Story: As Luke struggles to recover from his momentary encounter with the mind of Darth Vader, Leia, Han, Chewie and the droids try to fight and maneuver their way off the Wheel. Their escape from the gambling station is not the end of their troubles – Han still has matters to settle with Jabba, Leia tries to expand the Rebellion to other worlds, and the cyborg bounty hunter Valance is still on Luke’s trail. Throughout the adventures, the Rebel heroes often run up against the agenda of the Tagge family, led by a ruthless baron whose desire for the Emperor’s favor, and for vengeance against Vader, drive him to enact more and more elaborate schemes to crush the Rebellion once and for all. But the Dark Lord is no stranger to scheming, and he has plans for both the Tagge family and young Skywalker.
Review: Dave: Unlike the first volume, I do have some first hand memories of the stories in this collection – at one point in my youth, I had two or three of the issues that dealt with Tagge’s storm corridor through the Yavin gas giant. I remember liking them quite a bit as a kid, and they still hold up pretty well. Now that I read them as part of the bigger tapestry of the ongoing Tagge feud, I’m even more impressed.
One thing I do wish is that that unfolding saga could have led into the events of The Empire Strikes Back a little better. Now, I don’t really know how much lead time Goodwin had to work with, or how much he knew about the overall storyline of the film when he was writing these issues. So I’m not assigning blame here – it’s just something I find a little disappointing. The characters and settings all seem frozen about five minutes after the end of the first movie – Luke’s still wearing his farm boy outfit, the Rebels are still on Yavin, and so on. Outside of a tacked on epilogue that undoes Goodwin’s earlier resolution of the Jabba bounty issue, there’s not much here bringing us to the next stage of the story. And having Luke and Vader face off face to face right before the movie adaptation is supposed to start just strikes me as a bad idea all around. Continue reading Star Wars: A Long Time Ago Vol. 2 – Dark Encounters