We are reaching the end of the “Screaming Citadel” event. In all honesty, I’m looking forward to getting back on track to where our respective titles, Star Wars and Doctor Aphra, left off. Since we are on Part Four, I will assume anyone reading this is up to speed with the other issues, and of course, SPOILERS AHEAD….
Leia and Sana are still trying to make their way into the Citadel, where Luke and Han are trapped. Black Krrsantan opens the issue by beating the piss out of one of the strange guards we see roaming the Screaming Citadel. As he joins up with the duo, accompanied by Triple Zero and BeeTee, the Wookie is compelled to continue his thrashing of the guards so they can make their way inside. Oh yeah, and he’s infected with a parasite that leaves him relatively open to suggestion.
The Queen of the Screaming Citadel has paid off Aphra for delivering Luke to her. The Rur Crystal contains the soul of a Jedi. No doubt this Jedi is an old one, but there is obviously something up if the Queen is parting with this crystal and keeping Luke. The Queen has been revealed to be something of a vampire, but instead of blood, she sucks the life force out of people.
The Queen is not interested in controlling Luke’s mind, as you will see she is doing to someone else we know. She is sucking the life, or the Force, out of Luke using this machine. Aphra doesn’t seem to mind that she’s leaving Luke to a fate of torture and eventual death. The Queen has a special taste for Jedi.
I had to put this up here for any Snoke theorists reading. No, I don’t think Snoke’s grand reveal will be in “Screaming Citadel”, but this fella next to the Queen sure caught my eye. I don’t think it’s Snoke, but still interesting how similar he looks to some of the Lucasfilm concept art of the eventual appearance. If you’re paying attention to the Queen, it looks like Aphra just got double-crossed herself.
Well, if the Queen is saving Luke for dessert, she’ll get the soldier she needs in Han. By infecting him with the symbiont/parasite, she takes control of his mind, and he is the replacement for her chief guard taken out by Black Krrsatan. Han is ready to serve the Queen, just as Leia and company have entered the Screaming Citadel.
Despite not being thrilled by this issue, I must say the concept of the Screaming Citadel guards is pretty cool. Their armor looks like something I’d expect from the Old Republic days. Everything about Screaming Citadel feels ancient and it’s cool to see these characters in a very unique setting. I’m not crazy about the story, for the most part, but the concepts are very cool. Here Han and his new friends are about to corner Leia after a shootout.
Just as Aphra is about to make her big exit, the gem comes to life. It’s a voice that calls itself Rur, and it appears to know a lot about Aphra. Despite her affinity for Vader, I do believe that we will continue to discover Aphra is a truly good person who has become misguided due to unfortunate circumstances. Rur sees right through Aphra and she realizes that she can’t leave Luke to the fate in Screaming Citadel.
Just in case you forgot, Sana still VERY much wants Aphra dead. She makes a deal with the two droids, and BeeTee goes to work taking out Han’s guards. As for Han, well, let’s just say Sana handles that herself. As this all goes down, Luke makes an escape from his dental chair-like restraint, and tries very hard to take a lightsaber to the queen. The only problem is that the Queen appears to be some kind of projection. It’s a bit confusing, but once Aphra joins the fight with a massive explosion, things become quite complicated when the symbiont joins with Luke.
All hail King Luke! Looks like it’s about to get crazy in Screaming Citadel.
Gripes with the story aside, I love the art by Salvador Larroca, in tandem with colorist Edgar Delgado. This issue is great on the eyes. I’m not sure why I feel “Screaming Citadel” is so tired and it could entirely be that I’m still frustrated we seem to be hovering between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Sure, there are a lot of stories to tell in that three-year window, but I wish it felt like we were moving a bit faster towards TESB. I’m sure we’ll get there and perhaps the final issue of this event will bring it home for me. I hope you all are enjoying it!