by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Star Wars 32 is the penultimate issue of “The Screaming Citadel”: a curious chemistry experiment of blending elements of classic horror with those of a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars traditionally deals in the fairly broad notions of “light vs dark” and “good vs evil.” Here Jason Aaron decides to take George Lucas’s space fable of willpower and determination and put it in the face of darker sci-fi concepts of alien parasites, mind control, and vampirism.
Initially, I was concerned that the symbiotes of Kthath’atn would be a thinly-veiled Alien xenomorph knock-off. Since this is Marvel however, I should’ve focused more on that “symbiote” aspect, which makes its host an evil, more powerful version of themselves.
Except when Aaron uses them as a characterization device, I don’t really get too excited about Han and Luke merging with these symbiotes.
On the other hand, I did find Aaron and Salvador Larroca’s take on “Star Wars vampirism” pretty unique. We’ve known since the first issue of this crossover that the Queen was some sort of a vampire, but it isn’t until here that we see just how she feeds on her prey — at least Jedi.
Luke is linked to a complicated system of tubes and wires via some Top Gun headgear that the Queen smokes out of him like a hookah. I really enjoy the imagery of the Queen sucking The Force/soul out of Luke in such a casual, relaxing manner. Bonus points to Aaron and Larroca because hookah was one of the vices of choice in the Mos Eisley Cantina in the original Star Wars.
While this crossover is a strange marriage of horror and Star Wars, it’s a story of the odd budding relationship between Luke and Dr. Aphra. Everyone else in this story is ancillary — I’m intrigued to see where Aphra and Luke go after this.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?