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After a flashback issue, Star Wars #8 picks up where issue #6 left the story. While the tale Jason Aaron and Simone Biachi told in Star Wars #7 was very enjoyable, it didn’t progress the narrative of the latest arc. So it was nice to pick up with Luke, Leia, and Han again, especially since issue #6 left off with a large cliffhanger – that Han has a wife/ex-wife named Sana Solo.
Sana showed up towards the end of issue #6, after a nice moment between Han and Leia while trapped on a deserted planet. In Star Wars #8, we don’t really learn too much about her but we do get a glimpse into her personality: she feels wronged by Han but still cares for him. She also appears to be a bounty hunter, as she tips off the Empire TIE fighters to the location of Leia. This makes Leia suspicious of Han as well as Sana. While we know that he isn’t playing Leia, she doesn’t know this yet, so her skepticism feels warranted here.
Sana Solo makes a good entrance, but I feel like there was opportunity to do more with her in Star Wars #8, as it’s really the first chance to make an impression for her. She comes across as a jealous and shifty ex, but one somewhat capable of getting the upper hand on Leia. While those are traits that seem intriguing, her appearance sort of feels uninspired here and a little predictable. I’m hopeful that Aaron doesn’t give her a “face” turn (when bad guys/gals go good), and that if she’s a schemer, that she stays a schemer. There is still chance to develop her character and fill in her backstory with Han, which I hope is addressed in the next issue rather than letting the “mystery” linger.
Another thread of Star Wars #8 concerns Luke’s continuing journey to figure out his Jedi-ness. After reading the story that encompassed issue #7 – how Ben Kenobi stayed hidden but watched over Luke – he still feels unsure about where to go next. Overall, this part of Star Wars #8 cohered better. An unknown figure takes off with Luke’s light saber, which is both surprising and a nice dramatic hook for the next issue. Aaron also manages to level Luke’s inherent whiney-ness with a degree of bad-ass competency. He’s not quite a Jedi yet, but he has stood his ground with Boba Fett, so Luke really can hold his own.
Since Star Wars #7 was an out of sequence issue, it was not surprising that the issue was drawn by Simone Bianchi rather than John Cassaday, as it could be done at the same time Cassaday worked on issue #6. So I expected Cassaday back on Star Wars #8, but instead the illustration is done by Stuart Immonen. Immonen is a fine artist, and his work on this issue is very strong. His style is realistic with a dramatic quality. If Immonen continues on the Star Wars comic book, the series would be in capable hands.
Star Wars #8 is a good issue in most ways, and continues the upswing that Star Wars has been on for the past four issues. It doesn’t quite excel in characterizing Sana Solo in a way that makes her instantly a striking figure though. If Aaron can bring something new and unique to her, she could be a nice addition to the Star Wars universe. So far, she is just a surprise story twist. On the flip side, the progression of Luke Skywalker adds some nice richness to his journey. So there are still many reasons to check out Star Wars #9 when it comes out.