Star Wars (2020) #16 Review

by NumidianPrime on August 22, 2021

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Letterer: VC's Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel

The latest issue in Charles Soule's run on the mainline Star Wars comic continues with Luke's point of view in the middle of the massive War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event. With his mission to help the rebel fleet complete, Luke now travels to Jekara to aid his friends in rescuing Han Solo from Crimson Dawn's auction, but Luke will soon learn that Crimson Dawn is the least of the problems waiting for him on the planet. 

Like last month's issue of Doctor Aphra featuring many of the same beats as that month's War of the Bounty Hunters issue, this story has a good deal of overlap with the issue of War of the Bounty Hunters that also came out this week. Readers who follow both of the comics back-to-back are pretty likely to notice the scenes in both issues, and it doesn't help that most of the original scenes belong to Luke and he spends most of his time during the issue in hyperspace. It can sometimes give the feeling that this issue is killing time while we wait for the next installment of the miniseries to progress the overall story any further.

That said, the Luke scenes have some very nice character moments that I'm glad we got to have instead of jumping straight to Vader's message for him. Luke simply not being ready to face Vader again right now works very well in this time period and helps to alleviate some concerns I had about where Vader and Luke's role in this crossover would be going, assuming the next issues don't go in another direction. It also serves as a great challenge for Luke and I'm looking forward to seeing him grapple with the emotional fallout of this in future issues. Striking and creative flashes into Luke's psyche from Rosanas also help to boost the tension and internal conflict that the issue relies on. 

I also think that while the pacing of this issue might feel slow and repetitive to the people reading every issue in the crossover in order, it will hold up better in the future when this series is read on its own. It flows out of the previous issue a lot better than it does with the crossover and I believe it could end up being a satisfying chapter in the series' own story. The struggles Luke is going through mentally, emotionally, and physically after the events of Empire Strikes Back is easily the most compelling part of this series for me and I can't wait to see the resolution Soule has in mind for it all. 

While I wouldn't blame some readers for being a little impatient and frustrated with this issue in the moment, I still have hope this story thread will be looked back on as a consistent and well-paced arc when read all at once. I'm excited to see what resolution these next couple months bring to the crossover event and how the reprecussions will reverberate through the rest of the series, particularly with some recent comic news in mind for November. While this isn't my favorite issue of the series so far, it didn't let me down, and I'm very much anticipating the climactic moments that the next couple of issues will bring.

Our Score:


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