I’ve heard it said many times that no one is the villain in their own story. Stormtroopers in the Star Wars Universe are generally generic bad guys, even something of a joke. “Shooting like a stormtrooper” is something I’ve heard geeks say when someone fires a lot of shots and hits nothing. This issue, Jason Aaron does his best to dispel all that.
“Last Flight of the Harbinger,” is about a very special team of Special Commando Advanced Recon (SCAR) troopers. They are frighteningly good at what they do. They are a highly skilled group, and are shown to be the best of the best. These are certainly not joke troopers. The story also tells us about their leader, an Imperial we’ve seen before in this series. He has some very good motivations for both joining the Empire and hating the Rebels. If this group is going up against our usual heroes, it’s going to be an interesting fight.
Plot: This was arguably an inventory issue. They introduced several new characters, showing us their specialities and nicknames. Their mission was almost secondary to showing us what they can do. For all that, with Jason Aaron’s usual good writing, it was enjoyable. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5 for plot.
Art: The fight and action scenes were really well done. The SCAR troopers all had their own variations on stormtrooper armor. The combat and pace of a Star Wars story is hard to tell in frozen visuals, but Molina did it well. I’ll give the art a 3.5 out of 5 as well.
Positives: It’s nice to see some competent troopers, men with actual personalities and motivations. I like how they handled the new team, and gave at least the leader a backstory that worked. It’s the best treatment of stormtroopers since the Hand Of Judgement, a rogue group in a few of the Expanded Universe novels.
Negatives: None of the big names, or even small names, are here. This is a story of unknown characters, which I could see disappointing some fans. The armor being different for each of them is a nice touch, but makes them seem less like stormtroopers. And we only get any real depth from the leader. Hopefully we’ll see more of the others as the story goes on.
Star Wars #21
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jorge Molina
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: David Aja