Star Wars #63 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Leia’s team begins their sabotage mission on Shu-Torun and the Princess leaves a potentially dangerous clue for Queen Trios in Star Wars #63.

This review contains plot points for Star Wars #63.

Star Wars #63 Cover

Star Wars #63

Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Angel Unzueta | Colorist: Guru-eFx | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover Artist: Gerald Parel | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

In Star Wars #62, Leia assembled a team of rogues for a covert mission to Shu-Torun. With her team in place, Leia now begins implementation. The three phase plan requires the acquisition of a scan of Queen Trios’s eye. Then, they need to infiltrate another stronghold and lockdown the planet’s security. Once that is done, Leia and her team can destroy the Spike that powers Shu-Torun and makes the world a valuable resource producing asset to the Empire. Although Leia’s plan begins well in Star Wars #63, she can’t resist the opportunity to give Queen Trios a dangerous hint about the payback ahead.

The Loneliness of the Queen

As Star Wars #63 begins, Queen Trios confers with Commander Kanchar, who was last seen in Star Wars #43. The Queen and Kanchar comment on how Trios’s participation in the Jedha operation was nothing but a ruse to lure Leia into a friendship. The conversation is quite revealing of the Queen’s character.

Trios laments that she betrayed her friends. Kanchar mocks her for it, and Trios concedes the point that the friendship was established for the purpose of Vader’s mission of sabotaging the Rebellion and their fleet. However, she did establish a genuine friendship with Leia. She isn’t proud of stabbing Leia in the back.

The other side of that arrangement is that Trios is Shu-Torun. She did what she needed to do to survive. With her survival comes Shu-Torun’s survival. Therefore, she doesn’t get to be happy. In her service to Shu-Torun, the Queen exhibits a loyalty and dedication to her world on par with Leia’s dedication to the Rebel Alliance. Perhaps that is why Trios’s betrayal stings so much for Leia. The Princess from Alderaan saw much of herself in the Queen of Shu-Torun. Trios is a survivor, and selfless in a sense. She sacrifices whatever it takes to insure Shu-Torun’s continued existence.

Star Wars #63 Queen Trios

The Spike

Trios and Kanchar’s conversation contains plenty of exposition. In addition to summarizing the events of issues of Star Wars that occurred nearly twenty issues ago, Trios highlights the importance of the Spike. A tower that pierces to the core of Shu-Torun, the Spike is what makes life on the planet possible. The Spike taps the gravity fields of the core for a boundless source of energy. The citizens of Shu-Torun use this energy to create energy shields that they use like other worlds use water. Although the exposition seems a bit obvious, it is needed. Prior to Star Wars #63, Star Wars readers were unaware of the Spike or its importance.

Trios then makes an interesting comment that characterizes her world well. Visitors to her planet see the Spike as a miracle. She says that isn’t so. The Spike is work. She and her fellow citizens of Shu-Torun do what they must to survive. That means filling the Empire’s quotas, sacrificing lives, and sabotaging friendships and allies. It is all in the name of Shu-Torun.

Overplaying Her Hand

The first part of Leia’s mission requires the acquisition of a scan of Trios’s eye. This is needed to bypass security later in the mission. To complete this phase, Leia sends Tunga, the shapeshifter, and Threepio to the Abyssal Rooms, a residence for the Queen and other nobles of Shu-Torun. Along the way, Leia, Han, Tunga, and Meorti kidnapped an ore baron. Tunga assumes his physical appearance to get close to the Queen.

The plan works well. Tunga and Threepio, disguised with some scanning equipment, get close to the Queen. While Tunga attempts flattery on the Queen, Threepio successfully acquires the needed scan. However, Leia gave them a secondary mission. She gave Tunga a secondary mission to delivery a subtle message. As he departs from the Abyssal Rooms, Tunga states to Queen Trios that over the next few hours, Trios should look around and think, “I did this.”

This is a very on the nose message. Before her betrayal in Star Wars #50, Trios encouraged Leia to look around at the strength she brought to the Rebellion and noted that “You did this.” That was Leia’s achievement. At the time, Leia noted that the achievement belonged to the Rebellion, and many people played a role. Now, Leia is sending a message to Trios that what befalls Trios will be her legacy.

Leia keeps insisting this isn’t a revenge mission. She may tell herself that, but messages like this say otherwise. In addition, it is a clumsy, if not foolish, move. It potentially alerts Trios to the danger on her world. Leia is normally smarter than this and wouldn’t usually stoop to such gamesmanship. Revenge rears its ugly head.

Star Wars #63 Leia

Concluding Thoughts on Star Wars #63

Star Wars #63 is a solid issue. Among the things it did well was utilize Tunga. The shapeshifter was used as comedic relief, to a degree, in the mission to liberate Mon Cala several issues ago. In Star Wars #63, his role is much more in the same tone as the rest of the team.

Angel Unzueta took over the art in Star Wars #63. His characters turned out very well. Leia, Han, Luke and others look like their respective actors without a photo-realistic quality. In other words, Unzueta preserved the comic art style. In addition, his art does not rely on the cinematic panel quality that his predecessors, such as Salvador Larroca, relied on. Therefore, his art could employ different panel sizes that emphasized the action or reactions of the scene.

One can’t help but think that Leia is letting this mission get personal. Although the mission is designed as a strike against the Empire, Leia’s message to Trios suggests she specifically picked this mission over other possibilities as payback. Also, Leia keeps stating that this mission is designed to prevent casualties. However, given how integrated the Spike is in Shu-Torun’s infrastructure, this seems like a mission designed to go horribly wrong. Although the first stage went off without a hitch, Star Wars #63 just seems like it is waiting for a subsequent issue to pull the rug out from underneath it.

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