Since we lost Han Solo in The Force Awakens, that galaxy far, far away has felt a little smaller without our favorite smuggler in it. But, with Solo: A Star Wars Story a few months away (Check out our coverage here), It’s time to look back at Marvel’s 2016 Star Wars: Han Solo Comic (Written by Majorie Liu and Illustrated by Mark Brooks) and fill that scruffy looking nerf-herder void we have.
Following the destruction of the Death Star, Han is having an identity crisis of sorts. He is trigger shy about taking jobs that he would have taken before he saved the Rebellion; before he met Leia. While in some wretched hive of scum and villainy, the rebellion finds him again, this time looking to use the Millennium Falcon for a mission.
In true Han fashion, no one flies the Falcon, but him or Chewie. The mission, participate and survive the Dragon Void race, one of the oldest starship races in the galaxy, while collecting rebel informants at each planet the race brings them to. The catch: there is a mole in the Rebellion; one of the people Han and Chewie will pick up is a traitor.
There are many great things about this comic: it never stops moving, it makes the Star Wars universe bigger in the way that comics and books have always done for the series, and it is just downright beautiful.
On the Run
Over the five issues of this comic run, the story never slows down. There are no lulls in the action ever. As soon as the race starts there is destruction and chaos at every leg, and even at the rest points, where the pilots are probably taking a well-deserved moment to breathe, Han and Chewie are completing their mission.
This book is a breeze to get through because you cannot put it down (unless someone is forcing you to). Without giving too much away, this race turns into a chase and death is a card that is very much on the table. Of course, we know Han and Chewie make it out of this one, but with the amount of talk about failure and certain death, as a result, you forgot all about it.
You also forget there’s no Jedi in it either.
The Expanding Galaxy
We all know that when Disney bought Star Wars they labeled all of the Extended Universe books and comics as “Legends.” This significantly shrunk the canon story of Star Wars back down to six films and some cartoons, before Disney started putting out new content. With their new books and comics, Disney is expanding the universe again, and that is noticeable in the Han Solo comic in the best way possible.
This book gives us new and old faces in new ways. New aliens like Loo Re Anno (The blue alien with the gold eyes in the picture above), who is the last of her people, who are considered ancient by the time of this story. She reveals some of the most interesting points of this comic, the existence of beings between time and space (like that massive jellyfish monster) that we can’t see and that can’t see us unless we know how to open a window.
This is an example of something that is inherent to Star Wars that this comic nailed: creating a compelling human story that reveals a wider world of mysteries. We are following Han Solo watching him struggle to complete this race and debate his way of life, but we also see into the intricacies of a galaxy full of secrets.
Not Scruffy Looking at All
Sometimes with these comics, the art style makes our heroes less recognizable for the art’s sake, but this is an exception: It is beautiful and Han and Leia look just like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer. There is balance in the force in that regard. Along the same lines, every panel of this comic is gorgeous and full of little details that add up to an all-around amazing book. (I could gush about this book for ages, but you can see its strengths in the panels above.)
In the End
Overall, Marvel’s Star Wars: Han Solo comic has given me a new appreciation for Han and the overall Star Wars universe. After you read this, think of all of the potential there is for stories in this giant world. It’s so exciting, and to think that this was made by the same company that’s making Solo: A Star Wars Story! I think we’re in for something great.
Let me know what you thought of the comic in the comments below! Are you excited for Solo?