My friends, comic book day is upon us once again, and this time the comic stork (that’s how comics happen, right? Like babies?) delivered a bonus one-shot that tells the story of how Cassian met Kaytoo…oddly enough, it’s not the romcom it sounds like it could be…additionally, we get the murderous stylings of an ancient “Jedi” trapped in a green crystal that can control technology and has ruined Aphra’s swank auction soiree…so yeah, how ’bout I quit yapping and we get down to business?
Doctor Aphra #11
So Rur is loose and on a rampage. Perhaps the best part of this whole comic comes right at the start when the Ezaraa decide to just take him out and steal the crystal by saying, “Why pay when one can slay?” That line is terrific and I hope to find a way to work it into regular conversation…often. Anyway, the Ezaraa open fire on Rur, who has two lightsabers (I didn’t mention that here but I think it came up last time…) and easily deflects their bolts back, killing one of them. Seeing this, the Ezaraa calls for an immediate retreat. I just love how these guys are all talk, it’s great. The Ezaraa are definitely climbing my favorite alien species list. After this, Rur turns his attention to Aphra who’s trying to escape while also teaching the scholarly folks she picked to win the auction how to survive. She does a poor job, however, as one gets sliced in half, and we don’t exactly know the fate of the other, but I reckon it’s not good. Aphra manages to get away and runs into the droid that’s now Rur’s counterpart, which sparks the realization that Rur doesn’t have his technopathy so someone else must be controlling the guns…and now Aphra’s in on what we already knew: it’s the murderbots. She tells them to turn it off, but they can’t because they broke it, and they say she has to come to them to hear their demands. Unfortunately, the quickest way to them is through Rur’s bloodbath, so she takes the long way. BT and 000 find this to be a wise decision, then they have an entire page of R2/3PO-esque banter. Meanwhile, Rur continues his rampage and sets his sights on the Rodians that I thought had left in the last issue, but I guess were still hanging around…he manages to escape Rur and ends up meeting Sutha the Hutt and his/her/its associates and strike up yet another deal. While that is going down, Krrsantan finds Aphra and has her open the armory so he can get a gigantic gun to go after the Xonti brothers. Aphra takes the opportunity to change, grab an ion weapon, and make an “attention K-Mart shoppers” announcement to the remaining crowd that there’s a blue light special on arms in the open armory. She also realizes this means she told Rur where she was and where everyone would be headed. (Also, it turns out the other academic survived and is with one of the Ezaraa…and the incredibly old dude is alive as well.) So Aphra takes off and, of course, runs right into Rur. It looks to be curtains for our hero, but the murderbots blast him with the defense weapons, because they’re apparently not finished with her yet, allowing her to escape. At the bottom of the page we see a Star Destroyer approaching the station…Aphra finally arrives where the droids are in time to watch Darth Vader emerge through a door on the station and tell his troopers to “destroy them all.” With rightly terrified eyes fixed on the monitor, Aphra hears 000 say, “Now, let’s talk,” and that’s the end of the issue…
Cassian & K-2SO
This short adventure begins with Cassian’s hands fiddling around inside K-2, and quickly turns to K-2’s hands strangling Cassian’s – turns out he hadn’t quite erased enough of his memory yet…but then we flash back and start the story proper: Cassian and two alien twins, Kertas & Rismor (who are possibly Zeltrons? The appearance lines up decently, but I don’t know about the scent communication aspect…if anyone has a better idea, let me know!), are in a pretty cool-looking ship that looks like a cross between a Lamda class shuttle and an A-wing flying to The Colonies, specifically Wecacoe. The group is looking to snag Imperial security protocols from “The Guts,” whatever that is. Wecacoe looks to be an alien-heavy (I’ve spotted a Caamasi, a Trianii, a Verpine, and a Noghri [based on their old look, not so much what Rukh looks like in Rebels], just to name a few) dump – my kinda place to hang out. Through Cassian’s inner monologue we find out that his companions don’t talk much because they communicate by scent. Pretty interesting. They arrive at their destination only to find that it’s crawling with Stormtroopers and security droids, which strikes Cassian as odd. Since they can’t use the front door, they sneak in through what appears to be a sewage or runoff grate. Once they’re inside, we find out the “The Guts” is literally referring to the inside of an Imperial Cruiser. The twins go to work trying to get the information they need out of it, and Cassian notices on a monitor that some Stormtroopers are crowded around the grate they used to get in so he decides to try to find another way out. Somehow, an alarm is triggered and the group has to sneak around to find a way out. Cassian gets the idea to lure one of the security droids over with the sound of something falling, and then pretends to give himself up before attacking the security droid and trying to find its kill switch. Turns out Cassian’s failing miserably because he’s looking in the wrong place – instead of the neck area, the kill switch is in the nether regions…luckily the twins knew that, and luckier still they came to help instead of staying put like they were told. Now Cassian attempts to reprogram the droid, and we catch up to where we were at the beginning. As you hopefully remember, this doesn’t go well, so one of the twins once again flips the kill switch and they try again. This time it goes well, and Cassian tells the droid his mission is to lead them to their ship…which he takes to heart, even letting a Stormtrooper know that’s what he’s doing when asked why he isn’t where he should be. A firefight ensues, and Cassian tells K-2 to take the twins and run. They get out of that mess, but end up in another as their ship is now overwhelmed by Imperials. Not knowing what to do, one of the twins, Rismor, takes off running, getting some of the Imps to give chase. Next, Kertas finally speaks, telling Cassian that the droid has all the intel the rebels need, and then takes off running as well. Then, for some reason, their ship explodes…not really sure what happened here…I guess the Imperials blew it up? Anyway, they have to find another ship. Cassian and K-2 have a little scuffle because K-2 is still trying to arrest him (there are some moments with this that I’m pretty sure are supposed to be funny, but just don’t land like his lines in the movie – the part where he tells the Stormtroopers exactly what he’s doing is pretty funny though), but Cassian comes through and gets the reprogramming just right and they fight their way through some Stormtroopers to a shuttle they can steal. The banter between the two gets better here, and we start to see the K-2 we know come through. To finish things up, Cassian and K-2 get away, and we see that the twins, though stranded for the time being, are safe. The end.
So, what did you think? What on earth is going to happen with the next issue of Aphra? Is Vader going to defeat Rur (likely) and destroy the crystal (also likely)? Does he know Aphra is alive, or did the murderbots leave that detail out? If so, how’s he going to reconcile that? Will they team up again, or does Aphra’s run end at #12 when he kills her for real? And what of the Cassian & K-2SO one-shot, did you enjoy it, or was it meh? I thought it was a good story, not great, but good. And I really appreciate the alien species it seems to have incorporated into canon…I’d also really like to know what species the twins are…anyway, give the books a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll reprogram you so that you think you’re a security droid that spews infinitely quotable one-liners…TWS out.