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SPOILER SWNN Review: Marvel's Star Wars #19

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Books & Comics + Legends' started by Hard Case, May 26, 2016.

  1. Hard Case

    Hard Case Porg Whisperer
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    This week marks the conclusion of the “Rebel Jail” story arc in Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars series by writer Jason Aaron and artist Leinil Francis Yu.

    In the aftermath of “Vader Down”, Darth Vader’s associate Dr. Aphra was captured by Princess Leia, and in “Rebel Jail”, Aphra is delivered by Leia and Sana the mercenary to a hidden rebel prison that houses Imperial war criminals. The institution gets its name, Sunspot Prison, from its proximity to a nearby star that masks its location from the Empire.

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    Shortly after their arrival, a mysterious masked warrior breaks into the prison. Aaron leads readers to believe that the new character has arrived for Dr. Aphra, but in a surprise reveal of his true motivations, he is actually a disgruntled rebel who has every intention of killing all of the Imperial prisoners on board and teaching Leia the error of her ways. The newcomer has grown weary of the way that Leia continues to lead the Rebellion, believing the rebels to be fighting a war they cannot win unless their ruthlessness is equal to that of their enemy.

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    The story finds Leia, Sana, and Aphra working together to survive the assault and to stop their new enemy from accomplishing his deadly goal, and in the final pages of the last issue (#18), Han Solo and Luke Skywalker came to the rescue, which is where we find our heroes in issue #19. However, in a twist of reader expectations, we discover at the beginning of this issue that Luke and Han have been apprehended by the mercenary and once again prove that rescue attempts are not their strong suit. But just like back at the Death Star, somebody had to save their skins, and the princess proves equal to the task.

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    This whole issue takes place in the prison’s hanger bay as things begin to come to a head in the conflict with the masked mercenary. Han and Luke are bound to the Falcon while the trio of ladies are forced to confront the villain, who promises to let them go free if Leia executes Aphra. Although Leia refuses to give any moral high ground, Sana is more than ready to comply and pulls her blaster on the doctor.

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    Now, Leia finds herself having to reason with Sana as well, who despite her claims of it being “nothing personal”, is definitely harboring some ill will toward Aphra. If there was any question before, it becomes more obvious in this issue that the two women previously had a romantic relationship, although Aaron is rather vague on the specifics.

    We also discover in this issue the identity of the mysterious attacker. For the typical Star Wars fan, the reveal of the masked man’s identity won’t mean a whole lot, but for those who read Star Wars Annual #1 last December, they may remember this former Rebel spy who posed as an Imperial on Coruscant.

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    Panel from Star Wars Annual #1
    Eneb Ray is a completely different character than when we last saw him, both physically and mentally. He has somehow become disfigured and disillusioned in his secret fight against the Empire, which no doubt has led to his more openly violent approach today. He still hates the Empire and now will stop at nothing to bring it down, even if it means some collateral damage along the way.

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    “Rebel Jail” has been one of my favorite arcs in Marvel’s Star Wars run to date and Yu’s art has been fantastic (even though I’m a little perplexed at the amount of thigh gap with Leia). However, although I enjoyed it overall, I did feel that this issue was lacking a little in terms of bringing a wholly satisfying conclusion. I liked the reveal of Eneb Ray, and Leia was appropriately awesome as usual, but there were many elements that fell flat for me. It’s not that it was a bad issue – I guess I just had higher hopes for the conclusion of the story.

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    In short, here is the plot of the entire issue: Leia fights Ray, Aphra fights Sana, Luke and Han are useless, and R2-D2 saves the day as always, giving our heroines the edge they need to succeed and once again proving that Naboo did contribute something to the galaxy other than Jar Jar Binks, creepy lovesick Anakin, and ridiculous hair extensions. That is one extremely well put together little droid. I was a little disappointed with the lack of Han and Luke in the issue though. I mean, I get the whole girl power thing with this story line, but it was a little forced in the end.

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    This issue was okay, and is still a must read for fans following the series and especially the current storyline. Otherwise though, I recommend just checking out the next story arc on the horizon, “The Last Flight of the Harbinger” which gets a nice little tease in the final pages of this issue. The next story arc will feature an elite special forces unit of stormtroopers led by Kreel, the undercover stormtrooper that Luke encountered in the “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon” story arc. In the end stinger, the elite troopers arrive days later at an abandoned Sunspot Prison looking for one of their own, Kolar Ludd a.k.a. “The Depopulator”, who was subdued by Leia in issue #17.

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    But before checking out the next arc in July, be sure to read the Journals of Obi-Wan interlude in Star Wars #20 next month. For the other two Obi-Wan side stories, check out Star Wars #7 and #15. Until next time, may the Force be with you. Be sure to support your local comic shops and stay tuned to Star Wars News Net for more Star Wars comic reviews!

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    #1 Hard Case, May 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  2. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    I think it was implied that Eneb became disfigured after Palpatine hit him with the Dark Side. Apparently, the effect wasn't immediate. It obviously warped his mind as well.

    I was actually glad that Han and Luke were useless. The point was that the women could take care of themselves in spite the odds. If Han and Luke saved them, what was the point? The most impressive was that Leia stood by her ideals. Killing Eneb (and Aphra) would have been an easy way out. I wonder if we will see Eneb again - probably, because his escape was implied. I thoroughly enjoyed this arc and not just because of Yu's wonderful art. But, I agree that the issue lacked some oomph at the end after all that exciting setup.

    Also, it was clear that Sana behaved as a spurned lover from the get go. And I liked the dynamic between the three women. I wondered how Aphra ended up on Cosmatanic Steppes as Thanoth claimed. Now we know.

    I cannot wait for more Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan vs. Black Krrsantan - that is going to be something! Plus, I wonder if Luke and "gamemaster" will meet again.
     
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  3. Hard Case

    Hard Case Porg Whisperer
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    I agree with you about showcasing the women to show their strength. That concept was key to this whole storyline. However, to make the men look weak by comparison was a bit unnecessary and looking back Han and Luke were completely non essential and could have been omitted from this story altogether which I would have preferred. And yes...I too am ready for some more Obi-Wan!
     
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  4. PrincessLeiaCB3

    PrincessLeiaCB3 The Princess that was Promised
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    Great review @Hard Case ! I'd lie if I say that I didn't scream "I KNEW IT!" when I got to the part where we find who is the mysterious prison attacker.

    Lol at least in this series we sort of get where Leia got that funny moniker for Han in ESB (nerf-herder!).

    What I liked from this comic series was how they focused on the importance of holding on to one's ideals vs "the end justify the means" approach. We saw it from the first issue where Sana and Leia have this conversation about the treatment for Dr. Aphra, where Leia said "Humanity isn't the same as weakness". In Leia's eyes, not because you belong to the Empire you deserve to die and to be treated the same way the Empire would treat a Rebel. But then, Eneb Ray comes from his encounter with the Emperor, when he finds out the Emperor is a Dark Lord of the Sith and realizes the Rebel's fight is doomed from the beginning. However, unbeknownst to him, the Rebels have the Light Side of the Force with them with Luke and that will help them in the long run.

    Artoo rules! Lol and in some sense Naboo contributed also with a pair of stubborn, Force-sensitive twins.

    As I mentioned on another thread, it shows the true nature of Leia, that remains even when conditions change - later when she is aware of her true origins. However, she realizes that sometimes, ideals can cause conflict with your feelings.

    Also I liked how poor Luke was trying to be nice with Sana at the end. One thing that puzzled me is what Leia told Dr. Aphra about Vader - "No matter how useful you are to him now, sooner or later he will get around to killing you. And when that day comes, if you should happen to somehow survive I suggest you look me up." Does that mean anything? Will she survive her encounter with Vader? Can't wait to read the last "Darth Vader" series!
     
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  5. Lord of the Rens

    Lord of the Rens HATES: Clumsy AND Stupid

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    Thanks for the review!

    Next issue? I'm salivating all over my keyboard at the thought of that confrontation.
     
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  6. Darby

    Darby Rebel Official

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    So what was Eneb's plan again? Break into the prison, kill everyone but one, force Leia to kill the last one...that's it?
    If she does: he surrenders? satisfied she has what it takes?
    if she doesn't: ???????????
    That tooth scene tells me his plan is far from over. Otherwise, he's dumb and his plans suck.

    Obi Wan vs Black Krrsantan. 'nuff said.
     
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  7. Darth Daigo

    Darth Daigo Rebel Official

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    I liked the series. It showed three strong female characters and it had a good theme. It is important to hold on to your ideals. Although I did not mind the suggestion that Dr. Aphra and Sana had a relation, it makes the whole Han-and-Sana-being-married story line even more stupid. She has been depicted as the spurned lover twice now.
     
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  8. PrincessLeiaCB3

    PrincessLeiaCB3 The Princess that was Promised
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    Well, in that storyline Sana was after Han for the money he owed her, not for a cause of unrequited affection - or so it seemed. LOL.
     
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  9. Lord of the Rens

    Lord of the Rens HATES: Clumsy AND Stupid

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    I bet Kenobi doesn't let THAT Wookiee win.







    Sorry. Not Sorry. I just had to.
     
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  10. Darth Daigo

    Darth Daigo Rebel Official

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    There was no reason at all for Sana to say that she was married to Han. She could have simply indicated that Han owed her money. That would have been sufficient. Saying that they were married made the situation needlessly complicated. It was simply a trick by the writers to sell more comics.
     
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  11. PrincessLeiaCB3

    PrincessLeiaCB3 The Princess that was Promised
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    Well, sometimes we women are sort of complicated lol. She might have been a spurned lover of Han or she just wanted to ruin his apparent business with Leia lol. Anyhow, the writers might have done it on purpose to sell more comics and increase uncertainty before the release of TFA.
     
    #11 PrincessLeiaCB3, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
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  12. JV-24601

    JV-24601 Rebel Official

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    Wonder if it's going to be revealed in a future issue that Luke has actually been an Imperial agent since he was a kid. You know, like Marvel just did to that other blond-haired, blue-eyed paragon of wholesomeness. :rolleyes:
     
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  13. PrincessLeiaCB3

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    Lol, I can imagine little Wormy saying "Hail Hy.." I mean "Hail Palpatine!" Lol.
     
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  14. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    Hopefully, Lucasfilm will prove to be more intelligent than Marvel Comics.
     
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  15. JV-24601

    JV-24601 Rebel Official

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    I think Star Wars is safe, what with the Lucasfilm Story Group having final say on what is canon. No danger of Luke turning around and revealing he's actually been an Imperial agent all along, despite decades of evidence to the contrary. And no "we've been dropping hints for years!" nonsense.
     
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  16. ZebroGodilla

    ZebroGodilla Darklighter Ace

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    Great review, @Hard Case. It was a good ending to an excellent arc, and I'm very excited for the commando Stormtroopers and the Obi-Wan issue. My only gripe with this arc had to be the Sana-Aphra dynamic. While I'm all for bisexual, lesbian, gay, and other relationships, besides straight relationships, making these two know each other on a highly personal level makes the galaxy feel smaller. Even if it had to happen, I would've like to see Aphra have this sort of relationship with another character instead. I'll live with it, but a smaller galaxy is not something I want from the EU to carry over.
     
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  17. JV-24601

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    It does answer how Han knows who Aphra is, which I've been wondering about since the Vader Down arc, but I agree. The whole "everybody knows who everybody else is" was not something I liked about some of the old EU stuff, it felt like authors trying too hard to connect their stuff to other stories. Which isn't necessarily bad, it just kinda makes the galaxy seem like everything's accomplished by a small and interconnected group of people, and randos are relegated to the role of "Rebel #8" and stuff like that. Do I think it's cool that Filoni implied that Rex was one of the members of the Endor strike team? Yeah, but that's because I really like Rex's character. If I didn't, I might be a little less amused.
     
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  18. ZebroGodilla

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    Yep, that Rex point is exactly my feeling haha!
     
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    Rogues1138 Crazy Old Wizard
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    OMG can't wait for issue 20! Mayhew/OB1...
     
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  20. Darth Daigo

    Darth Daigo Rebel Official

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