Review – Say Good Bye to Shu-Torun, Hello to Hoth in Star Wars #67
“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.
Writen by Kieron Gillen
Art by Angel Unzueta
Colors by Guru-eFX
The sixty-seventh issue of Star Wars marks the end of “The Scourging of Shu Torun” arc as well as the ending of Kieron Gillen’s stint on the flagship comic. Gillen closes some story lines he started all the way back in the original Darth Vader series and opens a road which leads us closer to the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
When we last left our heroes, R2-D2 sliced the reactor to save Luke and now the Partisans have what they wanted – everyone on the planet will be destroyed together with them and the rebels. Luke says that the droid should have left him to die and doesn’t understand Artoo’s energetic response.
Leia, Han and the rest of the rebels discuss the seriousness of their situation; they are caught between Trios’ people trying to reach them and Kanchar’s orbital bombardment. Tunga uses the opportunity to dash towards the ship they came with. It seems that he wants to escape, but he is planning to act as a decoy. Transforming himself into Leia, he manages to distract Kanchar before he is seemingly destroyed.
Tunga’s sacrifice is sufficient to enable Chewbacca to pick up the rebels and transport them to the Spike. Han and Leia intend to save Luke and stop Benthic, but they are outnumbered. Leia attempts to reason with the Partisan leader. She tells Benthic that his argument is exactly the same as Tarkin’s: fear that would keep dissenters in line. If they destroy Shu-Torun, they would become like the Empire and then their dream would truly be destroyed.
Leia’s words shake the Partisans and Benthic decides they should go back to her original plan. The Spike is destroyed, but the planet and its people are saved. Yet, they face the Imperial blockade and the entire host of TIE fighters. Their options are limited.
Han decides to fly through the still collapsing tunnel through Shu-Torun. They have a small chance to fly through to the other side. Kanchar’s forces follow them through, but flimsy, unshielded TIEs have no chance. Han manages to fly the Millennium Falcon through and jump to hyperspace. While the rebels celebrate, Luke hears Artoo and C-3PO talking. The little droid repeats the phrase he told Luke at the beginning of the issue. C-3PO translates Artoo’s wisdom to him.
Vader arrives to question Kanchar on his strategy. While the Empire took everything they needed from Shu-Torun, he bombarded the whole castle for a small group of rebels. Kanchar say he will not rest until Leia and her friends are dead, but Vader has other plans, especially for one of ‘Leia’s friend’. Kanchar is disposed of with a good old signature Force-choke.
The rebels are saying good bye to Benthic and Partisans. They choose not to go back to Jedha, but to Outer Rim planet Salobea, making its first appearance in this issue. Before he leaves, Han reminds Benthic that they have met before, when Benthic was a hero and a member of Cloud Riders (Solo: A Star Wars Story). It is an interesting insight into two men whose backstories aren’t completely dissimilar. It was good to see Han being the ‘wise’ one for a change and how he slowly, but surely accepts his true motivation for helping rebellion.
In a small twist near the end of the issue, we return to Shu-Torun where unhappy members of Central Isopter wonder why the Force led them there if they were not going to witness Armageddon. They discover trapped, but alive Tunga and, to his dismay, welcome him to their cult.
Back on Home One, sick of the adventures, Meorti returns to her duties and the rest of our main group gets another task from Mon Mothma, a recon mission. General Dodona (RIP) has being preparing for the future and made the list of potential rebel bases. Planet Hoth is on the list.
Since 2015, Kieron Gillen has managed to leave considerable mark on the world of Star Wars. From the first Darth Vader run under new management to Doctor Aphra (he also wrote story about her for From A Certain Point of View) and, since Ashes of Jedha arc, Star Wars, Gillen has treated us to surprising amount of development for existing characters, colorful original characters (Aphra, Trios and Tunga are some of them) and stories that you could easily imagine on screen. His plot driven stories sometimes lacked the flash, but the substance is what really mattered. We wish Mr Gillen luck in his future endeavors and if he, in the future, finds his way back to galaxy, far, far away again, we will welcome him with open arms.
The final issue of this arc left me with only two minor quibbles. First, I wish we could spend a couple of more panels on Leia/Benthic argument. Though it doesn’t ring false, it feels a little bit rushed. On the other hand, I have never complained about Unzueta’s art (unlike Larroca), though I could see how it wasn’t for everyone. I do like his ‘movie shots’ like the last panel of the comic. However, Guru e-FX’s colors got out of hand in this issue, making some of the panels seem rather kitschy. There is a value in restraint.
That aside, Gillen closed the pages on Shu-Torun and Trios which started back in Darth Vader (2015) and left a few threads dangling for his successors, like Tunga’s fate or partisan’s future. And, of course, Hoth.
As we say good bye to Gillen and Shu-Torun and hello to home world of tauntauns…
THIS ISSUE GETS 8/10 STARS.