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Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars #39

Marvel Star Wars Comics Review: Star Wars #39

This review of Star Wars #39 contains minor spoilers.

The damage on Jedha looked bad from above the moon. It’s even worse on it.

As the “Ashes of Jedha” arc continues through Marvel’s flagship monthly Star Wars title, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca have stocked #39 with a mix of powerful prose and imagery, along with some much-needed yet not over-the-top levity.

Indeed, the crux of the second part of this story arc is the admission of damage done to the moon during the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While viewers saw the roiling rock and dirt and rising spire of dust, debris and death, it’s in the pages of the comic that we see its toll on those residents left behind and Saw Gerrera’s surviving Partisans.

It’s not pretty. It’s not hopeful. It’s not optimistic.

Still, it’s important for the characters — Leia, Luke and Han Solo, the idealistic but pragmatic ex-Rebel special forces recruit Ubin Des and Guardian of the Whills aspirant Chulco Gi to show why the spirit to fight the Empire exists, even upon this slowly dying moon.

For Luke it’s an awakening, a dire one.

Gillen and Larocca ensure that the hero of the Rebellion is in a foul mood, slicing down a squad of stormtroopers to protect the innocent. It’s Luke’s Tusken Raider moment, if you will, in a nod to Anakin’s first embrace of Dark Side passion. The effect is hammered home thanks to the lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles.

More telling is the lengths the Empire will go to rebuild the Death Star, making this issue one of the few to so effectively tie in events from Rogue One, A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

Of note is the return of Queen Trios. She’s a character whom I find fascinating and one who has the potential to serve as the opposite to Princess Leia, in terms of how each use their royal status to inspire and intimidate. It’s increasingly obvious that Trios is among the new comics-created characters that can be effectively used to illustrate the divide between light and dark.

Star Wars #39 is in comic shops now, selling for $3.99, and on Comixology.

(For more detail and discussion, listen to Comics With Kenobi #37 in December.)

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