Star Wars #61 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Star Wars #61 concludes “The Escape” story arc, gives the hero a moment’s rest, and prepares Leia, Han, and Luke for what is next.

This article discusses plot details for Star Wars #61.

Star Wars #61 Cover

Star Wars #61

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 Escape” story arc naturally flowed from the “Hope Dies” storyline. The newly minted Rebel fleet barely escaped the wrath of the Empire and Queen Trios’s betrayal in the first story. Han, Luke, Leia, and the droids got away together, but without the Millennium Falcon. They found themselves trapped on the moon of Hubin as guests of Thane Markona. However, when SCAR squadron arrived, the Rebels finally made good their escape with the help of the Thane and his daughter, Tula. Now, in Star Wars #61, Leia and her friends are on the verge of reuniting with the Rebellion and begin laying plans for the future.

Wrapping Up

Other than an action sequence at the beginning of Star Wars #61, this issue mainly serves as an epilogue to the action of “The Escape” story arc. The issue begins with the Rebels and Clan Markona raiding an Imperial impound yard on Novka. They are there primarily to get Sana’s ship back, but Clan Markona gets a YT-2400 freighter (Dash Rendar’s ship from Shadows of the Empire) in the process. Afterwards, they rendezvous at Brentaal IV.

While there, the Rebels get the coordinates for Home One as commanded by Admiral Ackbar. In an amusing bit of bravado, Threepio haggles with their contact, who is a large and menacing looking alien. The haggling occurs in Huttese, and Threepio appears to be engaged in an angry dispute. However, when Luke compliments him on getting the coordinates out of a reluctant contact, Threepio responds that actually he was just making sure he was getting new casings for his new legs. Unusual and unexpected bravado for Threepio indeed.

With the coordinates in their possession, the Rebels and Clan Markona part company. Tula, the new clan leader, cannot agree to fight alongside the Rebellion. Although Luke, Leia, and Han’s arrival on Hubin lead to the death of her father, she doesn’t blame them for it. However, she can’t tolerate the memory of his absence whenever she sees the Rebellion.

The Rebels then find Home One and the Rebellion. This, in effect, is the end of The Escape story line. However, Star Wars #61 has a few last things to address.

Star Wars #61 - Sana, Leia, Han, and Luke

The Next Adventure

Once Leia reports to Ackbar, she wastes little time pitching the next mission for the Rebellion. Readers will not be surprised that she is pressing for an operation against Shu-Torun. In Star Wars #58, Leia introduced Han (and Star Wars readers) to her plan to take out Shu-Torun. Despite her claims to the contrary, this seems like a revenge mission. Ackbar immediately sees it that way. He cautions that the Rebellion cannot commit sizable forces to settling a vendetta.

Leia responds that this is a small scale operation. She knows that Shu-Torun took on added importance once the Empire lost Cymoon 1. Now, she wants to sabotage Shu-Torun and deliver a stinging blow to the Empire in the process. Leia claims that she has a plan, and her tactics are something the Empire will never expect.

The Fault in Leia’s Claims

Two things undermine Leia’s claims. First, she had no interest in taking action against Shu-Torun until Queen Trios sabotaged the Rebel fleet. Granted, mounting any kind of offense against Shu-Torun meant harming a perceived ally prior to the betrayal. Despite that, Queen Trios’s feigned allegiance was a relatively recent event, and the importance of Shu-Torun to the Empire wasn’t a secret before then. Leia’s claims seem like a cover for her true motives. She hasn’t made any argument why this is such an important mission now, or why it should take precedence over any other operation. Leia carries a lot of guilt and personal responsibility for Trios’s betrayal. This seems more and more like an attempt to balance the scales.

In addition, Leia’s plans may not be so surprising as she claims in Star Wars #61. Back on Hubin, SCAR Squadron has time on their hands while they fight off the thanrax creatures stalking their refuge inside Clan Markona’s former compound. This compound contains Markona’s records. Leia designed her offensive against Shu-Torun there, and apparently, she didn’t do a great job eliminating the evidence. One of the troopers in the squad uncovers her plans, and Sergeant Kreel claims to know exactly what the Rebellion is about to do. Perhaps it is part of a trap left by Leia. Maybe she intended for the Empire to discover something of her plans, she planned accordingly, and this is all a trap. Until the “Scourging of Shu-Torun” arrives with issue #62, readers simply won’t know.

Star Wars #61 - Han in the cockpit

Final Thoughts on Star Wars #61

Star Wars #61 isn’t a spectacular issue of Star Wars in its own right, but it makes for a fitting final chapter or epilogue to “The Escape” storyline. Collected with the other five issues of the story arc, it will make for a great conclusion to the story. Perhaps the most satisfying portion of the story was the Rebellion and Markona offensive at the Imperial Impound Yard. That said, seeing Han reunite with the Falcon was touching. Also, Threepio showing some bravery on Brentaal IV was amusing. Another highlight was the references to a crush Luke had on Sana’s ex, Doctor Aphra.

“The Escape” story arc was a fine story. Overall, it isn’t one that seems like Star Wars fans will remember as a standout in the series. It seemed like more of a diversion than a critical part of the story of Han, Luke, and Leia. Clan Markona might be the best thing that came out of this story. Considering that characters like Tula Markona have a way of coming back in later stories, it won’t be the least bit surprising to see her play a larger role in Star Wars in the future.

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