Star Wars Vol. 04: Last Flight of the Harbinger by Jason Aaron

In search of respite from Jason Aaron’s 2015-2018 Doctor Strange run, I’ve at last decided to take once more on the endless, thankless task that is my weekend column, SUNDAY STAR WARS. There will always be some piece of Star Wars media that steals away my attention for forty-five minutes a week, and I like scratching my comic book itch with the veritable legion of franchise comics coming from Marvel. Corporate synergy at its best, amirite?

It has been a little while since I last felt the desire to tackle Marvel’s flagship Star Wars title, but my library has the lot of them, resting in near-mint condition–might as well help myself, right? Thus we come to the star of this post, Jason Aaron’s fourth volume, Last Flight of the Harbinger. The judgement, for those too impatient to read forth until post’s end?

Eeeh, ye. Yeah. ‘Sgood.

Thanks for rea–Not enough? Fine.

I enjoyed Aaron’s work on this volume–the stories he tells are entertaining, and the first issue enclosed in this volume (centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s continued efforts to protect Luke Skywalker) is even heartfelt. All the characters sound as they should – Luke is hopelessly naive and heroic, Han buries his loyalty with layers of cynicism, and Leia’s sense of what’s right charts the course for our merry band of adventurers as they enact a dangerous heist and make to break through a dangerous Imperial blockade that’s starving out an entire planet’s worth of inhabitants. These last ones are also rebel sympathizers, and of course that makes it all the more important that the Rebel Alliance come up with some scheme to save them all. In typical Rebellion style, it’s as reckless as it is dangerous – the heist I mentioned has as its end goal the commandeering of a Star Destroyer, while convincing the Empire that said ship, The Harbinger, is thought destroyed.

Even with all this enacted, there’s still plenty of trouble ahead – for one, The Harbinger requires a crew of 2,000 to operate at peak condition and Leia only has a skeleton crew to work with; and when the ship is severely damaged due to the very heist that procured it, fixing it is far more difficult than you (or Chewbacca) might think. And let’s not even get on

Star Wars comics at times have a troubling tonal incongruity – not so with Aaron’s work here. Tense and even brutal at certain times, the story has plenty of lighthearted moments, classically reminiscent of all the Millenium Falcon shenanigans you might love from the original trilogy. Good enough it made me nostalgic for the movies, eager to see them again.

Other miscellaneous thoughts on that account: A really sweet issue showing a competent squad of stormtroopers massacring Rebels before clashing with our adventurers. Good set-up, narrated by an Imperial loyalist whose allegiance you really can’t blame – well-reasoned and relatab, to a point. They’re not exactly relatable bad guys outside of that, but they’ll do, for a team of bucketheads. I also had a fun time seeing one of my beloved Doctor Aphra’s supporting characters pop up in that first issue–the nasty piece of work that is Black Krrsantan (yes, I looked up the spelling), the wookie bounty hunter without scruples.

Great art all around, good on Molina, Mayhew and Eliopolous. Oh, and there was this tiny R2-D2 story at the end of the trade paperback, which did not, in any way, appeal to me. Such is life.

Do support your local libraries, folks! Stick around, like this post, follow the blog–more reviews are, as always, on the way. Oh, and I’ve got a YouTube channel, help me grow?

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