Jess Pava reports in as Black Squadron carries out General Organa’s recruitment mission in Poe Dameron #29.
This article contains plot details for Poe Dameron #29.
Poe Dameron #29
Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Angel Unzueta | Colorist: Arif Prianto | Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Panicciai
The Resistance is in dire straits. After the destruction of Starkiller Base, the Resistance suffered incredible losses while the First Order hunted them down during the events of The Last Jedi. While Poe lead a desperate stalling mission on the First Order’s dreadnaught, the rest of Black Squadron set out on a mission to rally allies for the Resistance. Poe Dameron #29 details the first leg of the mission. In short, diplomacy fails when the best diplomat isn’t available.
The Mission Report
Jess Pava, acting as Black Three, delivers the mission report. The opening pages of Poe Dameron #29 detail what readers of the series already know. Instead of assisting Poe in his fight against the First Order above D’Qar, General Organa sent them on a mission to find help. Snap Wexley acts as Black Leader. BB-8 plays Jess’s communication for Poe while Threepio stands by. Poe is nervous this report ends with Jess’s death, but Threepio assures him it isn’t so.
Journey to Pastoria
The first stop on this mission is to Pastoria. The planet shows signs of recent fighting. King Siroc greets Black Squadron and flatters them with compliments. The Pastorians are an insect like people. They look like less rugged Geonosians. In addition, they are far more articulate.
King Siroc unfortunately is unable to offer much in the way of assistance. His planet is in the middle of a civil war of sorts. Snap requests that in the absence of aid, the King deliver a speech supporting Leia and the Resistance. Siroc counters with his own proposal. He asks for Black Squadron’s aid in escorting a transport. Against his better judgment, Snap agrees.
Black Squadron knew something was up. Suralinda, Black Four, called it from the beginning. The King might help them if they did something for him first. Quid pro quo. In addition, the King’s escort mission was light on details. Even Jess objects to the nature of the assignment with missing details once they are airborne. To his credit, Snap does his best. He reassures the squad they’ll figure out how to handle this once they learn what is going on.
It doesn’t take long. Siroc’s convoy of ships soon counters a rival convoy. When things go badly for Siroc’s fighters, Snap reluctantly gives the order to attack. The opposing ships are no match for X-Wings. However, even after the fighters fall back, Siroc’s fighters press the attack and destroy the transport.
Only later does Snap and Black Squadron learn that Siroc’s transport invaded hostile territory and provoked the attack. Siroc’s rival was aboard the transport. Now, Siroc is unopposed. He got Black Squadron to do his dirty work.
Twisting the Knife
To make matters worse, Siroc refuses to offer any aid to Black Squadron beyond fuel and a good meal. He saw what happened to Hosnian Prime. Naturally, he fears what the First Order might do to Pastoria. His responsibility is to his planet and his people. This is a theme in Star Wars comics as of late. Queen Trios recently betrayed the Rebellion to protect her people in Star Wars #50. It isn’t hard to empathize with Siroc on that point. However, he used Black Squadron. That is much harder to forgive. In addition, he committed a political assassination and lied to Black Squadron about it. That is even worse. Siroc vows to negotiate with the First Order when they inevitably show up on his planet. He can’t resist the unstoppable force. The bigger irony is that Siroc reveals his rival would have helped the Resistance and opposed the First Order.
Snap’s Tough Lesson
Snap said it himself. He isn’t a diplomat. Beyond Leia and Holdo, the Resistance didn’t seem to have many. He did the best he could, but he wasn’t up to the task his first time out. Black Squadron performs best when everyone does what they do best. Perhaps Suralinda might have been the better negotiator here. At the very least, Snap should have learned what exactly they were escorting. It might have prevented their predicament. Fortunately, this failure doesn’t really cost anything. The Pastorians were weak allies to begin with. They didn’t offer any real assistance. After this mission, they still don’t.
Final Thoughts on Poe Dameron #29
This issue has wonderful art. The creation of the Pastorians by Soule and Unzueata was a highlight. Their world is something unique in Star Wars, which is getting harder and harder to do these days. Not only do the aliens live in hive like buildings, their homes and structures are on top of large columns. Jess wasn’t lying when she said the place was beautiful. Their ships are also magnificent. The fighter craft look like modified A-Wings. The transport ships look like large flying wasps complete with insect wings. The design is inspired.
Poe Dameron #29 is as much about the state of the galaxy as anything. If the Pastorians are any indication, much of the galaxy cowers in fear of the First Order. A survival mindset dominates. The ends justify the means. Snap lost this round. However, he is undeterred. When Jess asks him what they do next, he responds that they fly right into the hard-blowing wind.
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.