Even at a young age, Anakin Skywalker was proclaiming himself to be the best pilot in the galaxy, and he only got cockier with age. Then along came Han Solo, who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, give a take a few. So, who's better behind the wheel? Many have long believed that Darth Vader can't be beat. But a new comic has come along to change that idea.
The latest Star Wars comic, issue #52, has decided to make Han Solo a better pilot than Darth Vader. Now this is canon. This run of comic stories has been trying to bridge the gap between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, something the original Marvel series did back in the 70s, but those tales have become part of the Legends series.
This latest comic gives fans the dogfight between Han Solo and Darth Vader that we never got to see on the big screen. Sure, Han and Chewie sent Vader spinning into orbit when they bumped his ship at the end of the original Star Wars, allowing Luke Skywalker to blow up the Death Star. But that was a sneak attack. Now the two icons are on a level playing field. And against the odds, which no one should ever tell Han Solo, the old smuggler and space pirate comes out in front.
These new comic book stories tell what really happened in that galaxy far, far away. And as far as we're concerned now, as both the Sith Lord and the scruffy looking nerf herder test their skills against one another, it's Solo who flies highest. This new issue is pretty much just thirty pages of Han trying to stay alive against a bloodthirsty Vader who really wants to slaughter the flyboy.
Being one of, if not, the best pilot in the entire galaxy is a defining trait of both Anakin Skywalker and his son Luke, who maneuvered his X-Wing well enough to blow up an entire space station. Han is more known for his cocky persona than the lofty words coming out of his mouth. Some may take umbrage with the fact that Solo bests Darth Vader here, and many will call it sheer luck. Well, if they're that invested in a fairy story they will, anyway.
This, after all, is make-believe folks. Sorry to burst your bubble, but any writer can come in and pitch an idea to committee and if everyone's on board, they run with it. Doesn't mean fans will like it. Look what happened with The Last Jedi.
In the comic, Solo isn't necessarily the more skilled pilot. He uses a combination of tricks, deception and, as we just discussed, dumb luck to get out from the impending grasp of Death Vader, who would surely kill both Han and Chewbacca if he had the chance. Apparently Sith Lords, even one as powerful as Vader, can't enforce a chock hold on someone in a spaceship just out of range.
Han uses everything within grasp to beat Vader. He even sends C-3PO out in a shuttle to deliver a message, which results in the droid getting cut in half, which is signature Star Wars when it comes to this Protocol robot. Solo is able to dodge missiles at the last second, and at one point, he hides behind the debris of a blown up rebel ship. It all works in the end, with Han able to eventually evade Vader and help deliver the Rebellion a little salvation.
Some will continue to debate who the better pilot is. But for now, the comics have placed all their bets on betting man Han. Perhaps Kylo Ren is a better pilot, but we'll never get to see father and son test their skills agains one another. Unless a comic somewhere down the line decided to show a teenage Ben engaging his father in a space race for fun before his turn to the dark side.
It's in the pages of this comic that we see how the Rebellion survives to fight another day in Empire Strikes Back. It's clearly an important piece of this lore. Perhaps Solo isn't a better star fighter than Vader, but for now, he is the better pilot. This latest story appears in Marvel COmics.