by Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Very little has been leaked about the new Han Solo movie, and depending on who you talk to, that may or may not be a very bad thing. Even though its release is only a few months away, details about it are sparse with the exception of a few tidbits, such as explaining how Han and Chewie first met. Unless Disney has changed the lore drastically, this will probably take the form of Han saving Chewie’s life so the former owes the latter a life debt. While that might be the basis of their relationship, in Star Wars 42, we see that there’s so much more to it than just that.
Han, Luke, Leia the rest of rebels are trying to prevent the Imperials and the Shu-Toruns from destroying Jedha in their quest for Kyber crystals. This eventually leads to Han piloting a bunch of rebels on a mission that goes awry when it’s leader, Benthic, is wounded boarding the Millennium Falcon. It’s a toss up over who leads the mission now, but with some prompting from Chewie, Han takes this lead.
This is a nice moment of growth that shows how Han goes from being a smuggler working with the rebels in Episode IV to one of their generals in Episode V. However, what’s more rewarding about this scene is how it shows the close friendship between Han and Chewie. Later, when Han shares the news to Chewie that he’s now in command, they share a nice moment.
Aside from giving me the warm fuzzies, this exchange is great because it’s exactly what I want from a Star Wars comic that features the main cast. There simply wasn’t enough time in the movies to tell the story of Han and Chewie’s friendship, so we kind of just have to take on faith that it exists. This issue, though, takes the time to do the thing the movies didn’t have time for. In this way it expands the Star Wars universe in a way that not only makes the movies make more sense, but makes me able to appreciate them in a new light. Seeing Chewie mentor and hug Han here is a great way to flush out these characters’ relationship in a way that feels authentic and needed.
For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?
I really enjoyed this issue — I think Gillen is finally finding his footing with this story. The art is still distracting, but the character beats ring through loud and clear. They move the story along, flesh out the characters’ motivations and evolving roles between movies, but also their affection for each other and relationships in ways the movies never did. It’s really really strong, and I’m so happy this run is improving so much. Now if only they’d just let Larocca draw this in the style of his Darth Vader run, we’d be set.