The Age of Resistance comic issue about Rey is far from my favorite in the series, but it nonetheless featured what might just be my favorite moment from these Age of Resistance issues.
Let’s take a look at a summary of the issue, then I’ll dive into my review.
The issue ends with a flashback to Rey’s childhood, being left behind on Jakku and waiting, all alone. We then cut D’Qar following the destruction of Starkiller Base. Leia Organa and Chewbacca hug, and the General tells Chewie taht she can’t cry on his shoulder anymore and to go prep the Falcon, because Rey needs him. Rey then arrives to talk with Leia (at the General’s request), and Rey sadly talks Leia through what happened as Han Solo went to confront Ben Solo (we see it happen behind them as they talk). Once more, Rey feels abandoned and alone.
Rey thinks that Han shouldn’t have faced Ben and that they should have ran, but Leia responds, “Han always… his first instinct was always to run when things got hard. But he never ran far. He always came back. He always stepped up again. Han knew there’s a time to run and there’s a time to make a stand.” Rey asks Leia how she keeps from running, and Leia says, “That instinct to run– feel it when it comes. Us it to spur you on to the next moment.” Then, she cracks a joke about also being a good shot with a blaster, which makes it easier to stand and fight. Leia encourages Rey that she isn’t alone: “Everything you do, everywhere you go, you have the hope of a galaxy with you.”
Rey and Chewbacca set off on the Millennium Falcon, and as they watch the ship leave, Poe Dameron asks Leia if she thinks they will find Luke. Leia says that she does. “She’d better,” Poe says, “Luke may be our only hope.” “No,” Leia responds. “I believe… there is another.”
Before long, though, the crew on the Falcon runs into trouble – stemming from the difficulty traveling through uncharted space and Rey’s previous temporary fix of bypassing the compressor. A fire breaks out and catches Chewie’s fur on fire, but R2-D2 quickly puts it out. The Falcon makes a quick jump to the Necropolis looking for parts that will allow them to continue on their journey. They arrive and meet Ara-Nea, who allows Rey to scavenge for parts – provided she goes alone. She finds the parts they need, but is then confronted by a giant creature. Rey remembers there’s a time to run, and so she flees. She finds a ship (the same make/model as Slave I) and heads back to face Ara-Nea, who she realizes set a trap for them. She discovers that the people there are prisoners, and this time Rey refuses to run, instead facing the alien. She uses a Jedi Mind Trick and convinces it to surrender itself to the people he had enslaved.
With the parts they needed, Rey returns to the Falcon and tells Chewie that she “had to over throw a vicious despot and install a new leadership. You know what that’s like.” They set off for Ahch-To and arrive on the planet. Upon landing, she assures Chewie that she’s not alone anymore, as she has the hope of the galaxy with her, extending the lightsaber out to Luke Skywalker.
So I’ll just get this out of the way from the start: this isn’t my favorite issue of Age of Resistance, and the reason is simply because I’m not a huge fan of how this main story fits in. This issue basically tells the story of an adventure that Rey had in-between leaving D’Qar and arriving at Ahch-To. And that’s really the main reason why this isn’t my favorite issue: I’m not exactly a huge fan of taking that important moment and just adding in, “oh yeah, they had to make a quick stop along the way.” At least it was for ship troubles (as there’s no other reason that should have taken priority over finding Luke), but that seems like a convenient trope that allows for another story to be told. I guess I just think that we don’t have to fill in things like this with other stories and details; it’s ok for Rey and Chewie to set off to find Luke and then arrive to find Luke without having to do a neat little side quest. But it’s whatever; this isn’t the first time Star Wars has done something like this, and it won’t be the last.
That was the main thing I disliked about the issue, though, so timing aside, it told a fine story. It was cool to see Rey’s scavenging abilities come back into play as she looked for the replacement parts for the Falcon, it was cool to see her stand up against a tyrant and set captives free (while using a skill she tried out near the end of The Force Awakens, the Jedi Mind Trick), and I loved her line to Chewie about him knowing what it’s like to overthrow a despot and set up a new government. That was a great touch.
And I also loved how this theme of Rey being alone carried on throughout the comic in important ways. She felt alone when she was left all alone on Jakku, then she felt alone once more in the wake of Han’s death. But Leia assures Rey that she isn’t alone. Shortly thereafter, though, Rey finds herself scavenging alone on the Necropolis. Upon arriving on Ahch-To, however, she tells Chewie that she isn’t alone. So through the course of the comic, she has come full circle and truly believes that she is no longer alone, repeating the line that Leia had told her. But all of that makes The Last Jedi even more heartbreaking for Rey. She thought she would find belonging and answers on the island, but instead she found a complicated and broken Jedi. So she eventually tells Kylo Ren, “I’ve never felt so alone.” This time, though, it’s Kylo telling her that she isn’t alone. Rey does come to find that belonging, but thematically this comic fits so well for bridging this idea of Rey feeling alone in these two films.
But if you remember at the beginning of this article I said that this comic contained perhaps my favorite moment from any Age of Resistance comic so far, and yet I’ve only shared about how I dislike the timeline of it and how the story was fine. So what’s the scene I loved?
Everything that takes place up until Rey and Chewie are on the Falcon heading for Ahch-To is absolutely incredible. There are a couple of things I really liked in particular.
First, I loved how Leia and Chewie finally got their hug. One thing that many pointed out about TFA was that Leia should have hugged Chewbacca in the aftermath of Han’s death instead of Rey, and I agree. But in this issue, it is made canon that the two did share a hug – and it seems that this was a longer period of mourning, as Leia tells Chewie that she can’t cry on his shoulder anymore or else she’ll get his fur messed up. So it seems that there was indeed plenty of time for Leia and Chewie to mourn the loss of Han together. And the hug, though it happens a bit after the reunion, is now canon.
Second, I loved how Rey talked Leia through what happened with Han on Starkiller Base. Leia sensed what had happened, but she wanted Rey to tell her. Rey tearfully describes this, and expresses her thought that Han should have ran. But Leia then tells Rey that Han’s instinct was always to run, yet he also knew there was a time to take a stand. I think this is such an important thing to understand about Han’s character: he’s a guy who liked to run away to fight another day, but in this instance, he knew that there was something even more important to him than his own safety – the well-being of his son. Han came full-circle to where he selflessly gave his life in an attempt to save Ben.
Third, Leia joking about how it’s easier to stand and fight when she knows she can out-shoot almost anyone in her way is such a perfect moment, and so like Leia. She is indeed a great shot with a blaster, but here in the midst of such painful loss – the loss of her husband – she is able to clearly and with composure articulate why Han did what he did – and even crack some humor too. Leia’s leadership in the midst of incredible heartbreak is amazing.
And fourth, I absolutely LOVE Leia’s line to Poe Dameron as Rey and Chewie fly away in the Falcon. I get that some might see it as just pandering to fans, but I think it’s so great. After Leia expresses confidence that Rey will find Luke Skywalker, Poe says that Luke may be their only hope. But Leia then responds, “No. I believe… there is another.” This is, of course, the same thing that Yoda said to Ben Kenobi in The Empire Strikes Back, and we eventually found out that he was almost certainly referring to Leia. So there’s a lot of really cool symbolism going on here with Leia – that “another” hope Yoda referred to in ESB/ROTJ – now saying that Rey is that “another” hope in TFA/TLJ. Luke obviously does return in a stunning act of heroism that saves the Resistance, but he is not the last hope for the galaxy. There is another.
Everything about Rey’s exchange with Leia (and really, everything with Leia in this issue) is awesome, and I loved it so much. I think it adds so much to these scenes when we see them in the film. I’m not sure that’s true of the main storyline in this issue, but the interactions with Leia are good enough to make this issue absolutely worth it.