell-based structure. I don’t doubt we will see it’s organization evolve more and more into one cohesive unit, but it shows how unique the rendezvous in ROTJ is before the attack on the second Death Star. Perhaps future comic titles, since there will soon be several vacancies in the Marvel line-up, will touch more on the individual missions of these cells. I have a feeling Rogue One is going to open the doors for that, as well.
Han and crew launch just in time to begin the last leg of the race, with TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers right on their tail. Just as they resume the race, we find that there is someone on board the Falcon who should probably not be there. There’s no doubt that Han and Chewie are going to have their hands full with more than Imperial ships, but a double agent.
Han Solo has great cadence in terms of storytelling and moving the action along. There were many moments in this issue that could have been incredibly jumbled and confusing. There’s several pages of dialogue between characters that make it almost difficult to keep track of who is doing what, but Marjorie Liu’s writing and Mark Brooks’ art do a great job of guiding the reader through the twisting frames. By the end of the issue, I feel like the conclusion of this series is set up well. I’ve said it before that this was certainly not a series fans were begging for, with all the Han material we received in this new canon, but it’s a series that is really well done and has been enjoyable for us here at the SWNN comic staff. I think five issues will be just enough and I hope whatever new titles are in the pipeline are as well written and executed as Han Solo has been.