Princess Leia and Queen Trios bring their rivalry to an end as Luke races to preserve a planet from death in Star Wars #66.
Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #66.
Star Wars #66
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
For the previous four issues, and several issues before that, Leia planned and executed to attack Shu-Torun and remove its production capabilities from the Empire’s galactic industrial machine. Of course, she had an ulterior motive: revenge. The Queen of Shu-Torun, Trios, betrayed Leia and the Rebellion and nearly obliterated the Rebellion by leading Darth Vader to their nascent fleet. Since then, when Leia hasn’t been evading the Empire, she has been plotting the downfall of Trios and her world. In Star Wars #65, her plan was on the precipice of success when some of her allies committed themselves to their own plan. Now, in Star Wars #66, Leia and the Rebels have little time to salvage the rest of their mission before Benthic and the Partisans tear Shu-Torun apart. Along the way, Leia’s rivalry with Trios reaches a lethal conclusion.
Kindred Spirits on Opposite Sides
Star Wars #66 finally brings Leia’s rivalry with Trios to a climax. As discussed in previous reviews, they are opposite sides of the same coin. Leia is an icon for the Rebellion, and there is little she wouldn’t do in the way of personal sacrifice to liberate the galaxy from the tyranny of the Empire. She has limits though. Leia wouldn’t betray a trusted ally. Nor would she destroy a world just to keep it from the Empire’s hands.
Meanwhile, Trios is utterly devoted to Shu-Torun. Unlike Leia though, she is without limits. If Shu-Torun’s survival requires allowing Vader to slaughter trusted noble advisors and her personal guard, then so be it. When Vader commanded her to gain Leia’s trust and then ultimately betray that trust, Trios did it in the name of Shu-Torun’s survival.
The word “devotion” applies equally to them both. The means are where they differ. Trios’s betrayal particularly stung Leia. She saw them as kindred spirits, and ever since Trios’s betrayal at Mako-Ta base, Leia looked for a way to get even. Their confrontation in Star Wars #66 was inevitable.
One Shall Rise, One Shall Fall
When Trios catches up to Leia in Star Wars #66 on Shu-Torun, it is in the royal quarters. Leia, Han, Luke, and the rest of the Rebels have shut down the planet and sabotaged the Spike, which is responsible for Shu-Torun’s production. What Leia doesn’t know is that Benthic and his partisans have altered their mission. They aren’t interested in shutting down Shu-Torun. No, they want an eye-for-an-eye and justice for Jehha, and therefore, they look to kill the planet. Only Luke and Artoo know this on the Rebel side of things. However, Trios knows what is happening. When she catches up with Leia, it is with murder in her heart. Indeed, she addresses Leia as “Monster” when they first meet.
Leia is understandably confused. Her confusion doesn’t prevent her from defending herself though. Ultimately, Leia prevails and delivers a fatal blow. As Trios dies, she and Leia briefly explain themselves to each other. Leia vows that Shu-Torun won’t die as Trios apologizes for her betrayal.
What remains to be addressed is Leia’s motivation. As Trios bleeds to death in front of her, Leia tells her that, “It…didn’t have to be like this.” What did she expect? She arrived on Shu-Torun with the goal of removing the significance of the planet. Once the Empire caught wind of this, Commander Kanchar brought his own Star Destroyer to Shu-Torun. He was willing to sacrifice anyone, including Trios, in order to preserve Shu-Torun as an asset for the Empire. Of course Trios would defend her world at any cost. It seems that Leia never really considered the consequences of her plan and actions, and that seems slightly out of character for her.
Rise of the Jedi
If anyone shines in Star Wars #66, it is Luke. He spends a fair amount of this issue fleeing from Benthic with Artoo. His droid companion has the codes necessary to destroy the planet, and Benthic wants them. As they run, Luke explains to Artoo that he didn’t come to Shu-Torun to fight Rebels, but he can’t let them destroy the planet either. So, Luke plans to create a diversion to keep Artoo out of their hands. Luke uses himself as the bait. Ultimately, Luke is cornered by Benthic, and he makes the unwise admission that they really need Artoo. Naturally, Benthic uses Luke as bait to draw Artoo out, and the issue concludes with Artoo seemingly prepared to sacrifice the planet. We all know better though, right?
Luke is often portrayed as brash, especially in the early days following A New Hope. In Star Wars #66 though, he is the more rational thinker when compared to Leia. He and his sister seem to have swapped roles in that regard with Leia taking after Anakin and Luke emulating Padmé.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #66
Perhaps the standout moment of Star Wars #66 was Leia’s duel with Trios. Although the reader could have predicted what would happen, it was a fitting climax to the rivalry that has developed over the last 17 issues of Star Wars. Angel Unzueata’s art was up to the challenge. Leia’s triumph over Trios was very cinematic and seemed like a scene ripped from the silver screen. Eventually Leia will need to come to terms with her mission to Shu-Torun. She seemed to immediately regret her actions after delivering the killing blow to Trios. This is the type of “diplomacy fails” moment that Padmé lamented during the Clone Wars. How and what she learns from this will go a long way in deciding the success of this story arc.
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.