REVIEW: ‘Star Wars,’ Issue #11

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Star Wars #11

Published by Marvel Comics, Star Wars #11 is written by Charles Soule who is joined by artist Jan Bazaluda, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Clayton Cowles. Star Wars #11 continues the Operation Starlight arc with “Part III: The Last Hope,” as Commander Zahra closes in on Starlight Squadron while infighting within the Rebel Alliance may do more damage than the Imperials ever could. 

Previously in Star Wars #10, the Rebel Alliance had made significant headway in creating a new encryption code that not even the cunning Commander Zahra could crack. The stolen ancient protocol droid deemed a “Talky”, had access to the means of this new code through a long-dead language. Despite being a long-obsolete unit, the Talky had an abundance of self-preservation and would not work with the Rebels without striking a deal. After the deal was struck, the Talky interfaced with Lando Calrissian’s long time friend and cyborg Lobot. While the new code was successfully created, the strain of the interfaced caused Lobot to shut down in the middle of transmissions with Starlight Squadron who were battling Commander Zahra’s fleet. Lando Calrissian, who was showed earlier in the issue colluding with Jabba the Hutt, urged General Leia Organa to stop the interface with Lobot to preserve his life. Just as Calrissian was about to stop the Talky, Kes Dameron (Poe Dameron’s father) pulled a blaster to stop the former scoundrel.

Star Wars #11 opens with a standoff between Calrissian and Dameron.  As Calrissian pleads with General Organa to stop the connection with the Talky, both Kes Dameron and the general are unwavering. While Organa argues for the larger picture of the Kes Dameron is more singularly focused. Shara Bey, mother to Poe Dameron and wife to Kes Dameron, is one of the pilots at the mercy of the Empire and Commander Zahra’s fleet. Dameron refuses to lose connection with Starlight Squadron who themselves are on an important mission to deliver the new codes.

In Star Wars #10, Starlight Squadron was ambushed by Commander Zahra who had just destroyed a Rebel fleet. During the dogfight, all of the pilots were forced to destroy their astromechs to prevent them from falling into Imperial control. Without their droids or communication from the Rebel Alliance, things were looking grim. Star Wars #11 doesn’t put the pilots in any better of a situation. Instead of destroying the clearly outnumbered Rebels, Commander Zahra attempted to capture the pilots knowing that they are directly under the command of her nemesis, Leia Organa. The rest of Star Wars #11 plays out the tense moments with both the Rebels with the fleet and the Rebels who are clingingly to life without the aid of their comrades.

While the early issues in this series focused on our main heroes, the more recent issues have given us a broad spectrum of characters that show this conflict has always been much more than the Skywalkers. I continue to love the focus on Poe Dameron’s parents as we see where Poe gets a lot of his characteristics. Kes is passionate and ready to fight whatever comes his way while Shara is fearless and dutiful in addition to being an amazing pilot. Even C-3PO has shown his teeth in the last couple of issues to show he is more than just comedic relief. Further, having Commander Zahra back in the fold fully is a delight. She has slowly become one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe with this series alone. She is the perfect foil to Leia Organa and I can’t wait to see how their next encounter plays out.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars #11 more than its predecessor. I was worried about the disjointedness in the last third of the issue and I wasn’t sure how really any of the stories were going to play out. Between the Talky, Calrissian’s deception, the Starlight Squadron, and Kes Dameron pulling a blaster, it was a lot. However, I am very impressed with the way that writer Soule was able to wrap everything together in a seamless manner in Star Wars #11. Panel after panel, I wasn’t really sure how things were going to play out which is a testament to the writing. Couple that with the art of Lobot clearly on the verge of collapse and the overwhelming scope of the Imperial forces compared to Starlight Squadron, the tension throughout the issue is at a fever pitch.

Star Wars #11 is available wherever comics are sold.

5

TL;DR

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Star Wars #11 more than its predecessor. I was worried about the disjointedness in the last third of the issue and I wasn’t sure how really any of the stories were going to play out. Between the Talky, Calrissian’s deception, the Starlight Squadron, and Kes Dameron pulling a blaster, it was a lot. However, I am very impressed with the way that writer Soule was able to wrap everything together in a seamless manner in Star Wars #11. Panel after panel, I wasn’t really sure how things were going to play out which is a testament to the writing. Couple that with the art of Lobot clearly on the verge of collapse and the overwhelming scope of the Imperial forces compared to Starlight Squadron, the tension throughout the issue is at a fever pitch.