Star Wars #10 (2020)

OPERATION STARLIGHT

Part II: THE REBEL CODE

The heroic Rebel Alliance is scattered and on the run from the evil Galactic Empire.

But the cunning Commander Zahra has broken rebel security codes and will stop at nothing to crush the Rebellion once and for all.

In response, the rebels stole an ancient protocol droid from the Imperial Museum. With it, they hope to create a new unbreakable code and bring the scattered fleet back together….

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Cover artist: Carlo Pagulayan
Publication date: January 6, 2021
Pages: 32

Picking up right where last issue left off, our heroes watch as Artoo and Threepio attempt to hotwire the ancient ‘talky’ droid to try and get the ancient trawak language out of it, but unbeknownst to them the old unit is far stronger than it appears, throwing the droids against the windows until Lobot intervenes and interfaces with the droid, allowing it to speak in basic and communicate its absolute determination not to give up that language module. Enter Lando Calrissian who strikes a deal with the droid – remember from way back when his friendship with Vuffi Raa and more recently with L3-37 – that means Lobot will keep the old droid up and running in return for translating the Rebels secret messages into the ancient lost language.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. While walking down an empty corridor Lando is contacted by Bib Fortuna, who reminds him that Lando made a deal with Jabba to feed information about the Rebellion to him, and he’s yet to deliver. Lando plays it cool, neither confirming or denying that he will play ball, and we move on to Starlight Squadron, a team of rebel pilots including Wedge Antilles, Shara Bey and a very familiar fellow named Mart Mattin as they are dispatched by Leia to spread the word about the new uncrackable codes. As Kes and Shara say their goodbyes we head with her and the squad to Felucia where the Sixth Fleet has been crushed by Imperial forces. They scan, but as they do they are ambushed by Imperial droids who attempt to hack one of their astromechs.

Another huge moment happens as the ‘talky’ droid, connected to Lobot, tweaks his programming, allowing the usually silent cyborg to speak. Meanwhile, boxed into a corner, the pilots eject their astromechs and detonate them, meaning the Empire can’t find the location of their next rendezvous. Leaving them stranded they prepare to pause and make a plan as an ISD drops out of hyperspace right behind them, and we swing back to Leia, Lando and co as they learn that the talky droids programming is overloading Lobots circuits. He will die, but there’s still translating that needs to be done, and as we roll out Kes pulls a fun on Lando as the stark choice is revealed – it’s Lobots life or Starlight Squadron.

There’s plenty going on this issue, and it’s good to finally see Lando be treated more as an equal rather than constantly being punished for his impossible dilemma at Bespin. Lobot getting his voice back is a great moment but as a soon as he gets that capability it’s about to be snatched away. Being a Lando and Lobot fan and having little interest in Kes Dameron I know which way I want that confrontation to go, but by the same token have plenty of faith in the skills of Kes, Shara and Starlight Squadron. On that topic, as we did after the Sequel Trilogy and the launch of Galaxy’s Edge we’re seeing plenty of nods to new pastures. Starlight Squadron is a clear tip of the hat to Starlight Beacon, but unlike the constant Batuu mentions a couple of years back it’s not heavily signposted and flagged. Subtle mentions of something that is by this point a couple of centuries past will work well – waveat it  like a drowning man and it will wear thin fast.

Another quality issue progressing the story and adding even more layers to one of the most interesting eras of the entire saga.

 

Star Wars #10 @ ForbiddenPlanet.com

 

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Star Wars Vol. 1: The Destiny Path (Star Wars (Marvel))
  • Soule, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 11/10/2020 (Publication Date) - Marvel (Publisher)