The War of the Bounty Hunters crossover continues – with Luke drawing Vader away from his helpless, frozen friend, it’s now up to the young Skywalker to actually evade his father and survive another encounter with him. Meanwhile, the Millennium Falcon is drifting in space, with Han on an incapacitated Imperial shuttle, just out of reach. Can Leia, Lando and Chewie repair the ship and rescue their friend before the Hutts arrive to retake their prize possession?

This issue’s story is an excellent, very character-focused chapter in the ongoing saga; Vader’s pursuit of Luke is tense and makes great use of the elder Skywalker’s abilities and powers, with the outmatched younger pilot desperately trying to get the upper hand. The less action-oriented but even more dramatic scenes on the Millennium Falcon are a joy; brilliantly written and beautifully drawn, with some genuinely heartfelt dialogue that casts Lando in a more favourable, softer light than we’re perhaps used to. It’s a very good insight into a character who struggled to rehabilitate himself after his first appearance in the Star Wars saga, even if he seemed entirely trusted by the other good guys at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, I’m not so certain that viewers were equally on board with him.

Writer Charles Soule certainly knows his way around the deepest recesses of the Millennium Falcon too, with the standout scene for Lando concerning a thread left by the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story – a film which would seem to be the main beneficiary of the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover, given how much new life it’s given to characters and scenes from that film.

In any case, this is a genuinely great issue and, for once, doesn’t rely on the wider crossover too heavily to tell its story. There are interesting things happening in War of the Bounty Hunters after all; it just doesn’t seem to have the most compelling story as its primary focus. Though we’re still robbed of a certain amount of tension due to the crossover being set between films – and thus, with viewers knowing where all of the pieces fall into place by the beginning of Episode VI – there’s still enough to enjoy here between the lines that’ll entertain long term Star Wars Darth fans.

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