The covers: A choice of three for this final issue in this series. The Standard cover is by Adam Hughes with a glorious shot of Luke Skywalker, wearing his yellow jacket from the original film, with Ben, a pair of X-Wings, Leia, Threepio, and Vader behind him. This is amazing and really makes me nerd out. The bright coloring makes this a powerful image. The Variant cover is by writer Matt Kindt with Luke holding his lightsaber above him like a recruitment poster with the words “It Is Your Destiny” underneath him. Nicely done, but not for me. The Ultravariant is also by Hughes, showing only his pencils from the Standard image. So good! Overall grades: Standard A+, Variant C, and Ultravariant B
The story: Like the previous issues, this tale, by Matt Kindt, is told from the point of view of a new character; an Imperial spy this time. He’s following Luke Skywalker and the reader sees events that occurred in Issue #1 from a new perspective. As this nameless character follows he makes commentary on the Rebellion and the Empire. It’s startling easy to understand why he obeys the Empire, and made me feel that I would feel the same if I were in his shoes. I really enjoyed that the spy felt that Luke could see him when he was hidden. Oh, those Jedi! The comments made on Page 8 had an uncomfortably dark similarity to another character–Nice inclusion. Page 12 was a creepy step. I had not anticipated the spy getting into that location. From that page forward there was an ever present sense of doom for our heroes. Page 14 made me laugh–How else could that conflict have ended? Fantastic justification in the fourth panel on Page 18, and 20 had a shocker of a closer, which the faces of our leads emphasized. The last page was a beautiful panorama of the galaxy. This was truly Star Wars. Overall grade: A
The art: I’m a Luke Skywalker fanatic, so I’m unbelievably picky in how he looks. Marco Castiello provided the pencils on this issue with Dan Parsons the inks. I didn’t like his first appearance on Page 2. It’s just not right. Things improve on my favorite Jedi on 7, and hit a high point with a great close-up on 15. Luke looks terrific on the remainder of this book until the bottom of 20–His eyes make him look like Robert Smith of The Cure. Jedi qualms aside, this book looks good. There are several varied settings this artistic pair really show off, from opening classical architecture to an Imperial prison. The stormtroopers look great and the rest of the leads look excellent. The spaceships are particularly strong. This book looks good. Overall grade: A-
The colors: Another beautiful job on this book by Gabe Eltaeb. The planets on Page 2 bring an otherworldliness to the setting that might have been lost had they not been colored as they were. The motion lines in the fourth panel on Page 3 look really cool. I really liked the colors chosen for the macrobinoculars point of view. Sound effects are also really sweetly colored on this book. Overall grade: A
The letters: Michael Heisler has created the dialogue and narration (same font), and sounds for this issue. All look good. Overall grade: A
The final line: If Dark Horse is going to have a final limited series for this property, this is the way to go out. A fantastic read for seeing the SW universe through others’ eyes. I dare you not to tear up over Editor Randy Stradley’s last paragraph on the letter’s page. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two 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.