War of the Bounty Hunters Issue 5 by Charles Soule

WARNING!!! Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2 – The Tribes of Tatooine.

O.K. Right. Deep breath. Let’s begin…

After a literal tug-of-war for the Imperial Shuttle carrying Solo to The Empire Bokka sends The Hutts to war with The Executor at the request of Qi’Ra to serve as a distraction for Leia, Lando and Chewie to get on board Vader’s flagship. Boba Fett and Valance also find a way on board whilst, after a dog-fight with Luke, Vader is sent to dispatch the heads of the Hutt Crime Families.

On board The Executor it’s a race against time between the Rebels and the Bounty Hunter duo, but when Fett seemingly fatally wounds Valance, Boba proceeds alone to find Leia, Lando and Chewie about to claim Han after taking out his guards.

An explosion stops the rescue after blowing a hole in the hull and sucking the incarcerated smuggler into space. Fett jet packs after him and retrieves his bounty leaving the Rebels to regroup and escape.

Fett delivers Solo to Jabba, who has cancelled the contract on Boba, pays him a vast amount and asks that he stick around because with the tense relationship between Jabba and the Empire and the emergence of Crimson Dawn, things are likely to get interesting.

And finally, Qi’Ra puts together a group of mercenaries, including some of The Knights of Ren, as she starts to make a play for power.

And I thought Soule crammed last issue full of story, this final issue is seriously full of amazing story moments.

Firstly, Bokka the Hutt’s full on war against The Executor. A truly foolish attempt to be honest, but as he’s under the thumb of Qi’Ra and Crimson Dawn, he does what he must and it ends up leading the Hutt Cartel into serious disarray. Now Vader has slaughtered the clan leaders, leaving Jabba to rule the roost so to speak, I wonder if that disarray has lasted until ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ where the Hutts are making an appearance.

Secondly, it’s almost heartbreaking seeing how close Leia was to saving Han. Even in the Legends novel ‘Shadows of the Empire’ the Rebels were never that close to Han. Soule’s writing really establishes how much Leia loves Han.

Thirdly, it’s really great as I read this storyline, with ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ out, getting to see two very different sides of this man. ‘War of the Bounty Hunters’ has shown Fett in his pre-Sarlaac days. A merciless killer, hell-bent on finishing the job he’s on and willing to do anything it takes, whilst that determination has stuck with him post-Sarlaac, we are truly seeing a very different man coming out of that monster as he is accepted by the Tusken Raiders.

One thing I found strange is how Qi’Ra essentially takes a back-seat again in this issue after playing a major role in the earlier issues. Of course we will be seeing more of her in ‘Crimson Reign’ which I will be getting to soon (going to catch up on the main ‘Star Wars’ run first though).

Soule has to nice again proven his amazing ability to craft a Star Wars story. He consistently puts out amazing stories which are chock-a-block full of action, adventure, and the deep-seated emotion that we have come to love about the Galaxy far, far away.

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