A Look Into Commander Zahra’s Past in Marvel’s Star Wars #7
Hello everyone, hope you all are well! We are back this week with a review for Star Wars: #7. In the previous issues, the Rebels have been in a tough spot. That’s nothing new though. The Empire is hot on their trail and outnumbers them by thousands. Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker always seem to have a plan for getting out of trouble, but with the Empire tracking all of their transmissions it’s impossible to communicate with other Rebel fleets. Lets take a look into this issue and see if they have another master plan to beat out the Empire…
This issue begins in the Inner Rim of space with the Rebel Fourth division. The Rebel Seventh division are attempting to send their rendezvous confirmation codes but the Empire is still tracking their transmissions. Leia, Luke, C3PO, and Commander Grek discuss if they should take the risk. Leia seems to be tired of running from the Empire and gives the go-ahead to send through the codes. She has a plan to fight back.
Over on the Tarkin’s Will Commander Zahra is informed that they have intercepted the codes from the Rebels. She immediately tells her crew to chart a course for the location of the Fourth Division. She wants to be the one to destroy Leia Organa. Her commander insists it would be more efficient to go after the Seventh Division because they are closer. She reluctantly agrees and they set course for the Seventh Division’s location. On the lower deck of the bridge, some of the control officers can sense Commander Zahra’s annoyance with not going after Organa. They can’t help but see that their commander has a personal vendetta with Leia from something in her past. This grudge Seems to be related to the destruction of the Death Star.
We flashback, years earlier in the Outer Rim on the planet Eriadu. Commander Tarkin has assembled three of the Empire’s top prospects from the Imperial academy. He is in need of a protégé. Among the ones chosen is Zahra. Tarkin informs the three they will be going on a hunt in the Carrion Plateau, a large area of land that has been in the Tarkin family for generations. Somewhere in the vast canyons, there is a Veermok. This Veermok is the deadliest predator in the entire Plateau. For this contest, Tarkin will wait twelve hours in his ship for one of the contestants to return with the creatures head. Simple enough, right?
At dawn, Tarkin looks down the ramp of his ship to see Zahra with the head of the beast. He asks her what happened to the others. She basically tells him that she killed them as well. I think she’s a perfect fit for a Tarkin protégé. We then see a couple panels of Zahra working with Tarkin through the years, watching and learning from him. He informs her that he is sending her on a mission. She is to track down and destroy a criminal warlord named Burnium Ro. Ro is located on a Mid Rim world called Ikkrukk. Tarkin has other duties to attend to, so this will be her first solo mission. She will take an Imperial Star Destroyer named Carrion Spike to wipe out Ro and his stronghold. Before she leaves, Tarkin requests that she bring him Ro’s head.
Zahra takes the ship and crew to Ikkrukk and sends down probe droids to search for Ro and his stronghold base. The droids spot him leaving a social club and heading back to the stronghold. Zahra and her crew shut off the cloaking system, as they hover above the base. They then open fire, blowing it to dust. Zahra returns to the Death Star and informs Tarkin of her victory. Tarkin then asks her where Ro’s head is. She assumes it’s a figure of speech but it’s not. Come to find out, Zahra and her crew didn’t kill the real Burnium Ro but one of his body doubles. Ro now is broadcasting of the shadowfeed. He’s furious with the Empire and intends to strike back. Tarkin is furious and embarrassed for trusting Zahra. He finds her unworthy of being his protégé.
A week later, Zahra attempts to go inside Tarkin’s office but is stopped and told that she is to report to personnel office for reassignment. She’s in disbelief and demands to be let in but is unsuccessful. She heads down to a landing bay to one of the shuttles but is stopped by a Stormtrooper. She inquires why she can’t board the shuttle and is told that they are under attack by the Rebels. Zahra is unfazed. There was no possible way the Rebellion could do any serious damage to the Death Star. The trooper still won’t let her on her shuttle, so she takes matters into her own hands and knocks him unconscious. As she’s flying out she sends a message to Commander Tarkin. She has found the location of the real Burnium Ro and intends to bring his head back in hopes of restoring their working relationship. As she sends the message the unthinkable happens. The Death Star explodes.
Back to present time, Commander Zahra looks out the from the bridge of her Star Destroyer. The Rebel’s Seventh division has been overwhelmed. She demands an update on the Fourth Division. She’s informed that the Fourth Division escaped before the Imperial forces arrived. As Commander Zahra is chastising her lieutenant, more Rebel ships come out of hyper space. The Fourth Division didn’t run, they came to fight. The issue ends with Commander Zahra ready to join a boarding party headed for Leia’s ship.
So far I think that this has been a pretty good story line by Charles Soule. I’m a sucker for any story line during the original trilogy era. Grand Moff Tarkin is also one of my favorite Star Wars characters so seeing him in some stories is awesome. This issue wasn’t very action packed but I found the relationship between Zahra and Tarkin to be interesting. The cover art for this issue is pretty epic as well. Big props to artist Carlo Pagulayan!