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After the spectacular defeat the rebels suffered at the hands of Darth Vader following Queen Trios’ betrayal, our heroes are forced to scatter throughout the galaxy in search of safe haven. Luke, Leia, and Han are torn away from their friends and allies, even from the Millenium Falcon itself. As The Escape opens, all they have to rely on is the goodwill of an old friend–Sana Starros, Han’s fake ex-wife.
Luckily for them, Sana is more loyal than she likes people to think. The remnant of the issue takes place on the forested moon of Hubin, which is, it turns out, the home to former Republican/Imperial mercenaries who received stewardship over the inhospitable moon. Their leader’s name is Thane Markona, and all of them have a bit of a Mandalorian vibe going, though they aren’t actually connected. It’s a big enough galaxy for plenty of warrior clans, after all. The thane offers our protagonists safe haven on this moon during their stay–a stay of five months, since this tribe of retired warriors is isolationist and doesn’t have any interstellar transport to provide. The only transport to make the long trek to the moon’s surface is a trade ship, which comes around only once every six months. For all purposes, Han, Leia, and Luke are on the strangest holiday they’ve ever experienced.
Hubin is a planet at once dangerous and beautiful, a sort of European holiday resort set in the Mesozoic. It’s one of the more character-driven volumes in this overall Star Wars run; Luke, Leia, Han, and their supporting characters all get time to breathe. Luke gets some training at the hands of Markona, who again, has a lot of that Mandalorian sense of honour and sportsmanship going for him:
Han and Leia really shine in conversation with one another, and I can’t help but admire the understanding Kieron Gillen has of these characters. The writing was of a consistently high quality throughout, and I am sad to see Gillen go after just one more volume.
Towards the latter third of the volume, we get a return to the Imperial fight with the return of the minor antagonists of the imperial SCAR Squadron. It’s a great fight, and I’ll admit, I like the squad a tad more than I ever have before, though I don’t know how they’ll live down this latest failure. Feels to me like they’re living on borrowed time–which I’m not altogether too bummed over, considering what they did to my girl Sana.
This doesn’t reach the heights of the adrenaline-driven fun that was Hope Dies, but it isn’t trying to. It’s a slower story, both dealing with the repercussions of the previous volume and introducing the building blocks for Gillen’s last volume in this run – I’m eager now to read The Scourging of Shu-Torun!
The art was of acceptable quality – thanks, Larocca, for not scarring me for life too much. Love you, man. As you see above, some of it has this great grainy quality, and it looks amazing in places. I’ve written a lot about Larocca’s art in previous posts and I don’t have much more to add.
Is The Escape worth reading? Definitely, one of the volumes I’d recommend actually buying rather than just grabbing from your local library (if you’re lucky enough to have a library that purchases comics).
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