Written by Charles Soule
Art by Jesus Saiz
Published by Marvel Comics
To say this issue will not go the way you think is an understatement.
We pick up where we left off with Luke Skywalker fighting to escape a watery grave. It was a trap sprung by Verla, a former Jedi Padawan who’s been in hiding ever since her master was killed by Vader and the inquisitors in the second Darth Vader series of comics.
These events occurred long before the Battle of Yavin, which means she’s been laying low for quite some time.
Of course, Luke manages to escape Verla’s trap, courtesy of R2-D2. Verla is the hooded Jedi that Luke has seen in his visions.
While Verla’s training isn’t complete, she’s strong with The Force.
So strong that she knew Luke is Darth Vader’s son just by standing near him. It’s easy to understand why she tried to kill the son of the man who wants her dead.
Cooler heads prevail, and Luke eventually earns her trust. Luke believes The Force brought them together for a reason; however, Verla has a different take. Years of hiding have taught her The Force uses people as its tools without care for the individual. It’s an interesting perspective that I haven’t heard before.
In trying to maintain balance, The Force has caused as much joy as it has sorrow. Luke, the eternal optimist, respected Verla’s opinion but would not be deterred. The information Verla gives Luke leads him to an old Jedi outpost from the days of the High Republic. The inclusion of this station brings about a lot of connectivity to other facets of Star Wars lore.
The High Republic era is the next big thing for Lucasfilm publishing, and the outpost is the same one seen in the Kylo Ren mini-series where an older Luke preserves lost Jedi treasures. This outpost has appeared twice in the comics set in different periods, suggesting it will play a significant role in the upcoming publishing initiative.
Soule saves the best for last as Luke encounters a ghost of Star Wars: Rebels’ past. It’s believed the destiny of this character has been fulfilled. However, redemption is a more extended road than imagined. You might have noticed the cover of the book shows Luke wielding a yellow lightsaber. While comic book covers often tease things that never come to fruition, this one is as honest as it gets.
Luke gains possession of a yellow lightsaber, which means he used it before he constructed the green one in Return of the Jedi. Rey brandished her new yellow lightsaber in Episode XI before taking the name Skywalker. It will be interesting to see if these two things are connected.
In other news, Leia and the Rebel fleet are still on the run with the Empire having decrypted their communication codes. It’s an interesting sub-plot, which will take center stage in the next issue; however, Luke’s stuff is fantastic. Charles Soule imbues this book with the steadfast optimism fans come to expect from Luke Skywalker. It was nice to see again after the traumatic events he’s endured regarding his father’s identity. Jesus Saiz’s illustrations provide great action with emotional stakes throughout the book.
Mysteries are solved while other secrets surface with a shift in narrative focus. This is by far the best book in the series.