The Yavin 4 Deep Dive Continues This Week in Marvel’s Doctor Aphra #3

marvelswdraphra3- cover

If you thought you’d spent enough quality time on Yavin 4, well you’re not done yet.  Marvel’s Doctor Aphra series continues the fascinating, impromptu archaeological dig Aphra and her father set out on.  If you’ve been holding out on Aphra, I suggest you jump in now, because the story is really getting going.  If you’re hungry for every corner of canon, the third issue of Doctor Aphra will continue to satisfy.  SPOILERS AHEAD…



marvelswdraphra3- behind with the times


Doctor Aphra and her father have arrived on Yavin 4 in search of the elder’s obsession, the Ordu Aspectu.  I’m not going to backtrack and explain to you who the Ordu Aspectu are.  If you missed the last issue and are dying to know what happened before this one, I encourage you to try to get your hands on it, or read my review of it.  Aphra’s father reveals just how obsessed he’s been with uncovering the mysteries of the Ordu Aspectu when he doesn’t realize why the Empire has set up shop on Yavin 4.  The longer the conversation goes on, the more we realize exactly how narrow the bandwidth is on papa Aphra’s attention span.  There’s a nice little Rogue One shoutout, as well.


marvelswdraphra3- dad disapproves


Writer Kieron Gillen is doing a nice job of slowly reintroducing morality to Aphra.  Up until the end of the Vader series, Aphra was a pretty aloof character.  There was certainly no doubt about who she would ally with, especially after her appearance in the “Rebel Jail” arc of Star Wars.  That said, I’m really starting to like the character and am happy to see her bouncing back from misguided admiration of a Sith Lord.  I don’t mean to make Aphra’s interest in Vader sound ga-ga, or like she was some silly school girl.  That could not be further from the truth.  Doctor Aphra is very intelligent, capable, and deadly.  It’s pretty obvious to me how she survived the dissolution of her tenure with Darth Vader and the Empire, not to mention faking her own death.  As you hear Aphra talk about the Death Star and the havoc it inflicted on so many, you get the sense she’d much rather be somewhere in the middle.


marvelswdraphra3- tolvan


Well, hello there, latest Imperial commander we are going to love to hate.  Meet Captain Tolvan, who is one of the more unique looking officers we’ve met.  We don’t get to see a lot of her in this issue, so we’ll all have to hold our breaths on the story behind that very cybernetic looking armor covering her neck, and I’m assuming, the rest of her body.  Again, we don’t see much of Tolvan in this issue, but you’ll learn she is an officer that does not mind getting her hands dirty.  Oh yeah, and her eyes are gray.  Not grayish, gray.  So there’s that, too.


marvelswdraphra3- it's a trap


Tolvan detects Aphra’s presence and sends a patrol of speeders to investigate.  While the Empire may have speeders and blasters, they don’t have Black Krrsantan.  The Wookie provides a distraction, luring in the patrols and taking them out with little problem.  Not only does he take these out, he manages to get Captain Tolvan and the bulk of her guards to come after him.  Black Krrsantan is my least favorite character in Doctor Aphra, but I’m glad he is serving the story well here.  I know that I’m known throughout the galaxy for my Wookie bashing, so I’m trying to look at the glass half-full when it comes to our friend Black Krrsantan.


marvelswdraphra2- two droids and a y-wing


As Black Krrsantan draws the bucket heads away, Triple Zero and BeeTee manage to make their way into the abandoned Rebel base.  I thought it was cool to get a look at a very important location in Star Wars history a while after it had been abandoned.  I would love to hear that story about the Rebels rushing to get off Yavin 4 before the Imperial Fleet arrives.  They make their way through the Massassi Temple, to find a good point for the Aphras to enter.


marvelswdraphra3- at-st wins


Well, the Empire has more than bucket heads.  Things aren’t looking so good for Black Krrsantan.  I bet he gets out of it though.  This Wookie seems to be along for the ride.  I hope they don’t kill him, I’m just starting warm up to this fuzzball.  Murderous fuzzball, I guess.


marvelswdraphra3- aphra in the house


The Aphras get into the temple and arrive in this chamber.  Maybe it’s the fact I’ve been pouring over my recently arrived Star Wars Galactic Maps, but this sure looks like a star chart.  Father Aprha has some crystals that are to be placed in the corresponding indentations.  Each of the crystals is shaped like a temple, so they have to match up.  I know, I know…so that makes this a map of Yavin 4, but I still think some sort of star map is going to come into play.


marvelswdraphra3- indiana aphra


Well, that sure is a hell of a last page.  Looks like father Aphra got the crystals to work.  Am I the only one that is getting a major Indiana Jones vibe from this.  That’s not a complaint or criticism, rather a nice way of introducing this mysterious event on Yavin 4.  This is where the issue ends and we are left wondering what questions will be answered in the next issue, as this one leaves us with a few.


I continue to be pleased with Kieron Gillen’s writing.  He’s doing a great job of giving us just enough information, while at the same time raising the intrigue.  I’m very excited to see how this ends, mostly because I’m enjoying the ride so much.  We are going to be given more insight into the ancient Jedi, as well as learn about an order steeped in the dark side.  Not much of that is touched on in this issue, but my guess is the Aphra’s woke something up.  We shall see.


marvelswdraphra3- next issue cover


This issue is currently available at your local comic shop or digitally through comiXology.



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Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson lives in Portland, Oregon. When he's not running trails, he's reading and writing.

12 thoughts on “The Yavin 4 Deep Dive Continues This Week in Marvel’s Doctor Aphra #3

  • January 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Have to wonder if whatever they stirred up is going to draw the attention of Palpatine in some way.

    • January 20, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Paging Lord Vader….

      Question is: Did Vader really buy Aphra’s ‘demise’, or was he expecting her to keep (passively) serving him on sidebar projects like these? (Like swooping in on her Pops in the coming issues and stealing his decades’ worth of hard work?)

      • January 21, 2017 at 7:51 am

        I have a feeling that Vader, the Emperor, or an Inquisitor might show up. I imagine whatever the Aphra’s ignited at the end of this issue definitely had a ripple effect in the Force. We shall see!

  • January 20, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Marvel is really starting to hit its stride now with the Star Wars comics. Every title has been really good lately. Hopefully the Darth Maul comic can keep up.

    • January 21, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Yes, indeed! I’m very happy with the content they are putting out and I certainly feel they have hit their stride, and continue to improve. Don’t get me wrong, I love the old Dark Horse stuff, but I think Marvel is continuing to build upon that strong foundation of how well SW translates to the medium.

  • January 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Tolvan is giving me Lumiya vibes.

    • January 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Mixed in with some Aeon Flux aesthetics.

  • January 20, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    this would be perfect for an animated series.

    • January 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

      I know!!! This would be a great animated series!

  • January 21, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Damn, so many comics, so little time!

  • January 23, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Could Tolvan be Gov. Everi Chalis from Battlefront: Twilight Company novel? Remember, she had severe neck and voice damage from being choked by Vader for a prolonged period. Although, her hatred for the empire might put a hole in that

    • January 23, 2017 at 2:44 am

      I doubt that. Chalis hates the Empire for underestimating her, and she just wants peace. i can’t imagine what would convince her tog o back to them, and what could convince them to ever take her back.

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