Star Wars #34 + Poe Dameron #18

We have once again been blessed with two installments from the Star Wars universe this comic book day:  one with Sana and Lando in an unlikely, perhaps pre-Empire Strikes Back mission for the Rebellion, and another thread in the yarn about the best pilot in the Resistance, Mr. Poe Dameron. Did the story group really allow Lando to be ret-coned into working with the Rebellion (even more than he did in Rebels) in the comics? Will Terex reveal that he’s actually back to his old self and do something to double-cross Phasma-not-Phasma? I’ll guess you’ll just have to read on to find out…

Star Wars #34
sw34I’ve gotta say, the flagship series has really hit its stride again with these one-shot issues. While Swiss Family Skywalker wasn’t my favorite issue, it was definitely much better than anything that’s come from this line since the SCAR Squad, and this issue just pushes it that much further. The story starts with Sana enlisting Lando Calrissian for a job that turns out, thankfully, to have nothing to do with the Rebellion – now all that speculation can be over and we can just enjoy the book. Anyway, when he inquires what they’ll be doing, we flash back to Sana on a pretty rad-looking, extra-Sci-fi-y ship trying to sell Imperial arms (weapons, not appendages) to a super mondo awesomely designed alien species of lobsterfolk called the Krawg (I do love me some not-so-humanoid-looking alien species!). They strike a deal for the one crate she has with her as a sample, so to speak, with the promise that she’ll deliver the rest if they like them…oh, with one little caveat:  she keeps one for herself. At this point you’re thinking, “okay, so this deal went sour and she needs Lando’s help to fix it.” But that’s not it at all…the reason Lando was brought in is because he’s “practically legitimate” at this point and can arrange for Sana to speak with an Imperial officer on Coruscant. When they get there, she presents the weapon she kept for herself as proof that she knows where the Empire’s stolen weapons are. After some failed attempts at intimidation by the officer, Sana sells the information she has and gets out scot-free. So now you’re thinking, “oh, so she double-crossed the lobsterfolk to make a profit and get them in trouble with the Empire as a way of getting even” (you see, we’ve since found out that the Krawg raided some rebel sympathizers on Mykapo – yes, the planet from Rebels). But that’s not really it either…turns out Sana doesn’t have all the guns she promised the Krawg, so she can’t deliver them and the Empire will still be missing part of their stolen supply. Well, turns out Jabba, the crafty Hutt, has the rest of the weapons cache. So, Sana and Lando (who has no reason to be involved anymore, but is still along for the ride until he gets his end of the bargain) roll up to Jabba and Sana tells him it was the Krawg who stole his missing crate. Well, there just so happens to be a Krawg in disguise in the palace, and he shows himself, yelling “liar,” only to be shot down by the quick draw of Sana…and he’s carrying one of the stolen from Jabba but sold to the Krawg weapons. Jabba believes her, pays her, and she and Lando are on their way. End of story…except not quite:  turns out that while Lando and Jabba were drinking together (this is kinda iffy since I’m pretty sure Jabba would recognize Lando in his disguise from Return of the Jedi if they were “drinking buddies,” but I’m willing to let it go), Sana stole the rest of the weapons. So now she’s 45000 credits ahead and has twelve crates of Imperial weapons…awesome. Sana is awesome. But wait, there’s more! The Krawg get the drop on Sana’s ship and it looks like it might be curtains until they’re saved…by the Empire! That’s right, a Star Destroyer shows up just in time to take care of the Krawg while Sana and Lando slip into hyperspace…now on Nar Shaddaa, Lando is getting his “date” he was promised for helping Sana. The food is awful, though, so Lando decides to just take his money and run…then we find out that Sana had the chef put actual garbage on the plate in hopes that Lando would do just that. It also turns out the super badass, rough around the edges Sana has a soft side, much like Han does, and she actually gave the money she made from her extravagant plan to a hospital in the slums where she grew up. Sana’s inner monologue hits the “hope” theme that Star Wars has been drilling into just about everything lately, and then the book ends by setting up the next issue that shows Han avoiding TIE fighters in the Falcon with Grakkus the Hutt chained up in it…this might be weird, my friends, but that’s a worry for the next issue, for now, let’s just bask in the glow of Sana’s awesomeness…

Poe Dameron #18
poe18I feel like this was one of those unfortunately setup issues that you get from time to time in any kind of serial format. For example, I loved The Sopranos, but there were some incredibly boring episodes of that show…you usually got the payoff near the end of the season, though, so hopefully this issue was a building block to something big to come…anyway, we drop in right where we left off:  the First Order officer has just shot the bug fella and is prattling on about how there’s thorilide here based on old Imperial data and they’ve come to collect it. The locals explain that the reason the Empire didn’t mine them into oblivion like so many other planets is because they had a strong will and made it too much work for the Imperials to bother. The First Order, of course, says they’ll succeed where the Empire failed. Naturally, the Resistance crew is getting this all on film. It’s exactly what they came for…but now the two pilots, or soldiers as they say, want to intervene because they can save a small number of people and it’s the right thing to do. So we get the age old moral dilemma:  would you sacrifice some to save many. As it turns out, the journalist would, but the members of Black Squadron wouldn’t…so they ruin everything by opening fire, they don’t succeed and get caught, and Suralinda gets apprehended as well…surprise, surprise…though I will say I’m slightly surprised that Suralinda seems to give up everything so easily. I’m assuming she has a trump card in all this, but it might just be as simple as her loyalties are only surface-level and she’s up for whatever saves her skin…I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that…now, to Poe and Snap’s part of the story:  they talk to Oddy’s wife who explains the details of the story we basically already knew about how he did everything for her and wasn’t really a bad guy, but actually a hero…then we cut to Oddy who’s being tortured for information by Terex, though the only thing Terex is getting out of him is that he loves that Terex is now a slave to the First Order just like he was, and that he could fix Terex with just the tools in the room they’re in but he’d never do it (or would he…?). And that’s basically it…the book ends with the First Order in possession of half of Black Squadron already, with the other half about to fall into their carefully laid trap…but did Oddy actually “fix” Terex off-page and the ruse is in full effect? And what of Suralinda? Did she change sides again, or is she up to something? Only time (and probably the next issue or two) will tell…

And there you have it! So, what’d you think? Did you fall head over heels for the other smuggler with a heart of gold in Star Wars? Or did you think the Sana one-shot was kinda meh? What of Lando’s involvement? Was it too much, or just enough? What about him and Jabba palling around? Does that make his infiltration in Return of the Jedi a little harder to believe, or do you think the mask was good enough to keep Jabba from recognizing him? And what about the Poe comic? Did you think it was exciting, or were you like me and said, “meh, what happens next?” Do you think Oddy helped Terex out, or no? Am I falling for a red herring in thinking that Terex will ever be his old self again, or do you think they’re leading us toward that inevitability? Give the books a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll have Sana come up with a masterful plan to humiliate you in front of everyone at the beginning of school…TWS out.

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