Star Wars: Rebel Jail, by Kieron Gillen et. al. ISBN 9780785199830
Five out of five stars
This collection of comics based on Star Wars shifts the focus a great deal, both on the characters as well as the gender of the successful players. The timeframe is shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, Darth Vader is still alive and the Imperial forces are pursuing the strong, yet still vulnerable forces of the Rebellion.
The opening section has rebel super agent Eneb Ray infiltrating Coruscant in an attempt to free a set of jailed Senators sympathetic to the Rebellion. Apparently successful, he discovers that it was all an elaborate plot executed by the Emperor to frame the Rebellion.
The story then shifts to a jail where the Rebellion houses the most ruthless criminals. In terms of characters, the focus is on Princess Leia, a brilliant female Dr. Aphra that is almost impossible to hold and that knows some of the greatest secrets of the Empire and a powerful female mercenary called Sana. They are the strong and effective forces in this story, Luke and Han are rendered almost impotent, their smuggling is reduced to transporting Nerfs.
The last section is the one that I find most interesting. Luke is a young boy growing up under his Uncle Owen and Obi-Wan Kenobi lives nearby, keeping a watchful eye on him. Kenobi intervenes with Jabba the Hut and the other dangerous creatures to protect Luke and his family from them. It was such a good story that it led to a hope on my part that it would be made into a full-length movie.
Overall, this graphic novel continues the Star Wars saga in a very effective way. Star Wars is most effective when the female characters are strong, which is what they are here. In my opinion, one of the greatest flaws of episode three was the change in Queen Amidala from a fighter to a wimp.