Star Wars #56 Review

by Dennis Keithly

After the events of “Hope Dies,” Han, Luke, and Leia are on the run and looking for the Rebel fleet in Star Wars #56. Have they found a vacation spot along the way?

This article discusses plot details for Star Wars #56.

Star Wars #56 Cover

Star Wars #56

 Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Andrea Broccardo | Colorist: Guru e-FX | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover: Jamal Campbell| Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

The Rebellion is in disarray. After the Empire’s attack on the Rebellion’s new fleet in “Hope Dies,” Han, Luke, Leia, and the droids find themselves on the run. The Imperial attack forced the fleet to disperse. And, it isn’t safe for the Rebellion to regroup yet. Complicating matters, the group remains separated from Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon. However, Sana Strarros finds herself once again in Leia’s employ as she helps her friends avoid Imperial detection. The next phase of Han, Luke, and Leia’s story begins with Star Wars #56 – “The Escape Part I.”

A New Artist

Star Wars #56 brings a new artist to Star Wars. Andrea Broccardo assumes the art duties from Salvadaor Larroca. Although this is his first issue of Star Wars, it is not his first work in the Marvel Star Wars universe. His work was previously seen in Kanan #12, Doctor Aphra #7 and 8, and Poe Dameron Annual #2. This may be Broccardo’s best work in Star Wars to date. His work in Kanan and Doctor Aphra was well done. There was some criticism of his portrayal of Leia and others in the Poe Dameron Annual. Regardless, his work in this issue does a great job of creating a comic book likeness of Han, Luke, and Leia.

Salvador Larroca frequently took criticism over apparent photo referencing. To be fair, his work in the later issues of Star Wars seemed much more natural. Broccardo’s work has a different feel. The big three fit naturally in the frame and among the other characters of the issue. Broccardo also does an excellent job with the droids and ships in Star Wars #56.

Star Wars #56 - The Escape Part I - Luke and Leia as Rogues

Avoiding the Empire

As previously mentioned, Han, Luke, and Leia are working feverishly to avoid the Empire. The issue opens with a somewhat comical moment as the trio hides under a cantina table while a squad of stormtroopers question Sana as to whether she has seen them. They then meet with a scoundrels of sorts that points them to a contact Brentaal IV.

The issue with getting to Brentaal IV is the Imperial presence. The planet is in the core, and Imperial Interdictors are likely. So, Sana proposes a less direct route in hopes of avoiding Star Destroyers. Unfortunately, the plan fails as they proceed through the Den Gois Cluster and stumble upon an Imperial Cruiser. Running for it would invite closer scrutiny. Han, Luke, Leia, and the droids board an escape pod and jettison behind a moon. The plan is for Sana to return for them later when the coast is clear.

The Perils of Hubin

The escape pod crash lands on Hubin. The moon, as Sana explains, is isolationist, and therefore, a great place to hide. Sana failed to mention the indigenous wildlife though. Shortly after landfall, Han and company find themselves pursued by some sort of canine monster. Monsters are not strangers to Star Wars. Therefore, this creature doesn’t seem out of place. In fact, wolves had a heavy presence on Rebels during its final season. However, this one seems much meaner. Fortunately for the heroes, it never comes to blows with the monster. Just as it is about to overtake them, flashing lights drive it away.

Star Wars #56 - Han, Luke, and Leia, plus the droids, prepare to abandon the Volt Cobra for Hubin

The Residents of Hubin

As the monster flees, a trio of armored figures emerge from Hubin’s forest. Each is attired in what looks like some sort of ancient Mandalorian armor. During a brief interrogation, Leia discloses that they are stranded on Hubin. The apparent leader of this group states they’ll have to make Leia and her friends more comfortable. The way he says it suggests sarcasm. Indeed, the following panels depict a droid concocting some sort of potion from toxins. The effect works very well into deceiving the reader into thinking someone is about to be tortured and Leia and friends are in serious trouble.

However, that isn’t the case at all. The issue concludes with this droid bringing Han a rare and difficult to mix drink. He, Luke, and Leia are seated around a table on a plush looking estate. Despite the change in circumstances, Leia doesn’t look very happy. Who the residents of Hubin are and what is in store for Luke, Leia, and Han remains a mystery until the next issue.

Final Thoughts on Star Wars #56

After the tension of the “Hope Dies” story arc, Star Wars #56 seems a little more relaxing even with the Rebel efforts to avoid the Empire. The stakes don’t seem nearly as high. One can only speculate what is in store on the estate on Hubin. It seems unlikely that the locals will simply let Han, Leia, and Luke relax, provision them, and send them on their way.

The residents of Hubin introduced at the end of this issue were well armed with rifles of some sort. In addition, they each wore a full set of armor. Plus, they didn’t appear outside of their armor or in any of the panels with the Rebels on the final page. Their identities are still a mystery. One might guess that this a setup for a The Most Dangerous Game scenario. The farming imagery from the preview of the next issue suggests a different type of story.

Overall, Star Wars #56 is a fun Star Wars adventure. The evasion of the Empire both in the cantina and in space seems like a classic smuggler gambit. The conclusion of the issue seems like something new. It just remains to be seen if it works.

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