Leia begins her “not a revenge” mission against Queen Trios and Shu-Torun in Star Wars #62. It takes a team that even the Rebellion wouldn’t sanction.
Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #62.
Star Wars #62
Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Andrea Broccardo | Colorist: Guru-eFx | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover Artist: Gerald Parel | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
Leia is a woman one should not scorn. Ever since Queen Trios’s betrayal at Mako-Ta base, Leia has been looking for a way to strike back. The princess insists that she isn’t out for revenge, but perhaps she protests too much. While she, Luke, and Han were in exile on Hubin, Leia had the opportunity to inspect some of the Queen’s records they downloaded from her ship. She developed a plan for striking at Shu-Torun and depriving the Empire of a world rich in assets. Having reunited with the Rebellion, Leia now puts that plan in motion in Star Wars #62. Despite her insistence to the contrary, Leia seems determined to obtain revenge against the world of Shu-Torun and its Queen.
The Right People
The princess intends to collapse Shu-Torun’s infrastructure. By doing so, she’ll disable the capacity of the Empire to extract resources from the planet. Leia explains to Han, Luke, and Chewbacca that they just need to assemble the right people to pull off her mission. Collecting those allies is the focus of Star Wars #62. First on her list is Tunga the shapeshifter. Tunga is a clawdite, like Zam Wessell from Attack of the Clones. Leia, Han, and Luke previously rescued him from bounty hunters and enlisted his shape shifting and acting skills to impersonate a Moff during their mission to liberate Mon Cala. There is an excellent call back to Ralph McQuarrie’s concept paintings for Star Wars when Leia and her team find Tunga impersonating Luke in a reenactment of their mission to Mon Cala. Luke wears a uniform strikingly similar to that featured in many of McQuarrie’s concept paintings.
Next on Leia’s list are “people used to fighting on a hell world.” To satisfy that goal, she directs her team to the remains of Jedha to recruit Benthic and his Partisans. Leia, Luke, and Han previously met Benthic and the remains of Saw Gerrera’s partisans on a previous mission to Jedha. This time, their recruitment takes a little convincing. Benthic is devoted to keeping Jedha out of the Empire’s hands, but Leia persuades him with the promise that she has a bigger target that will hurt the Empire more in mind.
Finally, Leia needs a slicer. Fortunately, she has one right under her nose. Meorti came into Leia, Han, and Luke’s orbit during the “Hope Dies” story arc when she played a supporting role in the escape of the Rebellion’s Mon Cala cruisers. As it turns out, she has some skills as a slicer, and Leia presses her into service on her team.
After Leia outlines the initial part of her plan for Luke and Han, their immediate response is that it is about time. They interpret her plan as payback for what Queen Trios did at Mako-Ta base. However, Leia immediately adopts a sour expression and insists that it is a surgical attack aimed at hurting Imperial production. When Han presses her on the payback angle, Leia relents a little and says that it isn’t only about revenge. Luke and Han then express an immediate concern: can they do this safely? More specifically, Han asks for reassurance that Leia “hasn’t gone full Vader.”
That Luke and Han would even have to ask about Leia’s intentions says something about this mission. Leia points out that there is a unique vulnerability on Shu-Torun, but doesn’t identify what it is. Later, when the team is assembled, Leia asks for forgiveness for the secrecy surrounding the mission. She claims that the Rebellion has had patchy security lately. However, she just outlined this plan for Admiral Ackbar in the prior issue, and he was reluctant to endorse it. The Rebellion seems ignorant of the plan in Star Wars #62.
Benthic also interprets the mission as one of revenge. To him, Queen Trios must be made an example of, and that is why Leia came to the Partisans. She insists this isn’t about punishment. It is an “economic strike.” Perhaps the Rebellion is prepared for a longer campaign of attrition. If that is the case, an economic strike might be appropriate. However, if that is truly the goal of the mission, why hasn’t the Rebellion endorsed that strategy? Why isn’t Ackbar invovled now?
The Death of a World
There is another angle to consider in Star Wars #62. While on Jedha, Luke sought out the Cult of the Central Isopter. Luke previously encountered them with an ally on Jedha. Although they are members of a death cult, the cultists taught Luke to beware of becoming consumed by the Force. Luke wanted their advice on dealing with his anger towards Trios. However, they were gone.
The Cult of the Central Isopter relocated. They hunt out disasters and watch worlds die. It is an odd choice of vocation, but it is what they do. So, it is significant that the conclusion of Star Wars #62 features them relocating to Shu-Torun. This suggests that Leia’s carefully orchestrated plan to ruin Shu-Torun economically might have larger consequences than intended.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #62
Star Wars #62 accomplished two things. The first is the recruitment of Leia’s team. Han, Luke, Chewbacca, and the droids were a given. Adding returning characters Tunga, Benthic and the Partisans, and Meorti creats a tie-in to three of the previous story arcs. The collection of agents on the fringe of the Rebellion give this mission a less than sanctioned feel. In addition, this is Kieron Gillen’s last story arc as the writer for Star Wars. In a way, this is a “best of” series for him as he prepares to depart.
The second thing Star Wars #62 accomplished is the establishment of a motivation plotline for Leia. Readers might expect that Leia will encounter a moment in this story arc where she has to decide between revenge against Trios and accomplishing her mission. Given the choice, what will she choose? Han’s remark about Leia going “full Vader” couldn’t have been more pointed. Granted, the characters don’t know she is Vader’s daughter yet. This seems like the time of revenge Anakin might have been in favor of prior to falling to the dark side. Leia is likely going to have to rise above her genetics in this story and resist the pull of revenge.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.