Threepio has an audience with Darth Vader while Luke gets reeled into a con. Plus, Leia enacts a new plan with a former flame in Star Wars #72.
Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #72.
Star Wars #72
Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Phil Noto | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
The Rebels’ trio of missions continue in Star Wars #72. Chewbacca and Threepio face stiff difficulties now that Darth Vader has arrived on K43. Meanwhile, on Sergia, Luke continues to try and persuade a Force sensitive to expand his training in the ways of the Force. Finally, Leia and Han set aside their cover as honeymooners just long enough for Leia to make a new plan to bring down a crime boss on the planet of Lanz Carpo. Star Wars #72 has both highs and lows as this volume of Star Wars continues towards its conclusion in three more issues.
In Star Wars #71, Threepio’s negotiations with the Kakra were interrupted by the arrival of Darth Vader and the Empire. Their mission was to set a trap for the Empire on the planet of K43. The planet is unstable, and the Rebellion hoped to lure an Imperial fleet there with false transmissions. Then, once the Empire arrived, the Rebellion would destroy the planet and take the Imperial fleet with them. It was a plan of dubious moral value in the first place, but it became more complicated when Threepio and Chewbacca discovered the existence of the Kakra, a sentient species of rock beings.
Now, in Star Wars #72, Threepio has unwittingly and unwillingly become the translator for Darth Vader, who has offered the Kakra an alliance. Surprisingly, Chewbacca is still considering destroying the planet. However, when Vader is forced to translate for Chewbacca, Threepio picks up his communicator and the wookiee overhears Threepio’s explanation of how the Kakra are sentient beings. That plus the presence of a Kakra youngling convinces Chewbacca not to go through with the plan.
This is easily the finest part of the book. Threepio’s defense of the Kakra is convincing. Vader perceives the Kakra as similar to droids because they lack emotions. Threepio objects, but Vader points out that those droids that have emotional behavior only do so because of their programming. He further notes that the Kakra have no programmers…yet. Clearly, the Dark Lord has something sinister in mind.
Luke’s adventure on Sergia with Warba also continues in Star Wars #72. After robbing a bank in the prior issue, Luke is eager to use the money to buy information for Warba’s source. Luke still doesn’t get that Warba made all of this up and is simply using Luke for his abilities. Instead, he clings to the belief that Warba is knowledgeable in the Force and can train him how to better use his own abilities. Warba is taking advantage of this in a major way.
Luke’s desperation is shining through here. This is the time before he met Yoda. He has very little direction for his continued training. So, on the one hand, it is easy to see why he would be so eager to pursue help from Warba. However, Luke is incredibly naive. Despite numerous adventures with Leia and Han over the prior 71 issues of this comic alone, Luke is falling prey to a fairly obvious con. HIs progression as a character is regressing in this story. Granted, the reader is in a position to see what is going on when Luke isn’t looking, but Luke should simply know better by now.
Regardless, Warba has finally decided this con has gone on long enough. When she can’t convince Luke to split the money and live it up, she tells him she will teach him everything she knows about the Force. To the credit of this issue, Warba presents a convincing backstory of her life on Jedha near the Temple of the Whills and even quotes some of the teaching Luke tries to pass on to Rey in The Last Jedi: “The Force is all around us. The energy between things. Tension. Balance.” She then invites Luke to close his eyes and explain what she feels when he is ready…as she runs off with his money and lightsaber. Unfortunate.
Leia’s Old Flame
Finally, Leia and Han’s mission on Lanz Corpo continues. Dar Champion, Leia’s old flame, won’t let them frame Boss Carpo from the planet for which he serves as District Advocate. But, he has a plan to transmit different messages that might result in Lanz Carpo attacking the Empire from orbit. The benefit of this plan is that the city and its citizens will be saved. While Leia and Dar concoct this plan, Han is on the sideline steadily growing more and more jealous. Eventually, Han is nabbed by some of Boss Carpo’s thugs and taken to a transport to Boss Carpo’s Parnop, which is just about to engage in a fight with the Empire.
Although watching Leia and Han’s relationship develop is fun, and Han’s jealousy is even more amusing, this story has its own difficulties. First, like the plan to K43, it was ill-conceived. Leia and the Rebel command structure didn’t consider what their plan would mean for the citizens of Lanz Carpo. Second, the narrative to this plan relies completely on unknown messages and simply that whatever Dar Champion had in mind would convince Boss Carpo to strike against the Empire. Perhaps that is in fact the case, but the reader has no way of knowing whether it is credible or true.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #72
Star Wars #72 ends with all three stories to be continued. Of the three stories, Threepio’s mission is the most compelling, and that is simply because he appears to be thinking the most rationally of anyone involved. Threepio gives a very logical defense of the Kakra and their sentience. Honestly though, Chewbacca shouldn’t have needed any convincing not to blow up the planet. He is the embodiment of Han Solo’s conscience after all. Frankly, it is unlikely that Han even would have gone through with such a plan once he discovered the Kakra there. Luke’s story is simply unsatisfying at the moment. It is entirely conceivable that a skilled con artist could take advantage of him, but Luke is way too helpful in this regard with his naivety and overly trusting nature. Leia and Han’s story seems to make little progress with the same ground getting covered over and over. Yet, when there was an opportunity to explore a new detail, the message they were going to send to Boss Carpo, that was set aside in favor or another opportunity to rekindle the flame between Leia and Dar Champion.
This story line may suffer simply because it has too many books to fill. This is already part five of the “Rebels and Rogues” storyline. There are three more issues. That is a lot of space to fill with these stories. In addition, each one of these stories seem like they could be handled as a one shot. With three issues left in the volume, there is plenty of space to make something great out of them, but at the moment, they have too much room to breathe.
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.