One of the most exciting Star Wars comic series in years is Star Wars (2020). So named because it started back in early January and thus can be distinguished from earlier series that were known as Star Wars. Set during the immediate aftermath of the duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker on Cloud City, Bespin. It fills the gap in the story between The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi. The latter movie saw a cocky and confident Luke. Instead, after his duel with Darth Vader (during which he lost a hand) he was depressed. He no doubt felt betrayed by Obi-Wan Kenobi and master Yoda. And so Star Wars 2020 has a lot of interesting ground to cover. The story is juxtaposed against the Empire’s desire to crush the Rebel Alliance and Princess Leia desires to free Han Solo from the clutches of Boba Fett.
So far Star Wars 2020 has lived up to that promise, even though it choose to retcon a number of events. In previous issue of this series we saw how Boba Fett initially failed to deliver Han to Jabba the Hutt. Also the Rebel Alliance is taking heavy losses to their fleet. Finally we saw how princess Leia was put into carbon freezing after she returns to Cloud City. Although these events felt Star Wars-sy taken together they might have gone too far.
Heading to Serelia
Star Wars (2020) #5 starts off in a familiar location – a cantina. There Luke brags to a potential smuggling client about how he destroyed the Death Star. Until he is interrupted and strangled by Darth Vader. Sadly for Vader this is a fake Luke, just somebody who bragged to get a job. The real Luke Skywalker is flying to Serelia. There he hopes to meet the mysterious woman from his vision whom he thinks could be a Jedi. Upon arrival he promptly asks the woman if she is a Jedi, which has her fleeing. Luke pursues her across the waters, over beaches and into a cave. Far into the cave Luke becomes trapped in a pit that is slowly filling with seawater. The woman is not keen that Luke has found her and she belittles his desire to become a Jedi. She reveals herself to be Verla, but her current affiliation with the Jedi Order remains undetermined.
How can Verla help Luke?
Luke questions Verla about the hunters she mentioned. Verla tells him about the Jedi Purge, Order 66 and the Inquisitors that followed. I was somewhat annoyed by this part of the comic. Without a doubt Luke should have known these facts. He would have gleaned enough from Obi-Wan to know how the Jedi ended. If that wasn’t enough both Yoda and Leia could have filled him in on it. What happened during the formation of the Galactic Empire is after all a matter of public record. Verla ends her reminiscence with Darth Vader. That gets a response from Luke, which she picks up on. Using her own powers of reading people she discovers that Darth Vader is his father. A panicked Verla quickly reactivates the trap, thus drowning Luke in the pit. We will have to wait until issue #6 to find out of he survives.
Conclusion to Star Wars (2020) #5
This was perhaps not the best issue in the series. The story focused only on Luke, leaving Leia and Han in the freezer (pun intended). And even though it focused on Luke little of consequence really happened. A lot of the panels featured little or no dialogue at all, although they were beautifully drawn. Instead, we saw Luke travelling, and falling into traps. That is not to say I disliked this issue. Vader killing a fake Luke Skywalker as well as the re-introduction of Verla were fun. Yet, after many months of waiting it is simply not enough. I had hoped to get some sign of Luke becoming a better Jedi. Instead, he was clumsy in this story, more of a boy than ever before. I have no doubt that Verla holds the key to Luke’s growth. That was it for my Star Wars (2020) #5 review. If you want to know how the story continues you will have to wait until September 9th.