It’s good to see Jason Aaron perfectly following the pacing of the original films. In the first three issues he presented the opening mini-mission, quick on the action, pulling the reader into the story and establishing the story’s tension. In this case, the Rebel Alliance trying to seize their advantage after the destruction of the first Death Star and the realization in Luke that he’s not quite the Jedi he imagines himself to be.
But that mini-mission concluded at the end of #3, and in #4 we pick up with the character-building second act. Han and Chewie rebuilding the Falcon, Leia negotiating with Ackbar and Mothma about resources to continue striking out at the Empire even as the Rebels are on the run, and Luke dealing with the volatile teammate he is as he attempts to grow and learn to control his use of the Force. Aaron, with Cassaday’s evocative art and spot-on likenesses, develops what fans already know about these characters while also adding new insights, especially with Leia’s role in the Rebellion and Luke’s Jedi growing pains.
But that’s not all! Issue #4 also brings together two villains–Vader, now doing the Emporer’s resource-gathering negotiating, and Jabba the Hutt. Their interaction is largely humorous thanks to the personality clash and the off-kilter observances of the Hutt, who loves the smell of freshly slain Bantha in the morning. And we get a mysterious new player on the scene in Tatooine and the surprise appearance of an old favorite.
The young woman working at my local comic book store on Wednesday reported that every person who had come in that and bought comics had picked up the new Star Wars. Here’s why: issue #4 continues to deliver the characterization, pacing, and tone of the original trilogy films we love so dearly. I thank Aaron and Cassaday for filling in this time period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with deep insights and a light touch.