Han Solo is arguably one of Pop culture’s coolest characters. His rogue anti-hero persona has seen him rise through the ranks in popularity and if there’s a top ten list of badasses floating about the internet, chances are his name is on it.
However, the character has often been criticised as being a side one and when the focus is put directly onto him, there are mixed results.
Solo: A Star Wars Story sees release this year and whilst it’s getting mixed reviews, I decided to check out the characters ‘Solo’ comic book series to see if the character actually has the ability to carry his own work.
There will be spoilers throughout this review so I highly recommend that you just check out the score for now and revisit this after reading the book if you want to remain unspoiled.
For everyone else, let’s dive into Star Wars: Han Solo!
After the Battle of Yavin, Han has left the rebellion and decided to return to what he does best: Smuggling. It’s a slightly out of character move for Falcon pilot especially for those who are fond of the film franchise and I much preferred the continuity that he traveled with them to Hoth without his loyalty faltering. However, I’m not one to sacrifice a good story over continuity and when he’s given a mission to root out a rat in the rebellion it seemed fitting that he was the correct character to carry out the campaign.
The Dragon Void
Participating in a race known as The Dragon Void, Solo uses this as a cover to discover the identity of The Mole. He’s introduced to a colourful cast of characters and the other racers provide a captivating conflict that adds tension to the work. There are callbacks to the podrace from The Phantom Menace and just as that was the most interesting aspect of its respective film, The Dragon Void is the highlight of the graphic novel.
The race gets off to a phenomenal start and packs one hell of a punch right away. It’s enthralling to see our hero barely get through it by the skin of his teeth and I recommend that Star Wars fans pick up the graphic novel for the introductory chapter alone. The Empire isn’t far behind and throughout there are close calls that elevate the work above the rest of the Star Wars graphic novels.
‘No one is blowing up the ship, not on my watch’
As Solo discovers the Rebel informants during the course of the race I found myself gripped by the ever-evolving mystery. There are a lot of surprises a long the way and several key characters from both Han and Chewbacca’s past make an appearance. Each introduction adds a layer to the protagonists that we haven’t seen before and there are some brilliant character designs that really allow the artist to flourish.
As the Falcon heads into the final trial of the race, supplies and fuel dwindle and the net begins to tighten on our heroes as they try to discover the mole. The book keeps you guessing and the action backdrop is enthralling enough to add dynamism to even the most mundane moments.
It’s a brilliant finale and one that feels far more spiritual than I initially expected. Han evolves in more ways than one and it feels like a character defining moment that will definitely stick in the mind of readers long after they put the book down.
Solo is fast, frantic and a whole lotta fun. From beginning to end it is a fantastic ride that once again places Han Solo as one of the best pilots in the Galaxy whilst developing his more endearing side. On the surface, Solo seems like an action-driven set piece, however, there is an overwhelming amount of heart to the book and it certainly stands as one of the most enjoyable Star Wars stories that I’ve ever read.
Solo seals the deal with a brilliant…