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Star Wars #16 - Book IV, Part I: Rebel Jail

5

Doctor Aphra has been locked up in a Rebel Jail next to the sun. How long will that last for?

After the events of "Vader Down," Darth Vader's companion, Doctor Aphra, has been captured by Rebels and sent to a prison right next to a sun. Will she give up Empire secrets? Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo try to get some money by gambling.

This issue of STAR WARS is, to put it as basic as possible, the "good guy" side of things for this story. What's really cool is that this issue works perfectly with DARTH VADER, which came out last week. Each of these books stands on their own, but when you read these books together, they create a fuller, more enriching experience.

This issue may seem a little off-putting to those who are only reading STAR WARS and not the VADER series as well, as a majority of the issue focuses around Doctor Aphra. Writer Jason Aaron does a solid job at giving readers a quick introduction to who this character is and what she's all about. While the book does tend to come off a bit like Aphra 101, it's fitting for the story, as she's being introduced to other characters as well.

The issue is very set-up heavy, but it's captivating. Aaron makes hanging out in prison remarkably exciting. Aside from the Aphra story, there's a Luke and Han team-up adventure as well. It's fun and breaks up the more serious tone the Rebel Jail story set, early on. What really works with Luke and Han is where this story is going. Finally, fans of the Star Wars Universe will get to see what a Smuggler actually does when they "smuggle."

Leinil Yu jumps on to do art for this issue, with Gerry Alanguilan on inks, and Sunny Gho on colors. Personally, I've been a huge fan of Yu's work ever since I saw the Nazi Ice Palace he drew in HIGH ROADS, back in 2002. Yu's work is perfectly fitting for this book as he's great at capturing the likenesses of the familiar faces from the Star Wars Universe. He pays an immense amount of attention to the backgrounds, putting in a ton of detail, really immersing the reader into this world. Gho's colors are wonderful here as well. Gho bridges the gap between reality and comics here with color, and his work is stellar, especially during the scenes that take place in space. All three of these artists, together, are simply wonderful. It's a dynamite art team.

If you're already reading DARTH VADER, then this is a must buy, as it's a great companion piece to that series, since Vader is looking for Aphra. Even if you're not reading DARTH VADER, this book stands strong on its own. Aside from the Rebel Jail story, we're getting a fun adventure with Luke and Han. If you love the films, there's no reason you should be missing out on this comic.