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Star Wars #60

Queen Trios’ betrayal has left the heroic Rebel Alliance scattered and at the mercy of the evil Galactic Empire! Unable to contact their allies, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO have become stranded on the isolationist moon of Hubin.

Desperate to get back into the fight, and with no other way to call for aid, Luke has activated a homemade communications beacon–blind to the trouble it might cause Hubin’s ruler Thane Markano, his daughter Tula, and the people of the moon.

And the rebels’ old foes, the elite stormtroopers of SCAR SQUADRON, have discovered Luke and his friends after interrogating Sana Starros. Now, Hubin’s martial code demands that Luke and SCAR’s Commander Kreel duel…to the death…

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Angel Unzueta
Colorist: Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Jamal Campbell
Variant Cover Artists: John Tyler Christopher
Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman
Editor: Mike Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: January 23, 2019

The arrival of the Empire’s elite Special Commando Advance Recon (SCAR) aka Task Force 99 on Hubin has Rebels and the Markano Clan scrambling.  Thane Markano has kept his cool and invoked the Clan’s martial law on the situation to stall the capture of his Rebel friends.  Thane Markano proposes the differences the groups face should be settled in a one-on-one duel between SCAR Squadron’s commander, Sergeant Kreel and the aspiring Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker.  Unable to deny his ego, Sergeant Kreel ignores his orders and agrees to the death match.  The showdown demonstrates to the Markano Clan that they can no longer sit out the galactic conflict that rages outside their hermitage.  At least, the Rebels passed his strict standards of character and ethics for the clan to choose the side of the Alliance.

The history between our Rebels and the elite commandos of SCAR Squadron goes back to their first appearance Issue 19 in the fourth chapter of the “Rebel Jail” story arc.  They were not formally recognized by their unit’s designation until Issue 21 which kicked off the “Flight of the Harbinger” story.  However, the unit’s commander Sergeant Kreel has a history that reaches further back to Issue 10, when we first encountered him as the Gamemaster of Grakkus the Hutt’s court (Smuggler’s Moon arc).  An encounter which spawned an insatiable hunger to seek and destroy Luke Skywalker.

Upon initiating the duel, Luke runs off in what appears to be a cowardly retreat.  Luke has fled to a meeting spot with Thane Markano where all mysteries are revealed…relatively.  Thane Markano has been testing the character of the Rebels, specifically Luke.  Markano explains the test has determined the Clan can no longer sit outside the conflict that surrounds their home.  Additionally, the nature of the event in which gifted the moon to the Clan is revealed but without specific details.  Markano then directs Luke to return to the village and rejoin his friends in escaping while he remains to confront SCAR Squadron.  Thane Markano meets his fate at the hands of the commandos while the Rebels commandeer their ship to escape the moon.  SCAR Squadron finds they are marooned on Hubin in the company of the Markano Butler-droid MK-1 and the moon’s indigenous predators, the Thanrax.

One issue short of wrapping up the “Escape” story arc, the action has certainly picked up.  With the arrival of SCAR Squadron, the story has moved forward out of the somewhat tranquil setting of Hubin and back into the reality of the war.  The value in the previous three issues was setting aside some time to portray the developing relationships between the characters.  The bickering between the Princess and the Scoundrel fits in stride with the circumstances that will soon unfold in The Empire Strikes Back.  Additionally, we are reminded that despite everything that has transpired up to this point, Luke remains wet-behind-the-ears and has not harkened the darkness that awaits him.  Again, everything is being framed perfectly in the context of the events that are yet to transpire in Episode V.

The upcoming finale of the “Escape” is sure to set the stage for an even grander final curtain draw for the series.  A final act that is sure to have fireworks of its own.

Star Wars Vol. 10: The Escape
  • Kieron Gillen
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages