Inasmuch as “The Ashes of Jedha” has succeeded over the past few months, it’s done so in spite of the artwork rather than because of it. That fact is only made more apparent in the sixth and final chapter. With Star Wars #43 capping off this storyline on a fairly underwhelming note, it’s clear that Marvel’s flagship Star Wars comic has some very fundamental problems that need addressing.
“Anticlimactic” is perhaps the best word to describe Star Wars #43. As strong as Kieron Gillen’s scripting has been since taking over the series, there’s not enough payoff in this finale. Nowhere is that problem more pronounced than with the final showdown between Luke and Commander Kanchar. This scene is treated less like a true battle and more like a brief skirmish delaying the inevitable rematch. Compounding this problem is the fact that so much of this issue hinges on an abrupt plot twist that only really works in the context of Gillen’s Darth Vader run. As fun as it is to see Gillen drawing connections between the two books, it would have been nice to see more buildup to that dramatic and sudden reversal in this storyline.