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Review: Rebels Regroup In Marvel’s Star Wars #45

We comic fans are getting ready to go deep under the waves of Mon Cala, especially if you are following Charles Soule’s excellent Darth Vader series. Well, Star Wars is no slouch, and as Vader may be going deep sea, the Rebels are dealing with the aftermath of events we have yet to see unfold. Leia Organa is preparing to lead a daring rescue mission to help show the Mon Calamari the Rebel Alliance is worthy of their merchant fleet. First, she has to sell her plan to some familiar faces in the Rebel hierarchy. SPOILERS AHEAD….



At the end of the last issue, Han was ready for a drink, and encouraged Luke to join him. Looks like Luke’s been on-the-wagon since the events of “Screaming Citadel” and is just sticking to milk. It’s cool to see the mess hall lounge where rebel soldiers are unwinding after whatever perilous mission they just undertook against the Empire. As Luke gets his glass of milk – from a bartender, not a sea cow – someone approaches him from behind to greet him, but the jumpy Jedi-hopeful reflexively throws the person back with the Force. Nothing to worry about, this person is used to flying fast in rough conditions.



Wedge Antilles greets his old flying buddy Luke. It turns out there is a tight camaraderie between those pilots who flew in Red Squadron, even though Luke is mostly flying solo or in a trio these days. Han shrugs off the sentimentality of the reunion and uses it as another chance to push an adult beverage on Luke. He still refuses, insisting on milk. All I’m going to say is that if Obi-Wan would have been there he wouldn’t have been drinking milk. But if there’s a constant in Luke’s drink of choice throughout the saga, milk wins.



Though Leia is the subject of this frame, your eyes have probably no doubt motioned toward Hera and Zeb from Rebels. I’m just as excited to see these two popping up in such proximity to Leia, now all I want is for them to start interacting with her. No doubt there are big plans for these characters post-Rebels, and I understand they can’t just hop aboard the Millennium Falcon or fly alongside these events in the Ghost. I have a feeling us folks missing Rebels will have plenty to tide us over once the stories of these characters pick up, but I’ll gladly take the Marvel team throwing us a bone with this cameo. Cameos aside, Leia has some bad news to report in that Mon Cala will not be contributing their fleet to the Rebel Alliance. Though it’s discouraging, Leia immediately presents her approach to getting the Mon Cala onboard by freeing their king, Lee-Char, who she’s convinced will rally to their cause.



Remember this stick in the mud, Davits Draven? Yes, the same man whose contingency plan for Galen Erso’s extraction was to murder him, still has a place in the Rebel Alliance high command. Clearly he didn’t share the Erso contingency with Mon Mothma, and Draven hasn’t changed at all in the small amount of time that’s passed since Rogue One. I’m not a fan, but it’s nice to see Leia putting this smug military man in his place as he plays contrarian to every aspect of her plan. I can just hear the smug tone in his voice as he addresses her. I’m sure Draven means well, it’s just that people with the combination of insufferable and intelligent usually have a hard time hiding the former.



Though a Draven fan I am not, he does have a point:  the Rebel Alliance has been trying to extract Lee-Char for some time without success. This is not lost on Leia, as she explains her source (she doesn’t share that it’s Queen Trios) has been able to tell her what “ultra-security facility” Lee-Char is being held captive at. It seems the elusiveness of those facilities is what’s kept the Rebel Alliance from extracting Lee-Char. Leia has not only the location, but a set of codes that will gain them access. The last obstacle is the bio-signature from the Imperial Off of the Calamari Sector. Breaking through his skepticism, Draven thinks he may be able to help Leia with some intelligence of his own. The dynamic between these two is great, and I like that Leia has the upper hand and is keeping Queen Trios’ help a secret.



A couple flying buddies of Wedge join the table for drinks and discuss what they’ve been up to. Sounds like General Hera Syndulla has been keeping the Rebel pilots busy with training exercises, as we’ve seen in Doctor Aphra. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty good having Hera Syndulla in charge of training my pilots. The pilots are preparing for their squadrons to be aboard the Mon Cala cruisers the Rebel Alliance has yet to get and ask when they can expect them, but Han bluffs when they mention it, confident that whatever Leia has planned will get these pilots what they are counting on. The pilots also mention they are Imperial defectors and big fans of Luke. Luke makes a toast, mentioning the names of all the pilots lost at the Battle of Yavin, getting down when he mentions his friend Biggs. These little moments were very cool to see. I love how the Star Wars series is digging deeper into the inner workings of the Rebel Alliance. Twilight CompanyRogue One, Rebels and now this series have done a lot to flesh out how it really wasn’t until the Battle of Scarif and Yavin that the Rebel Alliance was fully united. Now, they realize they are a force to be reckoned with, but that their opponent is still a monster of military might and terror.



Just as they finish their toast to fallen heroes, Leia beckons them that it’s time to head back out into the stars.



Dex Acquisitions is where Draven pointed Leia to. An asset at this prison can help them, but the prison seems to be something of weigh station for bounties that catch the Empire’s interest to be held until they can pick them up. The person running this station speaks to the asset through cell doors and mentions the Empire is interested in capturing “as many of your kind as they can find…”. We don’t yet see the asset, but the captors taunts are interrupted that a Cookie bounty hunter has one of the most wanted fugitives in the galaxy for him to turn over to the Empire. None other than Princess Leia.



Chewbacca has posed as a bounty hunter named Violent Bok to handover Leia, thus getting them into the installation. I wonder if they had a chuckle about this a few years later before she lead him into Jabba’s Palace in reversed roles. As soon as the captor’s guard is down, Chewbacca takes him out, and Han and Luke enter via a large explosion. Where Leia’s method of infiltration is refined and sophisticated, Han just blasts his way through a wall. Now that they are in, they have little time to extract the asset before the rest of the guards from Dex Acquisitions show up.



Luke handles opening the cell, Qui-Gonn style. I love how Luke has used whatever skills he has with a lightsaber and the Force and become more of a soldier in the last few issues. During the “Ashes of Jedha” arc, we saw Luke decide to take a step back and focus on helping his friends and the Rebel Alliance win over the Empire before continuing his quest to find knowledge about the Force and the Jedi. I wonder if that mindset will carry him all the way to the events of The Empire Strikes Back. I hope it does. In my opinion, that adds all the more weight to Obi-Wan appearing before him on Hoth and commanding him to seek out Yoda.



Wow, this issue is just tugging at those heart strings. I’m surprised we didn’t see little Jacen Syndulla in Hera’s arms. So, this isn’t Bail Organa and Leia knows it right away. Still, that doesn’t take away from the sight of your dead parent sitting in front of you, happy to see you. I can’t imagine the emotions this must have triggered in Leia, but like the badass she is, she keeps it together and calls the illusion out.



Sure enough, it’s a changeling. The poor taste of “fun” doesn’t sit well with Leia, as she punches the creature and then stuns it. Chewbacca puts it over his back and our heroes exit Dex Acquisitions, proceeding to the next phase of their plan: capture the Moff and replace him with the changeling. It should be interesting to see how they convince the changeling to impersonate the Moff, and if the creature is to continue in some capacity as a soldier or spy in the Rebel Alliance.


Lots to take in visually in this issue, and the plan to rescue King Lee-Char is certainly something I’m looking to see unfold. I’ll take Rebels cameos and shoutouts any day, and as I mentioned, it’s great to hear that Hera is in charge of getting the Rebel Fleet up to speed. Also, I’m stoked – despite the fact I’m about to make a bunch of assumptions here – that this series’ writer Kieron Gillen, Darth Vader writer Charles Soule, and the Lucasfilm Story Group are giving us a complete story about how Mon Cala fell under Imperial control (see the current Darth Vader arc, “Burning Seas”) and how they will eventually join the Rebel Alliance, not to mention the history we already have from the conflict with the Quarren in The Clone Wars. This canon keeps expanding and I am all in! Also, nice art by Salvador Larroca, and if you know me, that wasn’t a compliment I hand out lightly.


RATING: 7/10





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


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