Han, Leia and Dar prepare to take on a Star Destroyer! Luke and Warba attempt to evade mounted Stormtroopers! Chewie and Threepio try to stop the destruction of a planet! Darth Vader busts up some rocks! Find out what it all means in STAR WARS #74, on shelves now from Marvel Comics!
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Phil Noto
Colorist: Phil Noto
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 13, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in STAR WARS: In an effort to strike a blow against the Empire, Rebel forces had various plans set into motion, none of which seemed to go as planned. After trying to use the Empire to dispose of a crime lord, Han, Leia and their new ally Dar Champion found themselves blackmailed by that crime lord, forced to take on a Star Destroyer. Luke, having been taken into the confidence of a card shark named Warba, believes he has found a new teacher in the Force, but must still contend with his own Imperial entanglements. In addition, Chewbacca and C-3PO, on a mission to destroy an uninhabited planet, discover intelligent rock creatures inhabit it. But with Vader hot on their tails, can Threepio and Chewie figure out a way to stop the destruction of the planet, save the rock people, and still complete their mission?
TROUBLE SEEMS TO COME IN THREES
As Luke prepares to face off a patrol of Stormtroopers alone, Warba arrives in her speeder and rescues him. It was something that Warba was not sure she was going to do, but Luke had faith in her the whole time. He tells her she reminds him of his other friend, Han Solo. Han also professes to be in it only for the money but proves himself wrong more times than naught. One such time is now, as Han and Leia, with their new ally Dar Champion in tow, are preparing to take on a Star Destroyer. They have been blackmailed into this act of madness by the crime lord Boss Carpo. Desperately trying to form a plan that will allow them to succeed and still get them out alive, Han contacts his co-pilot, Chewbacca, and the protocol droid C-3PO on the barren planet of K43. Threepio and Chewbacca are currently being escorted by the indigenous life-form of the planet, a silicon based rock people, to the location where they planted the bombs to destroy the planet, back when they thought it was uninhabited that is. Luke quickly joins the interstellar party line, and Han quickly relays his mad plan to them. He wants to lure the Star Destroyer away from Boss Carpo and Dar’s people by leading them to K43, but THreepio tells them that Vader has arrived as well, and is currently in combat with the Kakran’s who inhabit the planet. In a flash of inspiration, Han has an open channel set so the Imperials can overhear. Leading the Star Destroyer to believe that they are one ship of a Rebel armada that was meant to attack them, he lets them hear that they are headed back to the secret Rebel base on K43. Han’s intent is not only to take out Vader, but the Star Destroyer as well. , and let it be taken out by the destruction of the planet. The Star Destroyer falls for it, and they are all soon on their way to K43.
Meanwhile Luke has figured out a way to evade the mounted Imperial patrol and is preparing to take his X-Wing to meet up with his friends and confront Vader. Before he can leave, Warba has confession, and it is one which may change everything Luke thought he had learned in her company. All this may come to naught, because Threepio and Chewie discover that the bombs they planted to destroy the planet will go off in 73 seconds, and there is nothing they can do to stop them. However, the native rock people may have a surprise that changes the outcome. But even if they can, what about Vader? What will be the fate of the Star Warriors once they all arrive on the scene?
MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM THE ODDS?
This is the seventh chapter of the Rebels and Rouges storyline, as well as being the penultimate issue for this Star Wars series. Greg Pak (The Incredible Hercules, Weapon X) has made a career of taking you on unexpected trips and this story is no exception. He wields the classic three-plot wrap of that Star Wars is famous for exceptionally well, and has managed to place all of the main characters on a collision course that will come to a head next issue. This issue has quite a bit of set up, and there is not a lot of time for character development, but he does manage to show how associating with the Star Warriors has changed the characters of Dar and Warba. Both pulled into a situation they did not bargain for, they come out on the other side different than before.
Early on in this series, and several other Marvel Star Wars titles, I had issue with the use of almost photo filtered faces of the actual actors instead if the characters being drawn in the artist own style. Phil Noto (Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Black Widow) has arrived made that complaint moot. His style balances the realism of the movies with the charm of the comic wonderfully. His character look like the characters instead of a bad copy of the actors. Dynamic use of panel layout and some wonderful splashes cement my love for his art. It is clean and beautiful, and it accentuates Pak’s script wonderfully.
BOTTOM LINE: HEART POUNDING
One of the hardest things about writing a licensed book it dealing with the fact that, often, everyone knows where the characters wind up. There is no sense of real danger because you know they all have to make it to the next story because they are alive in the movie. Pak manages to instill a little uncertainty in this, and makes you worry about the fate of one of several beloved characters in surprising ways. I enjoyed it, but I do not envy editor Mark Pannicia, who had to make sure it all comes to an exciting conclusion but still fit into the established continuity.
STAR WARS #74 accomplishes a lot in-between its covers and you will want to jump on before the current arc ends.
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Star Wars #74
A mad rush to complete the tale, you can almost hear the John William’s soundtrack swelling in the background.