As C-3PO and R2 work on fixing the ‘Talky’ Droid, it reactivates and goes haywire until Lobot steps in and uses his cybernetic link to calm the Droid allowing it to communicate. C-3PO requests that the Droid assist them in translating the Thwark language. Talky initially denies the request and Lando steps in to make a deal which the Droid and Lobot both accept as Lobot has to keep the Droid’s memory working.
Lando gets a message from Bib Fortuna asking for Lando to cough up information that he owes Jabba for not killing him before. Lando dishes all the info on the Rebellion he can without jeopardising their mission too much.
Leia sets up a new Fight Squadron, ‘Starlight Squadron’ consisting of Wedge Antilles, Shara Bey, L’Ulo L’Ampar, Mary Matten and two new pilots we’ve never seen before, Freyta Smyth and Evaan Verlaine. Their mission is to locate the missing groups of the Rebel Fleet. They locate the ruins of the Sixth Division and a group of Probe Droids who attack the Fighters’ Astromech Droids, attempting to retrieve the rest of the Rebel locations. They eject the droids, which self destruct but are soon attacked by Commander Zahra’s Star Destroyer.
The Talky communicates with Lobot before telling Leia, Lando, Chewie and Kes that the connection between them is killing Lobot. Lando calls for them to break the connection and find another way but Kes shuts him up by pointing a blaster at Lando.
For me there was one major factor riding against this issue.
It came out the same day as Star Wars: The High Republic Issue 1, probably one of the most anticipated Star Wars comics in recent history.
Whilst the issue has some action, the majority is a series of conversations, which really slows the arc down after last issues action-packed story and an attempt to build tension around the idea that Lobot will die because of the connection with Talky, however, Lobot isn’t going to die yet as he shows up in ‘Aftermath: Empire’s End’. Unfortunately, for the story there aren’t many characters introduced so far that could give us an emotional loss, so it feels like Soule is clutching at straws for a good old tug on the heart strings.
Unfortunately, even the Starlight Squadron scenes don’t have enough emotional connection with us where any of the characters we already know are in danger. Granted, there are three of the six pilots who we know make it through the Original Trilogy (and I doubt that Charles Soule is pitching Mart Matten to be a big emotional death). However, we do get the return of Commander Zahra and her really cool looking damaged Star Destroyer.
For me, it was a disappointing second part of what looks to be a three part story arc. Thankfully, the story is bolstered by some amazing art here, especially in the dog fight scenes, and the final page with Starlight Squadron being chased by the Star Destroyer is beautiful. Hopefully prt three will be a return to form for this series. Soule has been knocking it out of the park so far and this could just be a build-up issue before the proverbial hits the fan.
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