With the War of the Bounty Hunters now underway, several of the Star Wars comic lines are going to be converging to tell the story. That continues with the main Star Wars line, written by Charles Soule, as issue #13 focuses on Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and the droids meeting up with an old ally of Chewie’s as they follow a lead on Han Solo’s whereabouts!
This issue continues to kick off this massive crossover event, setting the stage for the galaxy-wide chase for Solo that will follow!
Let’s dive in to the review of this issue – which includes a pretty significant message from R2-D2 to Luke Skywalker, too!
Luke Skywalker trains his skills both with a lightsaber and with the Force aboard a Rebel cruiser. He is interrupted by C-3PO and R2-D2, and learns that R2 has a message for him connected to the events on Elphrona, where he found his lightsaber. Before R2 can tell him, however, Chewbacca shows up, saying that a contact on Nar Shadda has spotted Boba Fett! Luke asks if they should take Lando along, but Chewie doesn’t trust him and thinks it would be better if Han didn’t see Lando right away.
So Luke, Chewie, and the droids head to Nar Shadda in search of Solo – and there meet Chewie’s informant, an old friend, Sagwa! He tells the crew of a new champion who had recently emerged in the arena, and they see a hologram of Fett. His name is Jango, but Luke observes that he looks like Boba. They go searching for information, and Luke pays an informant to try to learn more – but instead are betrayed and engaged by a group of thugs employed by the Hutts of Nar Nanji, seeking money from Jango for killing their best fighter. Luke ignites his lightsaber, but they don’t believe he’s a Jedi – until they try to attack. Luke fends them off while the thugs call for reinforcements, and Sagwa leads them on a secret way outside… only to discover more thugs waiting for them. Luke springs into action, giving Chewie a window to steal a speeder. Chewie flies the heroes through the streets while Luke stands atop the speeder fending off attacks. They make it back to the Millennium Falcon and take off, but the thugs still realize their opportunity and decide to contact the Imperial garrison on Vandor, seeking money for the information that a Jedi was just spotted.
Aboard the Falcon, Sagwa decides to join the Rebel Alliance, while R2 continues to insist on giving Luke the message. R2 tells Luke that he might have the location of old Jedi outposts spread across the galaxy, gained when he accessed the Death Star central computers. After R2 reveals everything he has, Luke says that it contains enough information that could keep them busy for decades exploring them. At this, 3PO informs Luke that he’s wanted in the cockpit with Chewbacca, as Leia Organa has a message for them: a coded message from an unknown party claims to be in possession of Han Solo!
To me, the biggest thing about this issue was what R2 had to tell Luke, and it certainly was played up throughout as well. It’s honestly a pretty huge moment in-universe, as it’s setting up what Luke Skywalker would do for years following the Battle of Endor. After Leia Organa gave up her Jedi training, Luke decided to travel the galaxy, exploring the history of the Jedi in the following decades. Even while training Ben Solo and starting his training temple, we know that Luke continued to do this exploration. He had accumulated a vast understanding and knowledge of the Jedi and the Force by the time he went into exile on Ahch-To – itself the result of Luke’s search for the first Jedi Temple.
And here, R2 tells Luke that he has the location of tons of old Jedi outposts! He gained access to this when he plugged into the Death Star’s central computers, which is the same way he’s able to contribute the final piece to the map to find Skywalker in The Force Awakens. R2 has an extensive charting of the galaxy and important Jedi locations, and within two years of the events of this comic, Luke and R2 would set off on galaxy-wide journeys, lasting nearly 25 years.
So yeah, this is a pretty significant moment for Luke! But this issue also gives him a chance to shine, and we’re coming to see how Luke is growing from the shattering events of The Empire Strikes Back. He’s training at the beginning of the issue and seems to have a lot more comfort with the Force than he has in previous issues (having understandably been rocked by the reveal on Cloud City), and then he takes charge in fending off the thugs on Nar Shadda. They don’t believe that he’s really a Jedi – after all, they’re supposedly extinct – and that he just happens to have a lightsaber, but Luke quickly proves otherwise. It’s pretty cool how Luke stands atop the speeder fending off blaster fire while Chewie flies the heroes back to the Falcon.
And speaking of the heroes, I didn’t expect to see Sagwa show up! If you remember, in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Sagwa was one of the Wookiees who was rescued by Chewbacca from the Spice Mines of Kessel. Sagwa wanted Chewie to come with them, but Chewie chose to stay and help Han Solo instead. So it’s kind of fitting that here, as Chewie longs to find his best friend, Sagwa comes to his aid. He’s heard things – which we saw in the Alpha issue of War of the Bounty Hunters – and by the end he’s decided to join the Rebellion! That’s a cool connection. And as more Wookiees come to Han’s aid in this bleak period, it’s no surprise that a few years later Han would defy New Republic instruction and fight for the liberation of Kashyyyk.
So this whole story is continuing to set up the massive crossover initiative, War of the Bounty Hunters. Now the Rebellion is involved, and the issue ends with Leia Organa receiving a transmission from a group in possession of Solo. Boba Fett has lost his prize, and now the galaxy is going to converge in a frantic race – and fight – for Solo. Luke, Chewie, and Leia are desperate to find Solo, but so too is Fett – and many others. This issue also hints at the Empire’s soon inclusion, especially since the thugs decide to report the Jedi sighting to the Imperial outpost.
In summary, then, this issue is all about continuing to set the stage for this massive story, but it manages to give us both the return of a familiar character in Sagwa and a pretty significant in-universe moment for Luke Skywalker, setting up the course of his life for the coming decades. This was a fantastic issue, and I can’t wait for this whole War of the Bounty Hunters story to unfold!