The last issue of Star Wars was mostly setup, doing little things to build the next parts of the story up. In this issue, there is still a lot of setup, but with more payoffs along the way. Splitting the story has slowed things a little, but it still has enough results to give it satisfying momentum in this issue and going into the next.
Han and Leia's part of the story is heavier on setup and character bits rather than plot development, but when it's these characters, that's a trade-off I'm willing to take. I have to give Jason Aaron credit for his dialogue here, as Han and Leia spend most of their time bickering, sounding just like they did in the movies. Rather than just filling in time, their arguing is very satisfying to read, as two personalities that do not get along just keep crashing into each other. Not only is it fun, but their bickering also leads to plot consequences, as they tend to put a bit too much of their mental energy into arguing than is really safe.
Luke's side of the story moves along much more, crashing into the Boba Fett story; while Luke is getting to Kenobi's house to find if he left anything useful, Fett manages to find out about the connection between Luke and Han, making Luke his next target. The way Fett is handled here makes me see why people like him so much, as this is the character he was supposed to be all along. He is a very effective and relentless bounty hunter, and it makes sense why Jabba and the Empire would want him to do their dirty work. Instead of just being a cool design, he's actually a character deserving of that praise in this issue, where he never really was in the movies.
The biggest problem I had was a moment of typical Star Wars self-reference. Usually these references are humorous, but not only was this one not a joke, it also felt jarring and pulled me out of the story. While trying to find Kenobi's house, Luke is attacked by Sand People, pulls out his lightsaber, and is saved from having to fight them when they run away. This leads him to think about if he would have killed them, an obvious reference to Anakin in Attack of the Clones. This should be a good moment - Luke needs to confront if he is a good person, though it might fit better post-Empire - but it feels like the writer is taking a shot at Attack of the Clones, and that overshadows the actual impact this moment should have.
Overall, while this is another issue heavy on setup, it isn't a case of nothing happening. While I'm hoping for a strong payoff to bump it up, I still really liked this issue, even though it hasn't felt as strong as the other Star Wars series.
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