The Mutiny on Mon Cala finally boils over in Star Wars #48.
This article discusses plot details for Star Wars #48.
Star Wars #48
Writer: Kieron Gillen | Artist: Salvador Larroca | Colorist: Guru e-FX | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover: David Marquez & Mathew Wilson | Assistant Editors: Heather Antos, Tom Groneman, & Emily Newcomen | Editors: Jordan D. White (with Mark Paniccia)
The “Mutiny at Mon Cala” story arc finally delivers on the promise of its title in Star Wars #48. Leia, Han, Luke, and Chewbacca arrived at the Ultra-Security Prison on Strokill Prime in Star Wars #47 in the hopes of rescuing Lee-Char, King of Mon Cala. After liberating the king, the hope was the Mon Calamari would be inspired to rise up against the Empire. However, King Lee-Char is on life support in the Imperial prison, and they cant’ move him. In Star Wars #48, Leia and the Rebellion formulate a plan B, but the Mon Cala themselves must decide their fate.
The Best Laid Plans
There is an old saying that a plan of attack doesn’t survive contact with an enemy. Indeed. Although Leia thoroughly planned her rescue mission, she didn’t foresee Lee-Char’s condition. Therefore, she improvised. If she couldn’t bring the King to his people, then she would at least bring his words. Unfortunately, the Moff they abducted to gain security clearance found a way of alerting the guards. Leia and her companions were lucky to get away with their lives. The Moff and Lee-Char weren’t so lucky and perished in the weapon’s fire from the stormtroopers.
Leia’s Snap at Han
As Lee-Char finished his recording, he wished his people goodbye. Leia ordered the end to the footage and then snapped a warning at Han not to make a joke. Han, calmly to his credit, responded, “Sometimes, Leia, you don’t know me at all.” Although a quick two panels of this issue, they are important to their relationship.
On some level, it is hard to fault Leia for chastising Han. After all, he is known for his wisecracks. That moment was not the time. On the other hand, Han’s wisecracking is rarely, if ever, that inappropriate. Usually, his snappy one-liners are reserved for moments of confidence in the face of danger. For instance, during the escape from the space slug during The Empire Strikes Back, when he asked yelled to Leia that they didn’t have time to discuss the situation in committee as the fled on the Millennium Falcon.
Banter frequently defines Leia and Han’s relationship. Typically, Han looms over Leia while pointing a finger at her as they bicker. It has become a trope. Now, under the stress of a mission gone wrong compounded by a dying, heroic king, they put the banter aside. Han doesn’t rise to the bait. Leia is a great leader, but fallible. Meanwhile, Han usually maintains a sense of aloofness honed by sarcasm and wit carefully crafted to disguise his heart of gold. He knew this was neither the time nor place.
Back on Mon Cala
While Leia and her team attempt the extract of Lee-Char, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Queen Trios, the Imperial turned Rebel spy, handle Tunga Apragion, the clawdite shapeshifter, hired to impersonate the abducted Moff in his absence. Unfortunately, these scenes on Mon Cala get a bit ridiculous. It starts when the Mon Cala opera ends and Leia’s mission is still not finished. Threepio and Tunga improvise by reciting an epic poem. The plan works for a time; however, when the guards on Strokill are tipped off to the intrusion, the ruse is up on Mon Cala. Therefore, they have to make a quick get away.
For Tunga, this isn’t an issue. He simply changes his appearance to a Mon Calamarian. However, Threepio and Artoo need disguises. What Tunga comes up with is truly ridiculous, and it is hard to take seriously as anything other than an attempt to get laughs from the reader. There is no doubt that humor has always been a part of Star Wars, but this over the top brand doesn’t fit. It is too goofy and distracting.
The Fate of the Mon Cala
Ultimately, Leia, Han, Luke, and the others make their escape from Strokill in a scene that seems cinematic and at home in Star Wars. When they rendezvous with Tunga and the droids, Urtya, the regent of Mon Cala, catches up to them and demands the recording. Leia refuses, and out of respect, Urtya stuns her and takes the data card.
Almost surprisingly, Han becomes the voice of reason. He knows they have no chance to win against Urtya and his guards. He also knows Leia is too important to risk in a confrontation. Therefore, he calms Luke down and they retreat. See, Han isn’t all wise cracks and gunslinging. He knows when discretion is the better part of valor.
Despite this, Urtya relays the message to the fleet. It had to be that way. It was a decision for the Mon Cala to make, not for the Rebellion to force on them. Predictably, the Mon Calamarians rebel and begin the mutiny. However, the Imperial fleet arrives as the issue concludes to suppress the mutiny.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #48
Although it took five issues, the promised mutiny began on Mon Cala. Like the previous issue, Salvador Larroca’s art at least seemed to rely less on photo referencing, or it wasn’t as obvious as previous issues. The faces of the main characters (Leia, Luke, and Han), blend better with the rest of the art than they had. The only real detraction from this issue was the recital by Tunga and Threepio and their escape from Mon Cala. Otherwise, this was very much a classic entry in the Star Wars space opera. Now the real challenge begins as our heroes must protect the Mon Cala fleet from the arriving Imperial navy.
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.