Review – The Story Comes to An End with the Whimper in Star Wars #75
FINAL ISSUE! It‘s a trap! The epic Rebels and Rogues storyline reaches its explosive end! Can Threepio save the rock people of K43? Is Warba the master or the student? Which Champion falls? And how much of Luke’s desperate plan has Darth Vader foreseen from the beginning? The search for a new rebel base continues!
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Phil Noto
After almost five years, seventy five issues and over a dozen story arcs, this run of Star Wars comic flagship has come to a close. And it’s not to the bang we hoped for.
As a culmination of Rebels and Rogues arc, this issue represents a natural conclusion – and that conclusion is not without excitement and surprise or two. As the issue opens, all our heroes and villains converge on K43. Both sides and the planet itself are affected by the energy blast the rock people created in the previous issue. The ships, droids and lightsabers are out of commission. What works is brute force and the Force, which is why Chewbacca does surprisingly well in his fight with Vader.
Luke’s newly found confidence is no match for Vader, though, and Chewie needs to come to the rescue and reunite them with the rest of our Rebels who are determined to use the chance to kill Vader. But, one thing didn’t change when Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vade – his determination. Vader manages to reverse the effects of the energy blast, reviving Artoo and Threepio in the process, while also restarting the detonators.
During the panicked evacuation, Luke returns for Artoo, only to almost fall into Vader’s hands again. The planet explodes, revealing the giant rock creature – the grandmother of all rock people. Boss Carpo joins the fray after Dar’s invitation and is consequently destroyed. Luke, whose X-wing is leaking air, is saved by Sergia rebels led by Warba. The rock people help the Rebels because of their respect for Threepio. The Empire withdraws. The Rebels are reunited above Hoth.
While reviewing the previous issue, I said that this finale had to do two things: lead us clearly to Hoth and protect the integrity of Vader’s character. While it did the latter, the former – just happened. At one moment, the Rebels are running for their lives, at the other, they are above what will be their new base.
Which leads me to see this arc and issue as less than satisfying conclusions to the entire comic run. Star Wars (2015) gave us some truly exciting story points that enhanced the movies we know and love: the crossover with Darth Vader when Vader learned Luke’s identity, Luke learning lightsaber fighting in gladiator’s arena, Leia fighting for her life in the Rebel jail, the Empire destroying the Rebel fleet, etc. It also added to the weird side of Star Wars when it took some bold swings which, granted, were not always to everyone’s taste. Who can forget the Force vampires or the first rock people we’ve met in Yoda’s arc. Undoubtedly, the comic had some ups and downs but on the average, in my opinion, it had more good story lines than inconsequential ones, which is why I found Rebels and Rogues slightly disappointing.
Hoth holds a special place in the experience of many Star Wars fans. The road to the new Rebel base was long and twisted and, in some cases, quite frustrating. I feel that it required an ending that gives you satisfaction, an ending that you can build from. When I reached the final page, I was left feeling empty, while at the same time hoping the upcoming one-shot Empire Ascendant will provide us with a more satisfying conclusion.
I admit that Pak and Noto were not given an easy task. In spite of my complaints, I recognize that even in this last issue they’ve managed to bring us certain elements that are purely Star Wars. The humor in this issue (and arc) is probably among the closest to the humor of the original movies: the giant carrying Millennium Falcon as if its a toy, the banter, Solo‘s sarcasm. The arc also gave us the progression of individual characters and relationships: deepening friendship between Threepio and Chewbacca, deepening feelings between Han and Leia which will culminate in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke gaining more knowledge and confidence while pulling others in his orbit, something true leaders do.
I am also glad the team chose not to kill any of the new characters, since both Dar Champion and Warba joined the Rebellion. I already like Dar a lot and Warba is growing on me, so I hope that the future writers and artists do something exciting with them. If the new comics did one thing right, it‘s that they gave us many new and exciting characters and Star Wars comic is no exception.
They say that a good story gives you satisfaction while leaving you wanting more. I‘d say that the results of this arc were mixed. In the end, every story must come to an end and pave the road for the new stories. As we come to an end of this story,
THIS ISSUE GETS 6.5 STARS.
I would have waited for Empire Ascendant to give the final rating to the overall comic, but since another reviewer will take that issue,
STAR WARS (2015) GETS OVERALL 7.5 RATING.