Star Wars #71 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Han and Leia see the fault in their mission while Threepio struggles with the ethics of his. Meanwhile, a stranger preys on Luke’s naivety in Star Wars #71.

Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #71.

Star Wars #71 Cover

Star Wars #71

Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Phil Noto | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

A couple of issues ago, General Rieekan broke up the band and sent Han and Leia, Chewbacca and Threepio, and Luke and Artoo on separate missions. This is a Star Wars story, so naturally all three missions encountered unexpected difficulties. Han and Leia found an old flame of Leia’s working as the District Advocate on the planet of Lanz Carpo. Threepio and Chewbacca found sentient rock beings on the world K43. Meanwhile, Luke couldn’t get the Empire to chase him out of the Sergia system and release pressure on a local Rebel cell. Then he met a stranger seemingly talented with the Force. In Star Wars #71, all three missions continue as each team attempts to make the best of their situation.

Threepio’s Dilemma

By the end of Star Wars #70, Threepio and Chewbacca’s mission to K43 went through a couple of twists. First, they discovered the sentient rock species. Second, while attempting to disable all the bombs they planted on K43, Threepio was carried off by these same beings. Finally, Darth Vader and the Empire arrived at K43 and determined the Rebels were leaving a trap. In Star Wars #71, Threepio learns much more about the inhabitants of the planet.

The rock beings are known as the Kakra. They consider Threepio a cousin of sorts because he is made of ore. Somehow their leader is capable of conjuring Threepio’s memories. The Kakara want Threepio to remain with them if for no other reason than to interpret on their behalf with Darth Vader and the Empire.

This storyline became much more interesting in Star Wars #70. Until now, it was difficult to get past the Rebellion’s misguided plan to sacrifice an entire planet to destroy an Imperial fleet. It actually is still difficult. However, the development of the Kakra at least adds some intrigue. Also, what exactly does Darth Vader have in mind when he offers the Kakra an alliance? He can’t possibly have altruistic intentions for the Kakra can he? Is this part of the larger plan to turn the Rebellion’s trap to his advantage?

Star Wars #71 - Leia, Han, and Dar Champion

Other Bad Rebel Plans

While Threepio is doing his best to handle the Kakra and Vader’s arrival, Han and Leia are working on their own mission to frame Boss Carpo on Lanz Carpo. Leia’s old flame, Dar Champion, has cornered them and refuses to allow them to carry out their plan to set up Boss Carpo. If they were successful, the Empire would leave an unwelcome presence on Lanz Carpo. He can’t have that. However, Dar has another idea: trick Boss Carpo into attacking the Empire.

This story line reveals that perhaps the Rebellion is letting their ethics slide and not considering the consequences of their actions. While putting Boss Capro at odds with the Empire would be beneficial to the Rebellion, it does nothing for Lanz Carpo. Han might be forgiven for not considering such things, but Leia certainly knows better. She has always been far more conscientious. Considering that elements of the Rebellion were planning a dangerous super weapon in the pages of Doctor Aphra, planning to sacrifice one planet in this series, and risking the citizens of another, one begins to wonder if perhaps the Rebellion hasn’t adopted Saw Gerrera’s “win at any cost” mentality. It isn’t a particularly good look.

Luke’s Naivety

While the rest of the Rebels struggle with their ethical dilemmas in Star Wars #71, Luke forges ahead with Warba. As a refresher, Warba is the young woman that demonstrated abilities with the Force while gambling. Although she has no interest in using her abilities to fight the Empire, she did agree to show Luke some tricks she knows to assist in his training.

The reader is much more savvy than Luke unfortunately. In Star Wars #70, Warba tried to get Luke to sell his lightsaber. Naturally, Warba would have taken a commission on the sale she was going to facilitate. Luke refused and appealed for her help. Warba relented, but her plan involves robbing a bank so they can bribe the secretary of the local sub-governor. Against his better judgment, Luke goes along with the plan.

When they finally reach the bank, Warba convinces Luke he just needs to believe in his abilities with the Force and has him recited Chirrut Îmwe’s mantra, “I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.” Once Luke starts to buy in, she sends him in to take on the bank and its sentry droids. Shortly thereafter, his lightsaber comes bouncing out. Then Warba reveals her intentions: when Luke dies, she collects the lightsaber, sells it, and makes a fortune. The problem with that plan is that Luke survived, much to Warba’s surprise. Fortunately for Warba, Luke didn’t catch on to her plan.

Although this portion of Star Wars #71 is amusing, it is also a little concerning. Luke shouldn’t still be the same naive farm boy that left Tatooine. Yes, he is rash, and he inherited Anakin’s impatience, but he has seen an awful lot of things across the galaxy to fall for this. Luke comes off as a little gullible here. That is unfortunate.

Star Wars #71 - Luke

Final Thoughts on Star Wars #71

The “Rebels and Rogues” story arc has exhibited some potential over four issues. However, it is beginning to seem unnecessarily protracted. Star Wars #71 did add at least one interesting development with the identification of the Kakra. They have an empathy for droids that is lacking in many corners of the galaxy. Their case to Threepio that he should remain has appeal. “All flesh will leave you.” It is hard to argue with that. Droids are expendable after all. Look no further than Threepio himself. His memories were wiped, and Bail Organa never really provided a good reason for doing so.

There are four more issues to go in this story (and for the Star Wars title itself) though. This mission seems like a strange place to leave Han, Luke, and Leia prior to The Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps there will be a great revelation at the end of the series, but at the moment, Luke, Han, Leia and the team’s talents seem misused.

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