The recent issue of the main Star Wars comic line, Star Wars #3, continued to explore the aftermath of The Empire Strikes Back.
In this issue of the series, written by Charles Soule, we see Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa travel back to Cloud City, with three different purposes in mind. Luke is in search of his lost lightsaber and a mysterious hooded figure he saw in a vision. Lando is committed to rescuing Lobot, who has been badly imprisoned and manipulated by the Empire. And Leia wants to figure out the decarbonization process.
In the midst of all of this, however, Leia is apprehended by stormtroopers, who stun her. The Imperial commander on Bespin is informed they have a captive, but frustratedly tells them to follow procedure and ship the prisoner off to the ISB. The stormtroopers discuss the new method for doing this (alluding to carbon freezing) while they freeze Leia in carbonite. And that’s how the issue ends!
I think we need to wait until the next issue comes out before evaluating this fully, because we’ll get more context. But assuming this isn’t a fake-out, I think it’s… interesting. Of course it won’t last long, since Leia is around at the beginning of Return of the Jedi and surely quite active leading up to it. But we’ve never heard any mention of Leia having been frozen in carbonite, meaning that it must not have been significant enough for her to pass on.
Because of all of this, I think it’s a very fine line for these creators to walk: obviously they need to tell new and engaging stories about familiar characters while working within the confines of what we already know, but they also need to logically fit within those confines as well. For example, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Age of Resistance issue about Rey for similar reasons, as she’s on a mission in-between leaving D’Qar and finding Luke in The Force Awakens. To me, that just doesn’t work too well. So here, I think it’s bordering on that line with Leia being frozen in carbonite, but we’re not there yet – meaning that I’m cautiously open to it.
I really will need more information and context before evaluating, but I think it’s certainly an interesting development that was quite unexpected. And while you’d think Leia could just ask Lando how to un-freeze someone from carbonite, I guess she wanted to take matters into her own hands without letting on to the others what she was up to. Perhaps this will be fleshed out further into explaining that Leia knows her true feelings for Han but doesn’t want others to see it yet.
Anyway, I’m really intrigued to find out how this is resolved, and I’m reserving my judgment until then. But I’m also really interested to learn what Luke discovers on Cloud City, and I’m excited to see Lando and Lobot together again! I greatly trust Charles Soule and love his Star Wars work so far, so I have every reason to continue to trust him – making me anxious to read the next issue!