September 30, 2023

Return to Jedha in Star Wars Comics Volume 7

In volume seven of Marvel’s popular ongoing comic, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca are off to Jedha to help the remaining Partisans in their continued struggle against the Empire.

Ashes of Jedha

Jedha is now a dying world. The plant is missing a chunk that was lost to the Death Star’s blast as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and is ravaged by storms. But kyber still lies beneath her cracked surface and the Empire is determined to exploit her. The remaining Partisans are trying to stop them and help the survivors of the Death Star’s attack. Enter our intrepid heroes, who offer their help to get the Empire off of Jedha once and for all. That is if the two groups can set aside their differences long enough to work together.

We are introduced to two new Partisan characters here. Ubin, a young woman from Jedha who served with the Alliance before returning home in the wake of the battle of Scarif, and Chulco Gi, an Aspirant to the Disciple of the Whills who bonds with Luke. We also learn Two Tube’s name (Benthic) and meet a new Imperial Officer, the brutish Commander Kanchar.

I’ve been wondering about the state of Jedha and just how destructive the blast was since Rogue One. Seeing it there was an excellent choice of medium as it allowed for a visual depiction of the destruction without having to show it on screen. The story also gave the fitting conclusion Jedha and her people deserved.

SWVol7Cover Ashes of Jedha

It’s All Connected

This volume included several references to the events of Rogue One, including the name of the mission, Scarif, and Jyn Erso. It also references Saw Gerrera’s efforts to disrupt the kyber shipments, which were briefly shown in the movie, but more heavily detailed in the Middle-Grade book Guardians of the Whills. Another reference is to Saw gunning down civilians with flechette guns to send a message to the Empire, an event featured in the YA novel Rebel Rising which was one of Jyn’s first missions with the Partisans and led to her disillusionment with Saw.

An appearance is also made by Queen Trios of Shu-Torun who previously appeared in the first Darth Vader Comic (Volume Three: The Shu-Torun War). Shu-Torun is a mineral-rich world with a culture centered on mining and strict courtly ways. Trios brings her expertise on mining dangerous worlds to the table but soon reveals that she has other motives. While I didn’t like the first run of the Vader comic, I did enjoy meeting Trios and I was left wondering when and if we’d see her again. I was delighted to see her appear here.

The growing inter-connectivity of the Star Wars Universe has never been more apparent than it is in this volume. References to other media abound. What’s more, some of those are to children’s media, which a segment of fans disregards, calling it important, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While any of these things can be looked up on Wookieepedia, stopping to look them up detracts from the experience of reading the comic. However, I realize how daunting it can be to read and watch all the media being produced. That being said, I think this proves that nothing should be dismissed as unimportant to the wider universe just because of its target audience or medium. Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s all connected.

A New Author Rises

Kieron Gillen takes over the writing of the main Star Wars comic with this volume. He previously penned the first Darth Vader comic and currently writes Doctor Aphra. Gillen is a veteran of other Marvel comics including X-Men and Iron Man. He also co-created The Wicked + Divine with Jamie McKelvie which is published by Image Comics. While I might not have liked his previous Star Wars work, I do enjoy they mythology-influenced Wicked + Divine, and look forward to seeing where he takes Star Wars from here.


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