Doctor Aphra and Dok-Ondar had a deal to retrieve an artifact, but true to her nature, Aphra had other plans. Now, in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #4, the First Order is closing in.
Warning: This article contains plot points for Galaxy’s Edge #4.
Galaxy’s Edge #4
Story: Ethan Sacks | Art: Will Sliney | Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara with Protobunker | Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artist: Tommy Lee Edwards | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
The Galaxy’s Edge series demonstrates just how much of a crossroads on the edge of the galaxy Black Spire Outpost is. Back in Galaxy’s Edge #1, Dok-Ondar, the Ithorian antiquities dealer, told the tale of how the most famous smuggler-Wookiee duo in the galaxy once brought him a baby sarlacc. Jabba the Hutt and his doomed henchman, Greedo, were shown to have dealings either on Batuu or with Dok-Ondar in the second issue of the series. Galaxy’s Edge #3 debuted perhaps Black Spire’s most famous resident — Hondo Ohnaka. Over time, the galaxy’s most famous, or infamous, smugglers, scoundrels, and outlaws all eventually find their way to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu. Galaxy’s Edge #4 continues this trend as the tale of the galaxy’s most infamous archaeologist is told as the backstory preceding an attempted heist.
An Ideal Base of Operations
Although the Resistance is not featured in Galaxy’s Edge #4, they are believed to be around. And, why not? The Resistance needed a place to hide after the events of The Last Jedi. In addition, they needed resources. Ideally, their new base of operations would facilitate clandestine movements and would be someplace they could blend in. Black Spire Outpost fits the bill perfectly. For decades, as demonstrated by Dok-Ondar’s stories in the series, scoundrels have come and gone. All manner of antiquities, supplies, ships, and weapons flow through the outpost. It is an ideal place for the Resistance to blend in.
As is the case in Star Wars, it can only last for so long. Just as the Empire eventually found the Rebellion on Yavin IV and Hoth, and the First Order tracked down the Resistance to D’Qar, the First Order is now closing in on the suspected Resistance presence. The opening and closing panels of Galaxy’s Edge #4 show that the First Order is working hard to ferret out the Resistance presence. At least some of the stormtroopers can tell who is and who isn’t a Resistance operative by the way they fight.
The Sword of Khashyun
Once the mood setting panels in Galaxy’s Edge #4 of the First Order are complete, Hondo Ohnaka approaches Dok-Ondar. He has the sword of Khashyun on his mind. This is the secret weapon that has brought Kendoh and her companions to Black Spire Outpost in the first place. Kendoh wants to steal this weapon and sell it to a mysterious patron for an enormous profit. Up until this issue, the sword has not been named. In fact, details about the sword have been parceled out slowly over the course of the series. Galaxy’s Edge #3 is the first issue to name the weapon and give it a name. Dok-Ondar fears the weapon will fall into the hands of the First Order and Kylo Ren, and their increased presence on Batuu only heightens this fear. This issue also reveals that Dok-Ondar only has the hilt of the weapon while Kendoh is in possession of the blade.
Thus far, the identity of Kendoh’s patron has not been revealed. It is even difficult to speculate who it might be. Presumably, it isn’t Kylo Ren or anyone in the First Order. Kendoh and her companions are working too hard to avoid their attention. Galaxy’s Edge gives the impression there will be a big reveal in the final issue. However, there don’t seem to be any obvious clues as to the identity of the patron.
The Chaos of Doctor Aphra
As with the prior three issues of the series, Galaxy’s Edge #4 features a major guest character. In this issue, that character is Doctor Aphra and her droids, Triple Zero and BT-1. Dok-Ondar hired Aprha thirty years ago to retrieve the Sword of Khashyun from a temple on Moraband, also known as Korriban. This is the legendary home world of the Sith that was established in Legends and re-branded in the current canon.
As with the prior stories of guest characters, Dok-Ondar is telling the tale of his interaction with Aphra. Almost from the moment he hired Aphra, he and the rogue archaeologist were at odds. In keeping with her character, Aphra had other ideas for the sword, and with the aid of her droids, she used every opportunity to thwart Dok-Ondar as she explored the Sith temple where the sword rested.
Aphra’s exploration of the temple is a highlight of Galaxy’s Edge #4, which is a great book overall. Although Ethan Sacks portrayal of Aphra’s dialogue seems slightly different compared to the work done by Kieron Gillen and Si Spurrier. Regardless, Sacks gets her. As an educated archaeologist, which is an underrated characteristic for her, Aphra knows what to expect in the Sith temple and how to deal with it. Sacks created a great adventure that blends the classic exploration vibe from Indiana Jones with scenes from Knights of the Old Republic.
Despite her planning and antics, Aphra wasn’t able to get the drop on Dok-Ondar for long. The Ithorian disabled Triple Zero, her notorious murderbot, took the Sword of Khashyun from her, and abandoned her on the planet. Her fate after that was unclear from Galaxy’s Edge #4, but applying some context, it is likely that these events happened well before Aphra’s current adventures in the pages of her own book considering that Triple Zero and BT-1 are no longer her droid companions.
Final Thoughts on Galaxy’s Edge #4
By the end of Galaxy’s Edge #4, Dok-Ondar and Kendoh have both made several moves in their proverbial game of chess. Kendoh wants the sword for her patron, and Dok-Ondar not only wants to keep his prized possession, he wants to insure it won’t fall into the First Order’s hands. By the end of this issue, everyone has begun to spring their traps and make their final moves. The conclusion of the series and their final confrontation is set for issue five. However, there is a complicating factor: First Order stormtroopers have arrived at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
Galaxy’s Edge #4 continues the excellent storytelling of the series. On first glance, the series might simply seem like promotional material for the new theme parks. It is far more than that though. Sacks has employed expert storytelling to give this land a soul. Black Spire Outpost is now squarely grounded in the Star Wars galaxy. Furthermore, Sacks expertly balanced the need to give the land a backstory with the elements of good storytelling. Frequently, he lets Will Sliney’s art depict the land and its features and spares the reader clunky dialogue about the details. In addition, Sacks lets simple moments add to the mystique of Batuu. For instance, at the beginning of Galaxy’s Edge #4, Dok-Ondar makes a simple offering and prayer at a monument outside his shop. That’s it. Sacks doesn’t bog the story down with unnecessary exposition.
This issue has set up a potentially amazing conclusion. Dok-Ondar and Hondo Ohnaka need to handle Kendoh and her allies. Then there is the matter of the First Order at his doorstep. Plus, the identity of the patron is still outstanding. It likely won’t be covered in this series, but the tale of Aphra’s escape from Moraband is begging to be told someday.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.