Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Marco Castiello
Publisher: Dark Horse
At this point, three issues into the four-issue Star Wars: Rebel Heist miniseries from Matt Kindt, Marco Castiello, and Dark Horse Comics, the beats are fairly predictable. Each issue features a peripheral voice on the edge of the Star Wars universe, an unknown player in the cosmic chess match, describing his or her mission with mythical heroes of Star Wars. Issue #1 was a scared rebel soldier running a suicide mission with Han Solo; issue #2 was a strong and capable spy running a stealth heist with Princess Leia; now in issue #3 we have an experienced former Empire soldier fighting his way into enemy territory alongside Chewbacca. Plot aside, every issue has featured a familiar refrain of an incredulous, doubting third-party, unable to comprehend what makes these Rebel heroes so interesting or heroic. By the end of the mission, they see it all very clearly, and “Rebel Heist #3” is no exception, although it’s likely that’s what keeps this series from feeling exceptional.
“Star Wars: Rebel Heist #3” finds the ex-Empire soldier who met up with Princess Leia at the end of issue #2 awaiting the arrival of everyone’s favorite wookie. The ex-Empire narrator carries the key to the rebellion in his DNA (a clear example of a Matt Kindt splash) and also carries a severe distrust of Wookies. Even as Chewbacca swoops in and saves him from Gamorrean hostility, sewer snake monsters, and a crazy death trap, the ex-Empire warrior can’t shake the feeling that Chewbacca is little more than a mindless beast. It’s a fair mirror of Star Wars movie watchers’ likely initial analysis of Chewie.
As a comic, “Star Wars: Rebel Heist #3” is enjoyable and moves surprisingly quickly. In many ways the action actually feels a bit too quick. While some single-issue stories make for fantastic comic books (Warren Ellis’s and Declan Shalvey’s recent Moon Knight comes to mind), Kindt and Marco Castiello’s rendition actually feels mildly rushed. To be fair, switching heroes each issue has definitely been a positive move, as four issues of just the Han Solo story (what I thought Rebel Heist was going to be about) may have tired quickly. Then again, who gets tired of Han Solo? For all of Kindt’s efforts to showcase Chewie’s heroism and loyalty, the end revelation feels very predictable and, well, unrevealing. All Chewie really does through the issue is fight and growl. This is how he showcases what a wonderful hero he is?
Verdict: 7.2 out of 10
Star Wars: Rebel Heist has been a thoroughly pleasant reentrance into the lives of our favorite rebel spies. For fans of the Star Wars movies who don’t dive particularly deep into the world of the comics or books, this is a fun way to get reacquainted with the characters.