The penultimate issue of Star Wars: Rebel Heist is a story through our unnamed Stormtrooper’s eyes where he learns to stops worrying and love everyone’s favorite walking carpet, Chewbacca. At the end of the last issue, the Stormtrooper was being ferried to an Outer Rim planet to hook up with Chewbacca, and in this issue, they have to make their way to a Galaxy Drive to send out a code to their allies. Much is made in this issue about how the Stormtrooper feels about the Outer Rim and Wookiees in general. Spoiler alert: he’s not a fan. He remembers Wookiees from a tour he did on Kashyyyk, which, knowing how well Wookiee/Empire relations have always gone, I’m sure that tour was a picnic. This story basically plays on the Noble Savage tropes of the Stormtrooper discovering a Wookiee who’s not part of a faceless, hairy mass, but who is an individual, with hopes, goals, and convictions. It’s not a story that’s new, especially in a world where we love telling these stories with the Stormtrooper/Wookiee dynamic replaced with Old Racist Soldier/Vietnamese or Korean American type stories. As a society, America loves those stories, to the point that they risk becoming tired, and in a lot of cases, already are.
That’s the part of the story I wasn’t wild about. The part I was wild about is that this has been the most unadulterated hero-worship story in the series so far. Han and Leia both almost failed in the eyes of their storytellers, but here, the Stormtrooper knows Chewie is a hero at the end, and he takes pride in siding with a selfless alien like that, even if he’s still on the fence about the Rebels as a whole. And plus, Castiello deserves some points for the introductory scene with Chewie. It’s a two-page spread, and he’s beating up giant iguana-men (apparently giant animal-men is a theme for the books I’m reviewing this week). It’s the kind of thing we wanted to see the Wookiees do in the prequel trilogies before we realized all they would be doing is standing around in foreign dignitary costumes, doing Galactic Senate stuff.
Even though it’s only revealed in two panels at the end of the issue, a lot of this issue felt like a pause before the creative team jumped to the only Rebel who could possibly be the subject of the final issue. I’m not sure whose eyes his story will be told through, or if he’ll come out the other side as the Galactic Jesus we all remember him being, but I’m excited for it. Kindt and Castiello have not been afraid to tear down parts of the heroes that we all loved, and since Luke is all kinds of all over the place in the Expanded Universe books anymore, there’s literally nowhere they shouldn’t be able to go.
This has been quite the miniseries so far. The art and writing have been on point for the most part, and they’re the kind of stories that I want to see from Dark Horse while they can still tell them, as opposed to their execrable rehashing of Lucas’ original screenplay (still mad about it, gonna be mad about it forever). These stories fill out the universe, and more importantly, they fill out these characters that were originally designed to be more or less archetypal. It’s a worthwhile exercise, and their team has excelled the entire time. And, lucky me, now I just get to sit back and wait until next month to see them put a bow on it, and I will definitely be there for that.
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Marco Castiello Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/25/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital