Leia resumes the business of building a Rebellion. Dennis discusses her plans in his review Star Wars #44.
This article discusses plot details for Star Wars #44.
Star Wars #44
Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Salvador Larroca | Colorist: Guru e-FX | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover: David Marquez & Mathew Wilson | Assistant Editor: Heather Antos | Editor: Jordan D. White
After the Battle of Yavin, both the Empire and the Rebellion had work to do. Fans of the Star Wars franchise know that the Empire began construction of a new Death Star. Meanwhile, the Rebellion needed a new base. In addition, the Battle of Yavin, although costly, was a second major victory for the developing Rebellion in a short period of time. Therefore, they have a ripe opportunity to recruit systems to their cause. Therefore, Princess Leia works toward both goals with a trip to Mon Cala, home of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars #44, “Mutiny at Mon Cala Part I.”
Although Star Wars told many wonderful stories since its relaunch in 2015, many of the stories have left Leia, Han, and Luke treading water in the timeline. That isn’t to say the stories are without value, but many of them don’t appear to advance the story of the Rebellion towards the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, since Kieron Gillen took over as the writer of Star Wars in issue #38, the direction of the series moved in that direction. In the past story arc, “The Ashes of Jedha,” Leia recruited not only the remains of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans, but she also acquired an ally in Queen Trios of Sho-Torun. This series seems to have taken a page from the recently concluded Rebels, and it has turned from localized stories featuring its main characters to their attempts to build a larger Rebellion.
Leia now needs a new fleet. Up until now, starfighters did the trick for the Rebellion, but if they want to fight a war, they are going to need capital ships. This is where Mon Cala comes in. More specifically, Leia, Admiral Ackbar, and Han arrange a meeting with Grand Admiral Urtya, who appears to be of the same subspecies as Admiral Raddus, of the Mon Cala Mercanitle Fleet. Leia hopes to recruit the Grand Admiral and his trading vessels and then refit them for war.
Resistance to Rebellion
Leia is unflappable. Despite the arrival of a patrol that attacks Urtya’s shuttle, Leia goes on with her recruitment effort. While eluding the stormtroopers, Leia promotes the Rebellion’s recruitment successes, the efforts of their spy network, and their attempts to disrupt all Imperial construction efforts. However, it is not enough.
The Empire holds a trump card. When Raddus left with his fleet, the citizens of Mon Cala suffered. Plus, the Empire took their king hostage. Urtya knows in his heart that further involvement by Mon Cala forces will result in the Empire seeking reprisals from Mon Cala itself.
Urtya’s position is not an unsympathetic one. As he puts it, he has responsibilities. Although he might hate the Imperial yoke on Mon Cala, he cannot risk it getting worse. Luke interprets Urtya’s reasoning as a lecture on sacrifice as a lecture, and attempts to defend her with the fate of Alderaan. Urtya has a ready response: “If you knew what would have happened to Alderaan, would you still have rebelled?” It is a difficult question to answer. Action results in violent reprisals, but the Empire commits atrocities anyway. Where should the line be drawn on sacrifice?
A New Plan
Leia’s heart was set on those ships. In fact, Han teases her about her desire, to which she responds, “Don’t you ever want something you just can’t have?” Of course, this strikes a nerve with Han because so much of what he has done for the Rebellion has been to prove himself to Leia on some level. Chewbacca knows this, but Han won’t let him get away with saying anything about it.
Leia proves her resiliency by hatching a plan. He doesn’t say it specifically, but Urtya doubts the Rebellion’s ability to protect Mon Cala and her people. In addition, he made very specific mentions to the abduction of Mon Cala’s king. Therefore, although unsaid specifically, Leia contacts her new ally, Queen Trios, and asks for her access to an Imperial prison system so that she might save a king. The plan seems clear. Leia will win Urtya’s support by proving the Rebellion can save and protect Mon Cala citizens starting with their king.
Concluding Thoughts on Star Wars #44
Star Wars #44 is both an efficient story and a great first act of a larger story. It stands by itself quite nicely. If issue #45 were never released, this issue would still tell a though provoking story that asks the question where a people should be asked to draw a line when it comes sacrificing in the name of a greater good. Urtya has no love for the Emperor and his empire, but he loves his people more. He wishes things were different, but his responsibilities lie with his people first.
This issue also shines in its portrayal of the “Big Three.” Luke is still the idealist. Leia is as clever, resourceful, and shrewd as always. Gillen’s portrayal of Han Solo shines. While Leia works her diplomatic skills on Urtya, Han employs his legendary skills as a smuggler and scoundrel to buy them time after the Imperial patrol arrives by distracting and faking out the troopers.
And, not lost in all of this is the classic adventure element of Star Wars. Gillen interwove a political discussion on resistance at the same time he told a story of an escape from the Empire. More importantly, it worked. It felt like Star Wars. Star Wars #44 is one of the high marks for this series so far.
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.