In Review: Star Wars #67

An acceptable ending to this long story, but not a memorable one.

The covers: Three to find for this final issue from several of the creators. The Regular cover by Gerald Parel is a thematic piece that has Luke holding his lightsaber downwards to pierce and destroy Shu-Torun. The Jedi looks fine and the message of his action is clear. This looks fine, but is underwhelming compared to previous covers by Parel.¬†I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the Action Figure Variant cover by John Tyler Christopher. I’m completely smitten with these covers that look like classic carded Kenner Star Wars action figures. This frontpiece features Teebo the Ewok. I love the figure with it looking much more intense than the actual toy. The large “photo” of him on the right is beautiful. I’ve made it my mission to track down every cover by Christopher. The¬†Greatest Moments Variant by Rafael Albuquerque is one of the most iconic scenes from the original trilogy: Luke clings for his life within Cloud City as Darth Vader holds out his hand with a dark offer. Everyone in the world knows this scene even if they haven’t seen The Empire Strikes Back. What Albuquerque has done is show this moment from over Vader’s shoulder. I really like this change in point of views and it looks great! Overall grades: Regular C+, Action Figure Variant A+, and Greatest Moments Variant A+

The story: With the Spike, the machine that keeps Shu-Torun from tearing itself apart, going to blow, Benthic’s plans for revenge upon the Empire are complete, even if he means his own life. Luke pleads with him to stop this madness, but he refuses. Luke turns to Artoo, “You should have just let me die rather than slice the reactor! There’s just too much at stake!” Giving a disappointed look, he adds, “I don’t understand you at all.” Meanwhile, Leia, Han, Meorti, Tunga, and Threepio are trapped in the Ancestral Retreat with Trios’s guards trying to gain entrance. They can’t send over Chewie in the Falcon because of all the TIEs will shoot him to pieces. That’s when Tunga decides to take matters into his own hands and slinks off to steal their ship — the only other way they can escape! Writer Kieron Gillen is throwing everything he can at the heroes to make their survival as difficult as possible. This is a rousing conclusion, to be sure. How the group in the Ancestral Retreat escapes is excellent, though how Luke escapes Benthic’s suicidal path is too easy a solution. I was disappointed. I was really happy to see what happened to Commander Kanchar, with a very surprising reveal on Page 15. The fates of three supporting cast members were okay, but it’s the last page that really hit me hard. A specific world is mentioned that has the Rebels sent off on a path with May 21, 1980. When all is said and done, this story ends as one would expect. Overall grade: B-

The art: Angel Unzueta is this issue’s artist and his visuals are photorealistic. His Leia and Han look incredible, with Luke not at their same level, but still looking better than average. The original characters look really good, with me hoping to see more Meorti and Tunga in future books. Particularly strong character panels can be found in the bottom panel on Page 3, the final panel on 5, the bottom panels on 8, the cockpit scene on 11, the last gasp on 15, and the cockpit scene on 18. The ships are really good looking in this issue with the heroes’ escape vessel, which is taken from them, the Millennium Falcon, a Star Destroyer, and several TIE Fighters looking sharp. One element of the visuals that is really exceptional are Unzueta’s settings. The interiors for the Spike, as it’s about to blow, are killer. The interior of the Falcon is picture perfect, as are the interiors of the Star Destroyer. Unzueta is leaving this series on a high note, to be sure. Overall grade: A

The colors: The first panel of the book shows the exterior of the Spike radiating an orange glow, telling the reader that it’s going to explode. The interior of this location is terrific in cool blues, giving it an industrial feel, but also that something isn’t quite right. The reds and oranges that comprise the backgrounds for Leia and her group make their situation even more anxious. The explosive surface of Shu-Torun is fantastic in similar reds and oranges. I don’t know why it’s so dark within the interiors of the Falcon away from the cockpit. I don’t recall it being so dark in any films. The colors of Salobea give it a very misty feel, with the humidity assumed. Dark colors return for the last two pages, and again I’m left wondering why they are so dark. Again I have to ask Guru-eFX why so dark, as these areas on ships are never dark in any of the films. If they were this dark, they would never be used. Overall grade: B-

The letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles creates this issue’s scene settings, dialogue, Benthic’s speech, Threepio’s speech, a sound, a Wookiee roar, an Artoo utterance, and weakened speech. The scene settings work in this issue because their interiors are colored blue; sitting atop a white outline, which is atop a dark location makes them pop for once. The dialogue continues to be too frail to hold any strength. It’s hard to believe that this font would hold any menace in it when spoken by the individual on 15. Benthic’s speech looks great, as does Threepio’s. I’m not liking the shaky status of Chewie’s speech font and I continue to be confused by the randomness of its placement in speech balloons. There’s only one sound in the book, which is insane given all the destruction; however, that’s not Cowles’s fault, that omission lies with Gillen. Overall grade: B-

The final line: An acceptable ending to this long story, but not a memorable one. The visuals look good at least. The colors run a little dark at times and the lettering continues to have several issues. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to a new writer and artist on this book. Overall grade: B

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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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