Comic Review – “Star Wars: Sana Starros” #1 Gives the Scoundrel Her Own Miniseries Filled with Family Drama

Back in 2015, not long after Marvel Comics relaunched its main Star Wars title, writer Jason Aaron and artist John Cassaday introduced the character of Sana Starros, a scoundrel claiming to be the wife of one Han Solo.

Now, nearly eight years later, Sana has gone on to make dozens upon dozens of appearances in Star Wars canon, most recently becoming a regular in the Doctor Aphra series. And this week saw the release of Marvel’s Star Wars: Sana Starros, the first miniseries in which the character has had the opportunity to take the lead and the title.

This time around, the creative team bringing Sana to the comic-book page is made up of writer Justina Ireland (Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Jabba the Hutt), artist Pere Pérez (Star Wars: Revelations), and colorist Jay David Ramos (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic). The story is set prior to Sana’s first appearance in Star Wars (2015) #4, and it is implied that it takes place just after her breakup with rogue archaeologist Dr. Chelli Lona Aphra. Sana Starros #1 begins on the planet E’ronoh (created for the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing initiative, of which Ireland is one of the story architects), where the title character is taking part in yet another heist gone wrong. She uses that frustration as an excuse to visit her grandmother on Hosnian Prime, though she has to get through a fun series of security measures to access the family compound first– including a cobbled-together droid protection force. But once inside, Sana’s Grammy Thea is nothing but welcoming, although the surprise presence of her cousin Aryssha throws our antiheroine for a loop. After some prodding, Sana manages to extract the delicate information that Aryssha is married to (and has become pregnant by) an Imperial officer named Cerasus Ehllo who is… let’s say “not very nice.” And when Ehllo uses the stormtroopers at his command to invade the Starros homestead and reclaim his wayward bride, Sana is forced to take these matters into her own hands.

There’s a bit of a Die Hard influence as Sana Starros takes to the air ducts of her Grammy’s home, watching and listening as Cerasus belittles and assaults Aryssha, and waiting until the odds are better to make her move. We get a couple flashbacks peppered in here and there: one to the earlier days of Sana and Chelli’s relationship, which the former is reminded of when settling into her dilapidated bedspace, and one to Sana and Aryssha’s youth, when her brother Phel (who it is implied may also now be working for the Empire) used the ducts to prank his sister and their cousin. Then there’s some great, energetic action as Sana, Thea, and Aryssha’s mom Mevera take on the troopers, using booby traps they’ve built into their well-protected home. After that, it’s just a matter of these three women setting off in pursuit of Aryssha, who’s been taken to Ehllo’s ship the King’s Ransom. That’s the cliffhanger ending for this debut issue, and it’s an exciting one that left me chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. Indeed, I really enjoyed this story overall, and perhaps what I liked most about it is how different it feels compared to what’s come before in Star Wars lore. I love that we’re getting to know this tight-knit (if often dysfunctional) family so well right off the bat, and I’m digging how well they work together in crisis situations. Ireland’s writing is crisp and lively as always, while Pérez’s art immediately drew me in and made me feel closer to these characters, most of whom we haven’t met before. It’s a terrific, bonus-sized kick-off to an intriguing new adventure, arriving just in time for Black History Month. I think Sana Starros has a ton of potential as a character, and Justina Ireland has already proven herself the right choice to expand the Starros clan.

Star Wars: Sana Starros #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold.