Poe Dameron continues the story between it’s titular character’s search for the one man in the galaxy who may know the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker. So far, Poe and his loyal squadron have hit every obstacle the galaxy could throw at them in their search for Lor San Tekka. Issue #5 is no different.
Officers of the Resistance’s Black Squadron anxiously await the answers Poe’s meeting with Grakkus the Hutt may bring. They have been guests of the enormous Hutt’s fortress in the prison city on Megalox Beta. As you remember, Grakkus the Hutt is fond of Jedi antiquities, and Poe believed dealing with the Hutt would lead him a little bit closer to finding Lor San Tekka, and ultimately, the elusive Luke Skywalker. The Squadron bides their time, trying to come up with whatever back-up plans they may need if Poe’s meeting go south. Unfortunately, the officers have no idea who else has arrived at the prison city.
Amidst the chaos of every criminal contained within the protective forcefield (designed to guard against the über gravity of Megalox Beta…essentially keep the prisoners alive while also making escape impossible), First Order Security officer Agent Terrex emerges from the meeting. He seems to be the person behind the rioting citizens as he simply walks into the mob and they all bow to him. It should be interesting to find out what First Order favors Terrex promised them all; or, why a large mob of criminals would be afraid of him. Terrex is as smug as ever, certainly sure of himself and that he will complete Grakkus the Hutt’s task, escape from Megalox Beta’s prison city. This series in Poe is called Lockdown, and it’s not just a clever name.
Poe arrives to rejoin Black Squadron and informs them of their bleak prospects of helping Grakkus. The First Order clearly have an upper hand on the escape plan, not to mention great influence over the criminal population. A straight-up race to free Grakkus was not an option for the Black Squadron. The Resistance officers must turn to an alternative option. They call it ‘Operation Upside’, and it is to be carried out by BB-8 and the other droids in the orbiting guard station of Megalox Beta.
In the backrooms of the prison city, Agent Terrex conducts a meeting between the other three major players and Grakkus’ rivals for power. It’s a pretty eclectic bunch of aliens, but they all crave power, and Terrex proposes a way not only to give that to them, but also change the fate of Grakkus. It’s a double-cross as Terrex promises to kill the Hutt and free the three bosses from Megalox Beta. This scene is great. It adds a lot more mystery to Terrex, who seemed to be a cookie-cutter First Order/Imperial bully at first. No one can trust anything he says, and when they do, they seal their own fate. Terrex learned very well how to fashion pawns ala the Imperial way. Now we don’t know if he’ll keep his word to Grakkus or if these three are his new allies, but I don’t suspect Terrex is going to do away with the Hutt before he finds out where Lor San Tekka went.
Looks like Terrex’s trustworthiness doesn’t matter much to the mob. They are tearing apart the doors to the fortress, and the opportunity for Poe to beat the clock of Grakkus’ imminent fate. The prison city is falling into chaos.
The Black Squadron, absent X-Wings and blasters, have to make due with the same tools the mob are using. Unfortunately, the droids are not just busy. They’ve encountered one of their own, something that looks like a darker nod to the Iron Giant.
Yep. The droids aren’t getting off easy. Just as they were about to start the crucial act of ‘Operation Upside’…there’s a new droid in town.
Not a mind-blowing issue, by any means. It’s probably my least favorite Poe Dameron book so far. I understand there’s not a lot of movement that can occur in such a confined space, which was a week point of the previous arc. Poe and his Black Squadron are pilots, so by this point, I was hoping to see a little more flying. Maybe even a little dogfighting, too. This series has the potential to be an interstellar chase for the man who holds the key to finding Luke Skywalker. As a reader, I often have to remind myself of the stakes. This issue seems to be something of a lily-pad one, but it’s not bad, just a little routine. If you’ve been reading the series so far, there’s no reason to skip this one, but if you are coming into Poe then I urge you to start from the beginning, as there are some much more intriguing issues.
I’m hoping the next issue bumps up the stakes a bit, considering we all know how high they are by the opening crawl of The Force Awakens. I’m keeping my fingers crossed this series ends moments before Poe lands on Jakku, with the First Order hot on his tail. We shall see.