Review – New Allies and Old Enemies In Marvel’s Star Wars #70
This week, we rejoin our heroes in their hunt for a new Rebel Alliance base. No one expected the journey to Hoth would be an easy one. “Rebels and Rogues” has fractured the fellowship of heroes, placing Han and Leia on the planet Lanz Carpo dealing with a suspicious old friend from Leia’s past. Threepio and Chewbacca are about to go toe-to-toe with a Super Star Destroyer. And Luke Skywalker has just encountered a potential new ally on Sergia who may be able to help him in his quest to better understand the Force and fulfill his journey to becoming a Jedi. SPOILERS AHEAD….
Warba Calip is her name and Luke just helped her get out of what appeared to be cheating a few gamblers but she assures him she used a Jedi mind trick. This catches Luke’s attention and for a moment he seems hopeful she might be a Jedi, but she denies the status while still claiming to possess some knowledge about the Force. Luke wants to know more but she assures him any lesson in the Force will take time and much more than they have since they are being pursued by some angry scoundrels. Luke’s eagerness to learn about the Force certainly catches her attention and it makes me nervous if Warba ends up being an unreliable ally she’ll use his thirst for knowledge against him. I’m a little bit suspicious, but whether or not Warba ends up being a friend to Skywalker or not, she certainly seems like an intriguing character.
After they are nearly captured by the angry gamblers, Warba and Luke escape to a cave and Luke offers up the story behind the lightsaber she spotted earlier. Here, we learn Warba’s outlook on the Force – she’s afraid of it. This isn’t a fear of the unknown, it’s a fear based on what she’s seen, even though we haven’t been given the story behind her hesitation to embrace the Force. She suddenly calls the lightsaber to her, examining the blade before Luke calls it back to him. As playful as this moment is I suspect someone in the Story Group will need to retcon that moment in the wampa cave on Hoth where Luke has to reach out hard to retrieve his blade. Warba suggests he sell his lightsaber to one of her traders, buy a moisture farm, and forget the troubles of the galaxy. Luke is not having it and repeats his determination to stop the Empire by becoming a Jedi.
I thought this was a good moment. Though I don’t count Luke as a cynic in The Last Jedi, it’s interesting to see a younger and more naive Luke hear these words from someone who is very skeptical of the dangerous duality of the Force. Luke’s journey through the saga (so far) ultimately takes him to a place of surrender, where he believes he’s doing the right thing by walking away and allowing the will of the Force to guide the galaxy. Perhaps Warba’s perceived cynicism is something he remembered later in his life, but I thought the phrase turned around on him was worth pointing out. Luke insists on going after the Imperial shuttles that originally brought him to Sergia in the first place. Warba starts to make a list of everything she would need to teach him about the Force and how it would take weeks. They don’t have week so instead she proposes they rob a bank and we are left to wonder where they’ll head next – as we’re whisked away to the planet Lanz Carpo.
Meanwhile, on Lanz Carpo, Leia and Han have settled into the lap of luxury, courtesy of Leia’s old friend Dar Champion. They are treated to the honeymoon suite in a fancy hotel and change into the complimentary outfits to blend into the nightlife of Lanz Carpo. I’ve enjoyed the romantic tension this series as a whole adds to their story. When we meet them in The Empire Strikes Back they are in the thick of it, so it’s nice to get a build-up. Neither of them are too concerned with their subconscious, burgeoning romance. They need to get to the comm room to accomplish their operation: send false signals to the Imperial Fleet to disrupt the communications. They make their way into the bowels of this luxury hotel.
Han suspected they were being followed and when he goes to find out who is on their tale the local security pops up. Han and Leia quickly jump into action and try to take them out, but one guard manages to hold onto their blaster. Just as they are about to take a shot at Leia, the person following them reveals himself.
Dar may appear like a knight in shining armor, but he’s quite skeptical of what Leia and Han are up to. He’s been monitoring their every move and as they decide what to do about him, Dar takes control of the situation.
Dar Champion believes they will bring the Empire upon his planet, so it looks like he’s going to put a halt to Leia and Han’s plans. I’m very suspicious of Dar Champion. Intuitively, any friend of Leia’s is a friend of mine, but I’m on the fence about Dar, just as I am about Warba. We shall see.
Meanwhile, in Wild Space on K43, Threepio and Chewbacca have just crash-landed the Millennium Falcon and are at the mercy of the indigenous species. Threepio has just learned how to communicate with them, though that seems shaky at best. He thinks he’s having a dialogue, but it’s a one-sided conversation when the giant being smashes the ground below and exposes a gold colored bedrock, of which they seem determined to take Threepio to. Chewbacca tries fight them off but he’s no match for these giants. They take Threepio away and leave Chewbacca aside. Little do they know…someone’s watching.
The Imperial lackeys above are looking down on Threepio and Chewbacca and evaluating how to use them as liabilities or potential traps. Because of their own prejudices, they view Chewbacca and Threepio as disposable, no doubt because they associate Wookiees with slave labor and droids with the same. They assume Luke would send them out to be used as bait, but one person aboard the Executor is smarter than that.
Vader’s back. Looks like “Rebels and Rogues” is about to get a lot more dangerous.
I felt like this was a good issue but I’d almost prefer each issue covers a different pair of our heroes. While I’m enjoying these pairings, these stories end right as they are getting good and that’s my only complaint about writer Greg Pak. The Threepio and Chewbacca story is interesting but I hope it picks up a bit more speed, as it weighed down the other arcs. I’ll never complain about art from Phil Noto and am continuously excited he’s taken the reigns for this titular series. Not a great issue, not a bad issue, but that’s how it goes sometimes in life and comics. With Vader in the mix now, things are about to get wild and the journey to Hoth becomes much more perilous.