The Rebel mission to Shu-Torun concludes, and so does Kieron Gillen’s run on Star Wars with Star Wars #67. Did Leia learn anything about revenge though?
Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #67.
Star Wars #67
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
Overall, Princess Leia’s mission on Shu-Torun didn’t go exactly according to plan. Initially, Leia proposed this mission as a strike against Imperial production capabilities. However, Benthic Two Tubes and the Partisans enacted their own mission to destroy an Imperial world once they arrived. This wasn’t what Leia had in mind, and nor was killing Queen Trios outright. However, despite the difficulties, by the end of Star Wars #67 Leia and the Rebels removed Shu-Torun as a strategic resource for the Empire. The bigger issue is whether Leia learned anything at all from this mission and how it affects the Rebellion going forward.
Saving a World and the Dream
By the end of Star Wars #66, the Partisans took Luke hostage and forced Artoo to sabotage the Spike, the component necessary to Shu-Torun’s industry. Their goal was the destruction of the planet as retribution for Jedha and Alderaan. This isn’t at all what Leia had in mind. As part of her revenge plot against Trios, she simply wanted to destroy the industrial capabilities of the world. After killing Trios, she inherited the responsibility of saving Shu-Torun from her own people.
Once she becomes aware of Benthic’s plans in Star Wars #67, Leia confronts him about the Partisan’s dream. She points out something that Saw Gerrera never understood: by fighting on the Empire’s terms, they become the Empire. The Rebellion loses even if it wins. The dream dies. The message sinks in and Benthic relents and alters his plan. This is the highlight of the issue. Neither Jyn Erso or Mon Mothma could get Saw Gerrera to understand this. For him, it was all about retribution and winning a war at any cost, but he never understood that those tactics meant they sacrificed themselves and their souls in the process.
Eventually, in a great nod to Solo: A Star Wars Story, Han asks Benthic what changed from the time he was a Cloud-Rider. Benthic responds that the galaxy changed, and he changed with it. Han concludes their meeting in Star Wars #67 by pointing out that things have changed yet again. They can now be who they want to be, especially if they find the right motivation. Naturally, Han says this after Leia yells at him to get moving.
Failure is Not Tolerated
Commander Kanchar attacked the Royal Retreat in a desperate effort to destroy Leia and the Rebels. In fact, he bombarded the palace from his Star Destroyer while Queen Trios was still alive. His efforts were unsuccessful though, due to an amazing bit of flying by Han and Chewbacca that would have been right at home in one of the movies. Gillen scripted, and Unzueta illustrated, another classic pursuit and escape featuring the Millennium Falcon.
After the Rebels escape, Kanchar must answer to Darth Vader in Star Wars #67. Vader makes a couple of interesting statements. The Empire already had what it needed from Shu-Torun for its current projects. Vader adds a little emphasis to “current projects.” Presumably this means he is talking about Death Star II. Beyond that, Leia might be dismayed to hear that Shu-Torun’s elimination as an industrial source for the Empire was for naught. Also, this further amplifies the notion that Leia’s mission never really was about crippling Imperial production in the first place.
Vader then questions Kanchar on his tactics. The Dark Lord takes exception with Kanchar’s decision to bombard the palace from orbit. In response, Kanchar says he would have done anything to eliminate Leia and her cohorts. For that, Vader chokes him to death. As he is dying, Kanchar admits that he doesn’t understand. Vader responds, “nor should you.”
So, what was Vader’s motivation to kill Kanchar? Vader has an obvious hatred of failure, and he is known for killing those officers that fail him. Yet, this seems more personal. Perhaps it has something to do with putting Trios in danger in the first place. She was Vader’s hand-picked ruler of Shu-Torun. More likely, it has something to do with Leia and Luke. Although Vader doesn’t know that Leia is his daughter at this time, Vader is aware that Luke and Leia have a connection. Perhaps Vader is counting on using Leia to get to Luke in the future. After all, Vader has been looking for Luke for sometime. Kanchar’s personal vendetta is enough to threaten Vader’s long term goals, and there is no way for Vader to explain that to him without giving secrets away.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #67
Star Wars #67 brings to an end Kieron Gillen’s run as the writer for Star Wars. He leaves the characters on the verge of the events of The Empire Strikes Back. Once they have returned to Home One, Leia, Han, and Luke are tasked with investigating potential worlds for a new Rebel Base. Among the planets listed is Hoth. The final panel features Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Artoo, and Threepio as they head back into Home One and prepare for their next mission.
Kieron Gillen’s work on Star Wars was quite good overall with few exceptions. He noted in his farewell that he said everything he had to about these characters. Interestingly enough, Gillen seemed to leave a message about Leia left unfinished. Leia’s mission to destroy Shu-Torun started with events back in Star Wars #50. Once Trios betrayed the Rebellion, Leia began plotting her revenge. She attempted to cover her motivation with strategic objectives of removing Shu-Torun as a vital production center for the Empire, but both Han and Luke noted on occasion that her mission sounded a lot like revenge. In fact, Gillen seemed to be steering the story towards a tale about Leia seeking revenge, having it cloud her judgment, and then having things go wrong. Yet, at the end of Star Wars #67, there is no mention of Leia having learned a lesson. If nothing else, it could have been a cautionary tale for Luke.
If indeed Star Wars is headed into The Empire Strikes Back and beyond territory, it is a move whose time has come. Luke, Leia, and Han have had many, many adventures since the Death Star was destroyed in A New Hope and seems time to move on to another time period. Han and Leia have been developing feelings for each other. Luke has gradually found guidance in developing his skills as a Jedi. They are where they need to be. Now, Greg Pak has an opportunity to take them new places.
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.