Written by: Kieron Gillen
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Official Description from Marvel:
THE ASHES OF JEDHA, PARTS 4-5! The Leviathan is heading for the remains of Jedha, prepared to pick the carcass of the once-holy planet clean. But with Luke Skywalker torn between his allegiance to the Rebellion and pursuing the path of a Jedi, who will lead the charge against the Empire?
Writer Kieron Gillen continues his strong character development in STAR WARS #42 with Han growing more into a leader and Luke struggling with the weight of the responsibility that continues to grow as he ponders the sacrifice Jyn Erso and the rest of the Rouge One crew. Luke wonders had he known what they did prior to the battle of Yavin if he would have followed through with his heroics. It’s a detail that weaves an even deeper thread between A New Hope and Rouge One. Gillen adds another layer and more complexity to our already beloved characters.
As the Empire’s latest mega weapon, Leviathan, barrels through the remnants of Jedha it takes everyone working together to take this monster down. Teamwork on the level that Star Wars fans expect of the ragtag rebels is brilliantly laid out and developed at Gillen’s hands. While the story cultivates character growth the action is pretty much contained in this one massive task, which is fine, but only slightest progresses the actual story arc to its ultimate conclusion. The ending sets up another possible layer to Princess Leia’s character as well as the final outcome of the Ashes of Jehda storyline.
While Gillen continues to shine on the story the same cannot be said of the issue’s artwork. Star Wars is frustrating in the fact that while the stories are strong the need for the book to rely on photo-realistic faces that are not only distracting but in many ways incredibly inconsistent and I’m not sure if it’s artist Salvador Larroca’s decision on some mandate from Marvel but something needs to change. What’s confusing is that other than the faces the rest of Larroca’s art is just fine so I’m not sure where the reliance on the photorealism comes from or why it’s even necessary but it’s by far the worst part of the book. The art in this issue, in particular, seems rushed and even more inconsistent than usual. It’s a shame that the art isn’t being elevated to match Gillen’s excellent storytelling.
Star Wars #42 is still a solid story and the connections to Rouge One are not only great but enriches with complexity the whole story of all the characters that now fight for the rebellion, I only wish the art rose to the same level.