Luke and Aphra Have a Deadly Dinner Date in Marvel’s Star Wars #31

There are no new Star Wars comics hitting the shelves next week, so you get a double helping this week with Star Wars #31 and Poe Dameron #15. First up, Luke and Aphra continue their mission at the Screaming Citadel to unlock an ancient Jedi artifact in Jason Aaron’s Star Wars #31 (Screaming Citadel: Part 2) with art by Salvador Larroca. Spoilers ahead…




While I personally admire Aaron’s attempt of bringing genre-based storytelling into the Star Wars Universe, it was clear to me after reading a lot of your comments on Screaming Citadel: Part 1, that this story might end up being devisive among the fanbase. Even though some things have been a little weird, I like the horror aspect of this story, and so far, I feel that it has been a refreshing break from the status quo.



Granted, Aaron is no pioneer in this area, as horror stories have been told before in Star Wars with titles such as Death Troopers and Red Harvest by Joe Schreiber, but while those stories have horror elements – Aaron seems to be really going for it with this story arc. And what better medium to do it in? Is it weird? Absolutely. But comics in general tend to succeed in telling those larger-than-life tales where other mediums fail.



So far, this story has pulled heavily from the horror genre and Aaron seems to be checking off a great number of staples that give his tale its frightening and creepy vibe that makes those horror fans feel right at home. Vampire Queen? Check. Creepy Castle? Check. What about monsters? It’s got those too. A Zombie Gungan? A Two-headed Ithorian? A dinner that tries to eat you? Check, check, and check.



Hopefully though, moving forward, the story will remain grounded enough that these elements don’t feel too forced. Up to this point I feel these bits have been mostly successful, but we’ll need a really engaging story from now on to make us buy in to this as a Star Wars tale. Once again, I admire the ambition, and the change in pace is refreshing, but I hope it doesn’t grow stale by the arc’s conclusion.



In this issue, Luke and Aphra finally get their meeting with the Queen of the Citadel of Ktath’atn (translated “Screaming Citadel”), and things go about as you’d expect. The Queen is a collector of rare and unique oddities in the universe, and she jumps at Aphra’s proposal to give her the young Jedi in exchange for helping her open the artifact she found at the Temple of Rur.



Luke was obviously kept in the dark about the details of this exchange, but Aphra has a change of heart when it becomes apparent that the Queen intends to keep her as well. The queen sets a trap for the doctor and the would-be Jedi, but naturally, the two barely escape with their lives just in time to run head first into a swarm of alien monsters!



Meanwhile, Sana leads Han and Leia to the Citadel in an attempt to rescue Luke and Aphra, and the issue ends on a cliffhanger just as the rebels run into Aphra’s droids outside the Citadel.



One of the things I enjoyed about this issue was seeing Luke struggle with his Force abilities, for them only to awaken in times of great stress and turmoil. I think this is a necessary aspect for fans to grasp about Luke as a character, especially in light of the complaints about Rey’s unrealistic Force talents in The Force Awakens. It’s clear that Rey is no more powerful than Luke, as Luke is also able to harness the power of the Force in moments of great need and imminent danger.



Although Luke was absolutely unable to use the Force on command, when threatened with his life, his instincts kicked in and the Force began to flow through him. I think looking back once The Last Jedi is released, this will end up being very similar to Rey’s situation in The Force Awakens. I believe that The Last Jedi will find Rey struggling to use her abilities, much like Luke in his younger days.



I also enjoyed the artwork in this issue, which is surprising to me considering that I’m not a big fan of Larroca’s work. Sure there were some of those aggravating moments that I usually experience in his books where the faces of the characters are inconsistent and where the expressions of the movie-characters are almost direct copies of actual scenes from the films. But I found a lot of the panels in this issue to be quite gorgeous, a fact that is no doubt largely owing to Edgar Delgado’s brilliant coloring.



This story arc is not for everyone, and not everyone will agree on its necessity or value to the Star Wars canon. But not everyone has to. That’s the beauty of the wide range of storytelling that Disney/LFL/Marvel has opened themselves up to. They can do pretty much anything they want, and there is something out there for pretty much everyone to enjoy.


If the horror genre is not your thing or you can’t stomach the oddities within the pages of this comic, by all means skip out on this one. But if you like all things weird or are looking for something vastly different from the plethora of other Star Wars stories out there – give it a shot – it may surprise you.


Star Wars #31 is available on Comixology or in your local comic shop. Until next time comic fans…happy reading!





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Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

36 thoughts on “Luke and Aphra Have a Deadly Dinner Date in Marvel’s Star Wars #31

  • May 17, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Does anyone else think the faces looks kind of strange? They look a little too realistic compared to the rest of the artwork (especially compared to hair and clothing, since they’re right beside each other).

    • May 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      It looks really good. I love the artwork

    • May 17, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      This is actually pretty typical of Larroca’s work. I think this is mainly due to the colorist having to fill in a lot of the details with shading as his pencils seem to have very little detail other than the main features. I could be wrong, but I would say this is the main reason for the contrast.

      • May 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm

        As I mentioned above, I wonder if the artist uses actual images of the actors and pastes them in. There are tools that let you do this. I have no problem with this technique if done well. And I think it’s done pretty well here.

        • May 17, 2017 at 11:53 pm

          I dont know If he is the same artist. However there is one I have noted through the main series and the vader comic. Who obviously traces characters from movie stills.

          It was most obvious from the recent Yoda arc. There is one panel were Yoda is looking behind over his shoulder which has obviously been taken from AOTC.

          Personally, I dont like it. Its takes me out of the comic + it makes the art seem very sterile.

          I prefer comic art to be stylised (but not too stylsed as to the point were I cant just glance at the panel to understand what is being shown). For example, I love the art of the Solo Aphra series.

          • May 18, 2017 at 3:52 am

            Yes the art of the Aphra series is good: it’s a style that brings to my mind the slight caricature accent of Norman Rockwell.

          • May 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

            It is in fact the same artist. Larroca was the artist on Kieron Gillen’s entire Darth Vader run and is now working with Jason Aaron on the Star Wars title.

      • May 18, 2017 at 3:05 am

        Star Wars meets “Scanner Darkly”.

      • May 18, 2017 at 3:47 am

        Bingo! Great find. 🙂

    • May 18, 2017 at 1:52 am

      I like most of the faces except for Han’s looks off. When you look closely though the art seems to fall apart. From far away it looks fine. Han’s still looks off to me from this screen in the article.

  • May 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    The art is fine apart from the faces. They just don’t look right to me. It almost looks like the faces are CGI. That was my main issue with the book.

    • May 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm


  • May 17, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I was one of those people that expressed a not so favorable opinion on the writing and subject matter of this arc back on the SWNN article covering “Screaming Citadel Part I.” Since I already discussed that I won’t beat that drum again, but I did want to make a comment about the artwork of this issue. As much as I criticized the story elements of Part I, I felt that the artwork was incredible and I did complement the artists. While the artwork here is still good, it just doesn’t seem to be as good to me. At first look it appears to have more depth and an almost photo-realistic quality to it – but it also seems to have a somewhat plastic or “waxy” quality that I find a little distracting. Someone posted below that “It almost looks like the faces are CGI,” and that’s pretty good analogy. I don’t think it has as much charm as the artwork found in Part I.

    • May 17, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      Looks like the artist photoshopped in pictures of the original actors’ faces, or digitally traced them in. (There are tools that enable you to do this.) I don’t think this is a bad thing, and it can be neat if done well, and it’s interesting looking here.

      I just wonder what the deal is with the various depictions of Aphra. I take it that she’s supposed to look (in our world/reality) of East Asian ethnicity, but in some of the comics and covers of these Star Wars books she looks more Caucasian (or more “anime East Asian”, perhaps that is fairer, more accurate to say). They need to stick with a guideline (if they don’t already have one) for her ethnic features.

      • May 17, 2017 at 11:49 pm

        I agree regarding Aphras ethnicity. I didnt realise she was supposed to be eastern asian until her solo comic series. I thought she was caucasian throughout the vader series.

        I was in a similar situation with Sabine in Rebels. I has always assumed she Indian until we met her mother and brother in season 3 (who ar clearly eastern asain).

        • May 18, 2017 at 3:03 am

          There was this weird moment where I feel like the artist kept switching. I read Aphra pretty clear as Asian in the beginning, but in later stories she did come off as Caucasian. It’s like some of them didn’t get the memo during production.

        • May 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

          There are a number of panels in the Vader comic where I thought she looked Asian. Her own comic cements her ethnicity, although, strangely enough, I have the impression the covers portray her as Caucasian, even if most variant covers don’t.

          And I actually had the same reaction to Sabine you did.

    • May 17, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Personally, I prefer comic art to a tad more stylised than what we get in this comic. (eg I love the art style of the actual Aphra series).

      To me this attempt atp hotorealism (while not bad at all) just seems very sterile. I dont know if he is the same artist, but there is an artist I have noted from the Vader series tot he main series, who has obviously just traces from still form the films (there are obviousl panels of Yoda taken from ATOC); it allways takes me out of the comic.

  • May 18, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Okay WOW this! Is art!

  • May 18, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Mayhew still has the best artwork. The artist who worked on the Star Wars Obi-Wan arc.

    • May 18, 2017 at 2:00 am

      I’m more of a Larazz fan myself. I thought the Kanan comic was beautiful.

  • May 18, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I honestly fell off the main series after Vader Down. There are only so many believable stories that you can tell between this time period. Almost every single comic takes place between ANH and ESB. It’s time to mine something else. It’s becoming really unbelievable.

    • May 18, 2017 at 2:17 am

      3 years is a good bit of time.

    • May 18, 2017 at 3:01 am

      View it like TCW series, which was the same amount of years as the time length between ANH and ESB.

      Look at all the crazy stuff that happened in that timeline.

  • May 18, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Two words: Zombie Jar-Jar!

  • May 19, 2017 at 12:00 am

    just a quick one to whine about how I hate Larocca’s art. Kev Walker is doing such a superb job on a regular Aphra series, his drawings are very cartoonish, yet mature and engaging while Larocca is, I guess a bit more realistic, but man, are the faces off in the stuff he draws. also, the coloring in this particular one.. I dunno, as a comic fan it’s really hard for me to give this a pass just because it’s SW. I hate to say this but I really feel that, say 85% of DH stuff, was waay better quality-wise than anything Marvel released so far..

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