Review – Star Wars: Rebel Heist #4 (of 4) (Dark Horse Comics)

25245 - CopyPublisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Marco Castiello
Release Date: 30th July 2014

I have been very impressed with the Rebel Heist miniseries. The old saying that one shouldn’t judge books by their covers crumbles once more at Adam Hughes’ eye-catching and vibrant cover art, which leaps out to grab you from the shelves. The pages within continue the excellent first impression, providing undoubtedly that we need a new proverb.

Matt Kindt has penned an intricate and twisty plot for this series, which credits the reader’s intelligence and is full of thoughtful and exciting dialogue. Each issue focused on a seperate character; Han, Leia, Chewbacca and how each of them seemed to fail in their missions for the rebellion.

Issue 4 focuses on Luke, and what he was doing behind the scenes while his friends apparently blundered their way into detention centres. As in the previous issues, where a secondary character narrated the story, providing their impressions and thoughts of the main character, this one is narrated by someone watching and following Luke. This method of story-telling does an excellent job of providing insights into the lives and methods of the Big Four, as well as bolstering their legend.

Luke’s part has been an important one, and tied in with all 3 of his friends “failures”. Needless to say Han, Leia and Chewie were never going to be executed, or worse, sent to Vader, but this is not a classic rescue story. As the title suggests, everything has been set up for an ingenious heist the like of which Mr Ocean and his Eleven would have been envious. The conclusion is surprising well written, tying up the story neatly, while at the same time revealing that there are stories aplently yet to be told. It is with great frustration that I finished the book and had no more to read!

As befits a shadow war between an evil empire and a reckless rebellion, most of the action takes place in the seedier parts of backwater worlds, and at night. Rather than be restricted by these settings, the use of colour, silhouette and light by the art team is very successful in richly conveying these dangerous places and shady events.

Marco Castiello’s pencil work in particluar shines, panels are minimally drawn yet crammed with things to notice. This is a comic that you can re-read again and again and spot something you didn’t see or think of before.

If there is a criticism, and it is a small one, it is that one should own the first three issues before picking up this one, as many plot points will be lost on you otherwise. Just buy the first 3 too, it’s worth it.

In the week where Marvel announced it’s new Star Wars series’ to the world at SDCC2014, Dark Horse has concluded a great series and showed there will be some big shoes to fill. More like this before the license expires in 2015 please!

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Lewis “Daft Vader” Campbell
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