Wood handles Star Wars extremely well as a property. He makes little nods to the EU but always manages to stay on target and deliver an experience that only requires Episodes IV-VI to enjoy. Little things like Han being willing to shoot first or a more arrogant Luke cement the feeling of this being just after the original Star Wars film. Wood doesn't shy away from revisiting the awkward elements either, like the sexual tension between Luke and Leia in spite of what's learned in later films. You've got to admire a writer who manages to work with incest without grossing out his readers.
The three leads are all wonderful in this issue. Luke's arrogance and youthfulness is fun and charming, if at times frustrating. The real credit this time around has to go to Leia and Han, though. Han is written well here as we finally have him in his element attending a clandestine meeting with Chewie at his side. Han cracks jokes in the right places, and his suave and ability to improvise make it hard not to love his scenes. Also, you've got to appreciate a man who can show you just how a blaster is supposed to be used. Leia has been the primary focus on Wood's run on Star Wars. The former Imperial senator always felt in the background to me in the films, but here she's up front and center. At times in this issue, I felt that Wood was trying to make her into something she's not or that he was highlighting too heavily the fact that this book is all about Leia, but, in the end, I can't help but love him for it. Leia never gives up being what she is, a leader, and damn does she demonstrate she has the chops for it in this issue.
While not important, as a fan with an unreasonably detailed knowledge of the Star Wars timeline, I was a bit peeved that elements of future films are already being crammed into this issue. There is supposed to be a three-year gap between New Hope and Empire, and some of these early sighted elements shatter that timeline. This issue also spends a lot of time with establishing shots. While initially important to show where the characters are and remind readers, an establishing panel is used every single back and forth. I was awfully sick of seeing the Rebel Fleet after it appears four times without much variation. Without more momentum and a lot of new locations, these shots are a waste of panel space and a boring note to an otherwise great issue.
The tension keeps being ratcheted up in every issue of Star Wars, and I'm excited to see where the series will go next and to see in what other ways the creative team will remind me of my love for the original trilogy.