The Sword of Khasyun has finally brought Dok-Ondar, the Kendoh Gang, and the First Order together – but this is no new union. These three have been working against each other to acquire the sword and its mysteries, each for their own purpose, but as we reach the conclusion they find out they were all misled. SPOILERS AHEAD….
The First Order have finally converged and caught up with Kendoh and the rest of her crew. Looks like this isn’t the first time they’ve met and this crew has quite a history. I would love to know more about the “…Bothan museum heist…”, but for now it adds to the backstory of these scoundrels in search of Sith relics for profit. The First Order are wasting no time threatening detention and worse to get answers, though these bucket heads don’t seem to realize they don’t even know what they’re after. They seem much more concerned about a possible connection to the Resistance on Batuu than the Sword of Khasyun. I don’t know, if a certain Supreme Leader were in orbit above the planet I was combing, I’d probably be a little shaky, too.
Supreme Leader Ren has arrived aboard the Finalizer and is accompanied by a few other Star Destroyers. If you’ve read the recent Galaxy’s Edge novels, A Crash of Fate and Black Spire, you know there is a massive battle about to take place above Batuu and it looks like this is the beginning of it. For a while I was on the fence about whether this would lead into The Rise of Skywalker, but I think it’s more likely this serves as a backstory for the theme park ride, Rise of the Resistance. We know Adam Driver provided voice work for the ride and it seems Kylo Ren has just arrived to get involved in the action. Also, in Pirate’s Price we learn Rey and Chewbacca are somewhere on Batuu, so I imagine that’s another big reason Kylo has shown up. Whatever it is, the battle is set to begin, but the situation below at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities is still in motion.
We return to the conclusion of Doctor Aphra’s role in Dok-Ondar’s past expedition to Moraband to uncover the sword. He uses this as a cautionary tale for Kendoh, reminding her the Sword of Khasyun not only comes from evil but also has the potential to stir up evil within the beholder. We know the power of Sith relics (see Momin’s mask in Charles Soule’s Lando and Darth Vader), but it’s likely Kendoh and her gang aren’t aware of this power. As it’s been established, the Jedi and Sith have fallen into legend around the galaxy at this point in time, so it makes sense common thieves would only see the monetary value attached to these objects. Doctor Aphra sees both and doesn’t care, she just wants to get paid. After Dok disabled Triple Zero in the previous issue it left BeeTee and Aphra the only ones standing between him and the Sword of Khasyun. They fight for it, with Dok eventually stunning both droid and archaeologist, but causing the blade and hilt to split. Dok only has time to retrieve the hilt blade, leaving the hilt behind.
Dok concludes his story by sharing his regret about having to retreat so quickly, leaving one-half of the Sword of Khasyun behind. We learn Aphra later sold the hilt to another buyer, whom the Kendoh Gang stole it from. The First Order break-up Dok’s storytelling, once again demanding answers about Kendoh’s presence on Batuu. The bucket heads seem to think the gang are Resistance sympathizers or on Batuu to join up with the contingent they are hunting. Kendoh’s had enough of the interrogation and decides it’s time for action.
Kendoh makes a break for it, grabbing the kyber statue to defend herself from the blaster bolts. I thought that was a pretty cool move! She’s able to take out a good deal of the troopers by simply deflecting their shots back at them, but that only works for so long. Kendoh finds a lightsaber amongst the antiquities and ignites it, but realizes she’s still outnumbered and needs more help than the rest of her gang can provide.
Remember that baby sarlaac Han and Chewie retrieved for Dok? Well, Kendoh’s found a way to get it dinner and help her out. The sarlaac makes short work of the bucket heads, feasting itself into immobility. During they chaos, we find out one of Dok’s employees is also a clawdite and has shape shifted to pose as Remex, the resident Kendoh clawdite. Kendoh made her escape and the troopers exit Dok’s shop to pursue her.
Dok’s finally got the sword and you’d think there would be greater significance to him than financial prosperity. Yeah, that was very disappointing to me. It was implied heavily this relic had a greater meaning behind it but now it just goes into his storage until he decides he needs to sell it. It totally runs contrary to his introduction in previous issues and the fear he expressed, so I’m very confused by this ending. Yes, he notes this is significant because of his parents, but I think it’s a shame we told all that story and there’s really no greater meaning.
Dok also reveals himself as the person who hired the Kendoh gang to try and retrieve the blade, knowing full well they’d bring the hilt along with them. Again, this who scenario seems way more elaborate than it needed to be, especially for someone as practical as Dok. Apparently, hiring them would give him a fixed price on the artifact so he didn’t have to bid on it against others and risk losing it. Still seems a little more elaborate than the personality he exudes. Now, he wants them off Batuu, so he’s tipped off the First order to where they may be, forcing the Kendoh Gang to flee.
And that is the end of it…or not. Perhaps writer Ethan Sacks was well aware how abrupt and uneven this ending was. That’s it. That’s the payoff for five issues, hinting at some greater mystery, when in fact there’s not much of a story at all.
I’m very disappointed in the conclusion of this series. Perhaps there will be more going forward, but the story had so much promise and to see it fall this flat is a bummer. I’d love to get more of these characters, specifically the Kendoh Gang. I’m not sure if the Story Group intended for this to lead into something other than Rise of the Resistance, but it would be helpful to know where this is going to be continued, especially since it’s implied there may be more to tell. Writer Ethan Sacks did a great job overall with this series, which is why I’m so confused about this ending. Hopefully someday my disappointment will be alleviated by more stories or inclusion of characters and artifacts introduced, but for now, it’s quite a letdown.