Kyle’s Review: R2-D2 To The Rescue In Marvel’s Star Wars #36
In issue #36 of the titular Marvel series, R2-D2 comes to the rescue of his friend C-3PO. Star Destroyers, stormtroopers, and Sith Lords aren’t going to deter the galaxy’s most brazen astromech droid.
If you were like me, you were probably a little confused a few issues back, before Yoda’s Secret War, when Luke Skywalker went looking for Artoo and ended up tracing back a tale from the Journal of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I don’t want to go too far back, but last we saw Artoo, he stole and X-Wing and went looking for his friend C-3PO. This issue picks up as Artoo arrives on the Star Destroyer were Threepio is being held. I should probably clarify that Artoo doesn’t just swoop in and land in the Star Destroyer’s hangar. He and the X-Wing are found drifting in space and are brought aboard, reluctantly, by an Imperial commander. I say reluctantly because Darth Vader himself happens to be onboard.
As soon as Artoo is aboard, he starts making short work of the stormtroopers. With his abilities in computer manipulation–as well as a weapons upgrade Chewbacca gave him–Artoo is a force to be reckoned with. If he’s not blasting bucket heads he’s incinerating or blowing them out airlocks. I’ll just say that this issue may make some of the more critical Star Wars fans scoff because of how easily Artoo dispatches every squad sent after him. It’s a little ridiculous, but I enjoyed it, just because the little guy doesn’t get the center spotlight very often in these comics. At least this wasn’t another issue with a Wookiee doing it.
The trusty Threepio finds himself in quite a predicament. He’s either about to be tortured or dismantled (or both) by an interrogator under the orders of Vader himself. We all know the protocol droid doesn’t do so well with the prospect of danger. I have a feeling whatever droid torture he’d endure wouldn’t be quite as crude as what’s done to droids in the basement of Jabba’s Palace, but I don’t think it’d take much to get Threepio talking. Luckily, Artoo arrives just in time to free his golden friend.
Artoo makes sure that he and Threepio make it to the hangar and prepare for their big exit. I should mention that due to the significant losses the Star Destroyer’s crew has experienced in this skirmish that they are not looking for an astromech droid. There’s actually a frame where they’ve apprehended a security droid they must think is malfunctioning and causing the damage. Artoo and Threepio make it out of the hangar and are headed towards freedom.
I wonder if the Imperial Academy has anything in their curriculum about expecting Sith Lords to show up and Force-choke officers to death if an escape happens on their watch. Not terribly surprising that Vader decided to take over command of the Star Destroyer and relieve the commander of his duties.
Not only does Vader take command of the Star Destroyer, he decides getting the droids back is something he’d rather get done himself. Vader knows the droids could be valuable in his search for Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion. This is also where this issue kind of “jumps the shark”, in my opinion. Sure, Artoo is great and all, but putting him up against Vader is just goofy. As well as the diminishing effect it has on Vader’s mystique. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VADER OVERKILL. We all know he’s out there in the galaxy. He doesn’t need to pop-up as much as he does. His appearance in this issue is my biggest complaint.
Just as Vader catches up with Artoo and is about to blast the droids to pieces, Luke and company show up. Of course, they brush Vader aside like he’s some kind of pest and make the jump to hyperspace with the droids intact. Everyone makes it out okay.
Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy, the Scar Squad appears to have finally caught up with the Rebels. This is gonna get interesting.
I don’t have a lot to say about this issue. It was fun, had some moments, but overall pretty forgettable. As we know, writer Jason Aaron is winding down his time at the helm of this series, and I’m glad Marvel is letting him have some well-deserved fun in the Star Wars Universe. I didn’t hate this issue, but the only reason it seemed to be necessary was to explain Threepio’s fate that I honestly forgot was in question until I picked this issue up. At least it wasn’t all about a Wookiee, though.
5 OUT OF 10 STARS