Shu-Torun Queen and Rebellion Princess Clash in Star Wars #66
“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 5. QUEEN TRIOS vs. PRINCESS LEIA at last! Can LUKE SKYWALKER hold out against the attack of overwhelming force…from his own allies?! And when you think things couldn’t get worse for our Rebels, there’s always an orbital bombardment to survive!
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Angel Unzueta
Colors by Guru-eFX
Readers following Marvel’s flagship run have been waiting for the events of this issue since Hope Dies arc. Trios, queen of Shu-Torun, deceived Leia and betrayed the Rebellion, leading to almost complete destruction of their fleet. We have anticipated the retribution for a while now. But, things are rarely simple for our heroes: between the Empire and their own deceiving allies, our heroes are in quite a pickle.
The issue opens with the trio of members of Central Isopter cult, circling near the Spike like vultures in anticipation of approaching destruction and death.
At the same time, Han and Leia are fighting the approaching Shu-Torun forces next to the Imperial Retreat. Han complains that ‘heroic death’ was not in his plans. The orbital bombardment suddenly begins, confusing both sides.
Trios is informed that Kanchar’s ship is bombarding her planet. She contacts him and orders him to stand down. Kanchar inquires about the whereabouts of Leia and other Rebels. Trios tells him that dealing with those in the Spike is much more important. For a minute, it seems things are resolved and Trios can concentrate on dealing with infiltrators. But, Kanchar resumes bombardment. It is unfortunate, he says, that Trios is on the same location but, if she dies, he could and would be replaced by another aristocrat. He, however, must ensure that Leia doesn’t escape.
In the meantime, the Rebels must hold their position since Chewbacca still cannot contact Luke. Luke and Artoo are on the run from the partisans who need the droid in order to destroy the Spike and, with it, the planet. Luke tells Artoo to hide while he draws the partisans away from him, since without the droid they cannot destroy the planet.
Shu-Torun forces manage to enter the inner halls of the retreat. Trios orders soldiers to attack Han and other Rebels while she deals with Leia personally.
Trios attacks Leia with ferocity and rage, convinced the princess planned the destruction of her planet. Even though we know that Leia didn’t do that, queen’s outrage is so hypocritical that it put my teeth on the edge.
But, Trios is nothing more hypocritical than Benthic who captures Luke and reprimands him for defending himself. Benthic broadcasts message for Artoo: if he doesn’t surrender and assist them, he will kill Luke.
Leia realizes that Trios is not behind the bombardment. The queen explains that even if she fails, Kanchar will end them and prevent the destruction of the planet. She doesn’t believe that Leia didn’t order the destruction of Shu-Torun. The desperation of Trios and her soldiers is not a match for more level-headed Rebels. The soldiers are easily dispatched and Leia manages to mortally wound Trios.
At the end of her life, the queen seem to regret her actions which doomed her world. If she died with her family, at least Shu-Torun would live. Leia promises her that Rebels would not allow its destruction. Han is doubtful that they can do something about it.
Artoo surrenders to the partisans. Luke tries to order him and then begs him not to comply with Benthic’s request, saying that his life does not matter compared to the entire planet. Yet, Artoo feels it does. The things get heated both inside and outside the Spike while the members of the death cult observe.
We have come a long way with Queen Trios of Shu-Torun since her first appearance in Darth Vader Annual #1. In order to preserve her planet and her people, Trios has embraced the ruthlessness of the Empire and end justifies the means policy. We see from her reaction in this issue when Kanchar betrays her, that Trios didn’t have any illusions about her allies, especially after dealing with Vader in the past. But, it seems too that she forgot about the consequences: If you lie down with the Devil, you will wake up in hell. And Trios’ good intentions cannot erase the consequences of her actions, leading to her planet being on the brink of destruction.
Part of me was more partisan than Jedi when reading this issue. My vengeful heart wanted Leia to impart more pain on Trios after everything she’s done. However, after reflecting, the realization that she might have had hand in destruction of her home seems like more than just punishment. I don’t deny though that I enjoyed Unzueta’s depiction of ladies in action a lot. Unzueta did justice to Shu-Torun’s apocalyptic landscapes as well which coupled with Guru-eFX’s colors take your breath away. But, he particularly excels in facial expressions which easily convey characters’ emotions.
Trios’s character arc also serves as a reflection for Leia. The princess’ decision to destroy Shu-Torun’s economy as a vengeance against the queen might lead to her sharing the blame for planet’s destruction with Trios and similar tragic fate. The difference is that Leia still might have time to do the right thing and change the outcome. This is what I like about Kieron Gillen’s writing over the several past arcs: the characters are constantly in the flux, changing and learning with every defeat or victory. That is especially commendable achievement with these characters with which audiences have lived for over 40 years. I will be sad to see him go to the new pastures after the next issue.
We know that the Rebels will manage to escape, but will they be able to prevent the complete destruction of Shu-Torun and potential genocide? Will they once again be saved by Artoo’s quick thinking? We will have to wait for the answers, but until then…
THIS ISSUE GETS 7.5/10 STARS.
“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 6
The fate of an entire world is in the hands of the REBELS!
And even then, can anyone manage to escape the Scourging of SHU-TORUN?
The cataclysmic end of KIERON GILLEN’s run on STAR WARS.