Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where we’re celebrating the release of the surprisingly good Solo: A Star Wars Story with a Han-centric alternate take on the original trilogy, Star Wars Infinities – The Empire Strikes Back.
How’s It Different?
Like the previous installment, this one is a For Want of a Nail story. On the planet Hoth, Han Solo’s tauntaun dies before he can find Luke Skywalker out in the snow. The time that this costs him costs Luke his life, and sets Han on a very different path.
What’s The Story?
Han misinterprets Luke’s dying words as instructions for Han, a man who didn’t believe in the force until very recently, should go to Dagobah and train as a Jedi. Evacuating the besieged Rebel base on Hoth alongside Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids, Han makes his way to Master Yoda’s home…only to find that Leia’s the more suitable apprentice. Han & Chewie set off to square things with Jabba The Hutt while Leia trains to be a Jedi, and the seeds of a greater conflict are sown…
Best of Differences
- Due to taking a more direct route, Han beats Boba Fett to Cloud City by hours and Darth Vader by days. Under those circumstance, Lando chooses to side with his old pal over his pursuers. This leads to a smooth trip for Han, a future as carbonite desk furniture for Boba Fett…and the death of Lando Calrissian and all inhabitants when Cloud City is destroyed by Fett’s employer Darth Vader.
- Yoda is super straight with Leia, telling her that Luke was her brother and Darth Vader is her father within about five minutes of meeting her. It’s refreshing, but also mildly hilarious.
- Han’s version of the infiltration of Jabba’s palace plays a little more Ocean’s 11 than Luke’s, though it does end with Jabba very much alive (albeit happy to be rid of Solo) and C-3PO in Darth Vader’s hands.
- Yoda delivers an epic spanking to Darth Vader in a telepathic battle. Since we’ve never gotten to see the two fight canonically, it’s always fun when it happens.
Worst of Differences
- Han’s escape from Jabba’s palace hinges on Jabba having Nexu to feed his prisoners to rather than the iconic Rancor. Unlike so much else in this story, that can’t be chalked up to Luke’s untimely death.
- Considering that she’s the one who becomes a Jedi Knight in this story, Leia doesn’t really do…much of anything, really.
- The story moves at a breakneck pace trying to cram two films worth of altered twists and turns into four short issues. It does admirably, but no one scene gets more than a few pages.
Come Back Next Week for Your Regularly Scheduled Tokusatsu Gesundheit!