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Star Wars #44 Review

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Star Wars #44 Review

The Rebellion calls on the Mon Calamari for aid and Han Solo does his best as the most heroic criminal in the galaxy.

The Mon Calamari are a strange race with human bodies but fish-like heads. The creatures can speak like humans too, always making me wonder why they were more human than fish. Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca start a new story arc entitled “Mutiny at Mon Cala” which says it all. Time to dig in and learn more about the fish people!

So what’s it about?

Read our exclusive preview.

Listen to the latest episode of our Star Wars podcast, Talkin' Tauntauns!

Why does this matter?

The Rebellion is attempting to gain an edge with the Death Star recently destroyed. Recruiting is up and they need to stop whatever the Emperor is working on before it can be finished. I think you know where this is going…

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Star Wars #44 Review
Han does not have much patience.

This issue beautifully uses Han Solo in the best of ways. I seriously wonder if Gillen has the script to Solo because the character is more pompous than ever, using his criminal ways to solve problems. The characters around him are all criminals, technically, but they don’t like him all that much. That just puts a bigger smirk on his face (with photorealistic art by Larroca) and Gillen never loses sight of that big personality.

This issue also brings up the very present idea of the Empire wiping out an entire people. In a somewhat touchy bit of dialogue, Leia is reminded of her planet’s demise as a Mon Calamari points out his entire race could end too if he helps the Rebels. Once again it’s somewhat strange seeing Leia bring up the disaster encountered by the characters from Rogue One, but it does help bridge the gap seeing these characters bring it up.

Larroca gets to show off some of his best work in the way of gigantic ships and amazing alien life. It’s these touches that remind us of how rich Star Wars can be — it might be a sci-fi pirate adventure, but there are so many incredible unknowns out there. The Mon Calamari look impressive (I’ve never seen a blue one before!) and the wrinkled faces have a lifelike quality.

Star Wars #44 Review
But why don’t you have flippers?!

It can’t be perfect can it?

It pops up more often than in other issues, but Larroca uses shadows quite a bit to mask the features of the characters’ faces. I suspect he doesn’t have a screenshot from one of the films to go off of so simply uses shadow to fudge it a bit and not throw us off. To be honest, I’d rather he do this than mess up the faces completely, but it’s odd seeing shadows on faces in a scene set on a bright midday beach.

Is It Good?

This is a good start to a new arc that highlights Gillen’s ability to write a great Han Solo. It also ties well into previous movies and aims to reveal more about one of the more interesting alien races in the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars #44 Review
Star Wars #44
Is it good?
This is a good start to a new arc that highlights Gillen's ability to write a great Han Solo.
Gillen writes an excellent Han Solo
Impressive alien life and ships from Larroca
Some great references and alluding moments to Star Wars canon
The shadowy faces will throw you off
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