In Review: Star Wars #69

It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan with exploits like this. Recommended.

The covers: Two covers to pick up for this issue. The Regular cover is by Phil Noto and has Luke entering a cantina ready for action with his lightsaber lit. Six patrons have turned to notice his appearance, including two droids. I like the Western feel this has with the tan colors really giving it that vibe. The blue from the lightsaber draws the eye and beautifully creates a glow onto Luke. I like this cover, though I picked up the Action Figure Variant cover by John Tyler Christopher because I’m addicted to his variants. EV-9D9 from Return of the Jedi is this frontpiece’s focus. The figure looks great, but the illustration that’s the photo of the card look spectacular. I cannot get enough of these covers. Overall grades: Regular A and Action Figure Variant A+

The story: Greg Pak has the heroes split into three different locations and each is fantastic. The first seven pages follow Han and Leia on Lanz Carpo meeting with Dar Champion, Leia’s old boyfriend. The dialogue between Han and Leia is perfection, with the Correlian obviously jealous of Dar. Han’s response in the first panel on Page 3 is hilarious; I heard this response in Harrison Ford’s voice. Dar’s reaction to the pair’s bickering on 5 is great and his response at the bottom of the page is completely ominous. I was glad that Pak gave the pair two more pages to discuss Dar. The final three words on 7 are excellent. The story then moves to Luke and Artoo on Sergia. There’s a familiar ship and face on 8 that made me sit up and take notice. The first panel on 9 had me cheering. Luke’s action on 10 foreshadows the beginning of Return of the Jedi. I like the method he used to find his goal on 11. There’s a new character introduced on Page 12. Her name is Warba and I haven’t been this excited by a new character since Chelli Aphra first appeared. What she can do, or insinuates she can do, has Luke taken back. On K43 Chewbacca has Threepio translate to the natives what they’ve done to their surroundings and things do not go as they’d expected. The last three panels on 18 continue the emotional bond between the droid and the Wookiee brilliantly. The last page is a fantastic cliffhanger for this pair on board the Millennium Falcon. This story captures classic Star Wars storytelling by pacing each story perfectly and cutting to the next right at a high point of action. I loved every page of this story. Overall grade: A+

The art and colors: I am completely biased when it comes to the work of Phil Noto. I love everything he does. Having him on the interiors of a Star Wars tale (after his sensational job on the Chewbacca limited series from 2015) is a dream come true for me. His Han and Leia are spotless — they look and emote as the actors did in the films. His settings on Lanz Carpo are wonderful. Even the new characters look great. I like the visual accoutrements that the characters wore on Page 2 that are simple but give them a delightfully dark tone. Dar looks great in the top and bottom panels on Page 5. Each communicates a different emotion, but I’ve got to say that final illustration at the bottom of the page is so dripping with danger. The droid that begins the eighth page made me so happy because I love that kind of bot and Noto made it look great. I was unprepared for the appearance at the bottom of this page and I sat up when I saw who it was. The first panel on the next page made so happy, with Luke looking so awesome and the droid looking equally stunning. The first two panels on 10 are excellent and I love the horizontal panels that follow it showing a character’s progress. Page 11 is fantastic. Even if there was no text on this page the reader would be able to understand what’s occurring. I love how Luke’s face is split between panels three and five — it just looks great! Warba’s first appearance is classic. I love the item that Luke uses to assist her. Her confidence is infectious and it’s easy to see how she’s able to manipulate Luke with a glance. Their final images on 14 are perfect. Chewie and Threepio with the rock people also look terrific, with the young one cute as can be and the final panel on 15 an excellent sight gag. 16 is a full-paged splash that’s sensational. I love the plight of the pair of heroes and the Falcon looks amazing. The horizontal panels on 18 really up the emotion, with the final panel that’s silent speaking volumes due to the visual. The last page is also a full-paged splash and it’s gorgeous; I love the layout and the colors. How could any reader not love these visuals by Noto? Overall grade: A+

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles is responsible for this issue’s scene settings, dialogue, droid speech and a transmission (the same font), a distant word, sounds, yells, natives’ speech on K43, and Wookiee speech. The scene settings continue to look blurry because they’re never colored dark enough. I wish that other SW’s book’s scene settings were employed on this flagship title. I’ve mentioned my displeasure for the thin dialogue font for a forever, so no need to repeat it. The droid speech and a transmission are the same font. Normally I dislike when the same font is employed in a comic for two different forms of communication, but since both are mechanical in nature it’s fine. One word is given a smaller font due to its distance from the reader and the characters and it’s cool. The sounds are great and welcome on this title, with the one from a specific droid wonderful. I like that the K43 characters and Chewbacca have their own unique speech fonts, making them visually separate from others in an additional way. Overall grade: A-

The final line: This is perfect Star Wars storytelling. The characters are true to their film counterparts and a delight with the new characters and obstacles they counter. Han and Leia argue brilliantly, Luke is flabbergasted by a new character, and Threepio and Chewbacca’s bond continues to grow as they come across some gigantic threats. The visuals are superb. Familiar faces resemble those from the films and seeing them in action in exceptional settings is a joy. It’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan with exploits like this. Recommended. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://comicstore.marvel.com/Star-Wars-2015-69/digital-comic/51899?r=1

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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