The hunt for Luke Skywalker continues as the First Order have followed Poe, Leia, and the Black Squadron across the galaxy, hoping to get their hands on the one person who knows where the reclusive Jedi Master may be: Lor San Tekka. Throughout this entire Poe Dameron series, Tekka has been the prize both the Resistance and the First Order have been after. Just when one of them thinks they’ve found him…well, it’s never that simple in Star Wars. SPOILERS AHEAD….
For the Resistance, getting close to Lor San Tekka has proven to be quite a challenge. The galactic traveler is almost as elusive as Luke Skywalker himself. In case you haven’t been following, Leia is even on the frontlines of the mission, pretending to secure storage for her mother’s royal Nabooian gowns in the holds of Cato Neimoidia’s decadent vaults. All because they caught wind of Lor San Tekka’s imprisonment and are there to set him free. The plan sounded simple, but with each issue of the “Legend Found” arc, it gets more and more complicated. The above frame is a good example of a simple plan going sideways. The Black Squadron were supposed to run distraction for Poe and Leia, but the Cato Neimoidian droid fleet has proven to be formidable, thanks to their swarming numbers.
Poe sees his X-wing headed to join the fight, but the biggest problem is Poe’s not in the cockpit. Someone else is. He doesn’t know who, but figures that can’t be good. The Black Squadron will instinctively follow his lead, plus their guard will be down, so whoever is in the pilot’s seat will have little trouble dispatching the best squad of the Resistance. Luckily, Leia and Poe’s Neimoidian host has a ship to spare, for a very reasonable price, I assume.
I’ll go on record as I hoping to never run into Malarus in a dark alley somewhere. Sheesh…but, I gotta admit, I love it! She’s piloting Poe’s X-wing, and if this frame weren’t enough, play time with the Resistance is over. Malarus is in fine form throughout this issue and she doesn’t seem that interested in capturing Lor San Tekka. Malarus wants to hurt Black Squadron and the Resistance, and she gets quite a few chances here. Kudos to artist Angel Unzueta and colorist Arif Prianto on their especially gnarly depiction of Malarus unleashed. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t notice, Malarus bleeds black. 🙂
Poe gets a peak at his new ride here. Once belonging to a drug lord…I mean Kesselian Spice magnate…this sleek looking craft will get Poe airborne so he can protect his friends. The situation is getting pretty dire, so Leia pays what sounds like an outrageous fee to use it. As Poe takes to the sky, Leia and Suralinda speculate as to who the thief of Poe’s X-wing is. Suralinda thinks it’s pirates. Leia knows better, but one thing no one’s talked about much is the person who stole Leia’s ship.
If you were hoping for flattering, First Order portraits this isn’t your week. Terrex has gotten his hands on Leia’s ship and has also figured out how to hack his cyborg, First Order issued restraint. Between each dosage of high voltage, Terrex only has a little bit of time where he can act before the restraint kicks back on. As much as I don’t like this weasel, I’m kind of glad to have him back as a proper villain. It was kind of awkward to watch him sitting as Malarus’ lap dog, especially when you consider his Imperial pedigree and loyalty. Don’t mistake my affinity for a decent villain as any sort of respect for Terrex, because I still think he’s a scum bag. Terrex got his hands on the prize, though.
Terrex got Lor San Tekka, and his first order of business (no pun intended) is to let the old man know he’s a prisoner. Lor San Tekka seems genuinely concerned when he sees Terrex repeatedly shocking himself to keep the restraint at bay. Terrex is back to his old self, taunting Lor San Tekka and just being a jerk. Okay, maybe I’m not glad Terrex is back.
Poe is doing what he does best and heading to meet Malarus. He may be the best pilot in the Resistance, but Malarus is no slouch. It doesn’t help matters that she has his X-wing, as we know Poe finely tunes the ships he flies. Malarus is giving him a run for his money and the two of them are ready to go to battle. Compliments again to the artwork of this issue. This is a proper dogfight and I loved every frame of these two duking it out on Cato Neimoidia. Poe and Malarus skip across the turbulence of battle above the topography and grand architecture.
The Black Squadron managed to get a hold on the droid army onslaught. Despite Sheev Palpatine pulling the strings, I still say the droids are one of the biggest reasons the Separatists lost the Clone Wars. You can’t program instincts like the Black Squadron pilots have. The Resistance heroes start clearing through the antiquated droid ships, leaving Poe to resume his air duel with Malarus.
Malarus is right at home in Poe’s X-wing, and the tables have turned. Poe is facing down his own weapon now, but in a way, that will turn out to be advantageous for him. The First Order soldier has taken a classic “airborne villain” approach and starts targeting Neimoidians, causing Poe to slip up a little bit. Lucky for Poe, he has an ace in the hole he didn’t even know about.
It’s BB-8! Our little droid friend was thought to be taken out, but he’s fixed himself up and is ready to make Malarus’ flight a lot bumpier than she planned. He starts by disabling the firing controls, just as she’s about to make her kill shot.
Not to mention, after Poe Dameron pulls his own Maverick/Top Gun maneuver, BB-8 makes his own getaway. Malarus has been disabled and disarmed. Once again, a little droid saves the day. As for Malarus…
What goes up must come down. Since she decided to start taking pot shots at civilians like they were womp rats on Tatooine, the Neimoidian authorities have some words for her. Malarus is placed under arrest and assured she will be convicted. I doubt that’s the end of her story, especially if once the Sequel Trilogy literature and comics start rolling out in the next few years (that’s hope and speculation, I have no insider information, just to be clear), so we should stay tuned for Malarus’ escape from a Cato Neimoidian prison.
With the trouble on Cato Neimoidia dying down, Leia lets it be known their search for Lor San Tekka is nowhere near finished. She’s able to track the ship, but at the moment, all she and Poe can do is wait for Terrex to get to wherever he’s going. As Poe and Leia wait, and Malaurs faces Neimoidian justice, Terrex reaches out to one of his First Order superiors.
Terrex is mighty pleased to be speaking with Captain Phasma. Not only to show her he bested the First Order’s machinations, but that he has somebody that can get the big boss Supreme Leader Snoke the last Jedi. I’d be pretty smug if I were Terrex, too. We’ll see if that earns him an invitation to the Unknown Regions to rendezvous with her or Hux, but I think Lor San Tekka just realized how much trouble he’s in.
We know how his story ends, but this frame still makes me nervous for Lor San Tekka. As the canon expands, I’d love to get more stories about his travels around the galaxy. Lor San Tekka as the “MacGuffin” of the Poe Dameron series has added a nice layer of mystery to his role in the bigger saga. Seems like there is a lot more to tell.
Writer Charles Soule, along with the artistic team of Angel Unzueta and colorist Arif Prianto, have made Poe Dameron a consistently good book in the current Marvel Star Wars offering. This issue and overall arc are a lot of fun and have managed to tie-in other elements of the canon that fit into the story and are much more than fan service. Soule is establishing himself as one of my favorite Star Wars writers, with his work on this series and Darth Vader. I’m excited to see where this arc goes and I recommend you pick yourself up a copy of this issue, as well as anything with “By Charles Soule” on the cover. Oh yeah, and don’t forget, Malarus bleeds black. Those frames alone are worth the price of admission.