Luke reads a tale of the biggest, scariest Jedi ever in Star Wars #26. Or not.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Star Wars #26.
Star Wars #26
Writer: Jason Aaron | Artist: Salvador Larroca | Colorist: Edgar Delgado | Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos | Cover: Stuart Immonen | Assistant Editor: Heather Antos | Editor: Jordan D. White
Star Wars #26 establishes the framework for two Star Wars tales. After the Harbinger arc that concluded with Star Wars #25, C-3PO found himself in the clutches of the Empire. SCAR squad, under the command of Sargent Kreel captured in him prior to the destruction of the Harbinger. Threepio’s loyal companion takes it upon himself to rescue the protocol droid. Meanwhile, Luke finds himself stranded in space after Artoo caused Luke’s temporary astromech to disable the hyperdrive. With some time to kill, Luke dives back into Obi-Wan Kenobi’s journal. Only this time, he begins reading a story about an older venerable Jedi Master.
C-3PO’s portrayal across various properties is inconsistent. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Bail Organa ordered his memory erased. More than likely, Bail took this precaution to protect the secret of Leia’s true parentage. It seemed like an unnecessary move. After all, Threepio knew that Anakin and Padme married on Naboo years before his memory was erased, and yet he never disclosed that marriage to anyone. In fact, nothing in the canon suggests he was prone to reveal important secrets. In fact, Artoo was a larger liability after having his memory raided by General Grievous in The Clone Wars.
Recently in Poe Dameron #9, Poe celebrated Threepio’s role in the Rebellion and the Resistance by praising the droid. Indeed, Threepio became a trusted spymaster for the Resistance. Then, in the very same issue, Threepio openly spoke of Han Solo’s smuggling operations creating problems for Han that arise in The Force Awakens.
This issue opens with SCAR squad interrogating Threepio. One of the troopers mentions this is the worst interrogation ever. While humorous, the troopers remarks underscores the fact that Threepio gives up all kinds of intelligence on his past missions with the Rebellion without the aid of any torture devices. One might argue that the details he discloses are inconsequential at this point. However, if Threepio is such a liability, why hasn’t his mind been wiped repeatedly? Why does the Rebellion keep him around? Are his protocol skills that important?
The Importance of Threepio
Apparently, the Rebellion has no fear of anything Threepio knows getting to the Empire. Han Solo and Princess Leia shoot down any possibility of rescuing him. Their reasoning is that he is held on a Star Destroyer with Darth Vader. This doesn’t bother Luke. In addition, it doesn’t bother Chewbacca. They demonstrate a little more loyalty.
However, nobody is as loyal as Artoo. He steals an X-Wing and takes matters into his own hands. Unlike Luke, he isn’t afraid to disobey or ignore orders. Threepio is his friend. While Luke acquiesces to Leia’s orders, Artoo refuses. The little droid sets off after Threepio.
This storyline then adjourns until at least the next issue. At the moment, this story doesn’t seem promising. For certain, Artoo has been heroic in The Clone Wars and in the movies. However, a solo mission to a Star Destroyer with Vader and SCAR squad aboard strains credulity.
Given the ruthlessness of Rebels such as Cassian Andor in Rogue One, Threepio exposure to sensitive information must have been limited. There was no concern for any secret he might have or any order to eliminate him similar to those given by General Draven regarding Galen Erso. This issue reinforces the notion brought up recently in Poe Dameron that droids in Star Wars are essentially commonplace appliances not worthy of loyalty in many cases.
No Sentimental Value for Vader
SCAR squad interrogated C-3PO aboard the Devastator but learned no useful information. After reporting this to Darth Vader via hologram, the Dark Lord instructs them to get rid of the droid. Either Darth Vader didn’t realize this was C-3PO, or he simply didn’t care. Given Threepio’s chattiness, it seems likely Vader knew which droid was in their possession. Therefore, Vader was likely content to scrap Threepio. And, why not? In the Darth Vader series, Vader eagerly eliminated reminders of his past, happier life. What would Threepio matter to him now? That said, it is chilling to realize how easily Vader would dispose of a childhood friend.
Obi-Wan’s Journal – The Next Chapter
After Artoo disables the hyperdrive on Luke’s X-Wing, Luke has time to kill. Therefore, he reaches for Obi-Wan’s journal. Unlike past entries, the story Luke flips to next concerns another Jedi. This story concerns a Jedi that rescued a child strong in the Force from a gang known as the Flesh Mongers. This gang of ruffians appears to control the planet. Having discovered the child, they intend to sell him to the Jedi.
Yoda answers the call. Of course, he refuses to purchase the child. When the Flesh Mongers fail to turn over the youngling, Yoda resorts to the Force. The Flesh Mongers don’t stand a chance and Yoda successfully rescues the child. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi arrive and take the child to Coruscant while Yoda investigates a disturbance in the Force. The disturbance arises from a dark and dreary world not on any star chart and overrun with children. The issue concludes as Yoda greets a gathering of primitive looking younglings.
The journal, as Luke read it, was careful not to mention Yoda by name. The only mention of “Yoda” was spoken by Qui-Gon. However, that appears to be the unwritten material that fills in the spaces between the lines. This makes sense because Luke had never heard of Yoda when Obi-Wan’s Force ghost told him to seek out Yoda on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. The name remains a mystery.
In addition, the journal only describes the Jedi as fearless. Luke demonstrates the same prejudice that a successful Jedi must be fearsome that he does in Empire Strikes Back. After reading the Jedi showed no fear in the face of the Flesh Mongers, Luke concludes “this must have been the biggest, scariest Jedi who ever lived.” This was a nice touch and a great reference the prejudice Luke exhibited on Dagobah. When Luke assumed he was looking for a great warrior, he rejected Yoda as a possibility based on his size and mannerisms. Luke still needs to grow up.
Star Wars #26 is not a particularly strong issue of Star Wars. It is disheartening to see Han and Leia so easily abandon C-3PO. It would be slightly more satisfying if they acknowledged Threepio was a valued member of the Rebellion, but they couldn’t make the effort to rescue him even if he were a flesh and blood soldier. In some ways, the heroes let the reader down here. In addition, Artoo’s mission to rescue seems comical at this point. Perhaps this part of the story will read better collected in a trade paperback with other issues.
As for Yoda’s half of the issue, it was adequate. His encounter with the Flesh Mongers was amusing. It is what one would expect from the diminutive Jedi Master. However, it fails to establish anything new. That can change with subsequent issues as Yoda investigates the mysterious planet overrun with younglings. There is potential for story with Star Wars #26, but later issues must realize that potential.
Favorite Panel of Star Wars #26
One aspect of this book that does not disappoint is the art. Salvador Larroca provides the art for Star Wars #26. Fans of Marvel’s run on Star Wars will remember Larroca as the artist for the Darth Vader series. Except for one panel featuring a rather wild-eyed Han, Larroca provides top quality art for this issue. For the favorite panel of this issue, I selected one featuring Yoda using the Force in combat against the Flesh Mongers. Larroca’s work on Yoda here rivals his art of the Dark Lord of the Sith in Darth Vader. That is this issue’s favorite panel.
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.