Plans change for the Rebels as the villains make their own moves. Now, in Star Wars #73, the Rebels find that their missions are converging.
Warning: This review contains plot points for Star Wars #73.
Star Wars #73
Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: Phil Noto | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
Since the “Rebels and Rogues” storyline began in Star Wars #68, Han and Leia, Luke and Artoo, and Chewbacca and Threepio found themselves scattered across the galaxy as they attempted to thwart a gangster, sabotage an Imperial fleet, and rescue a Rebel cell. Each of those missions met with difficulty. Over the past few issues, the respective missions began to stall. Things change in Star Wars #73 as each of the teams must confront new challenges and difficulties likely to cause their missions to converge.
Boss Carpo Enters
One of the most notable details in Start Wars #72 is that Boss Carpo finally makes his long awaited appearance. Han and Leia’s mission was to provoke a fight between Carpo and the Empire. The plan was modified when Leia’s former flame, the District Advocate Dar Champion, caught them in the act of sabotaging Carpo’s communications. Their actions risked bring disaster to the world of Lanz Carpo. So, they modified the strategy to transmit fake communications from Boss Carpo’s ship in the hopes the Empire would attack it. Everything went well enough until Han Solo was taken hostage by Carpo’s goons.
Boss Carpo finally confronts Han, and then Leia, in Star Wars #72, the Bith gangster is expertly illustrated by Phil Noto. He is menacing enough with a razor sharp talon at the end of an artificial arm. Carpo’s arm demonstrates a penchant for Marvel’s Star Wars to give villains artificial limbs (see Commander Kanchar).
Carpo turns the Rebels mission to his advantage. The local Imperial Governor is poised to attack him, and Carpo conditions Han’s release on Leia, Han, and Dar Champion destroying the governor before he can kill Carpo. The gangster sweetens the deal by agreeing to let them go, with no bounties no less, if they can pull off this mission. Leia and Han soon decided to alter their initial mission and lead the governor and his Star Destroyer to K43 where Chewbacca and Threepio plan to sabotage a fleet.
Not a Great Idea
Han and Leia’s plan isn’t a great one. However, that isn’t their fault. General Rieekan gave Threepio and Chewbacca the dubious assignment of destroying an entire world in the hopes of taking an Imperial fleet with it. The problem is that the world wasn’t uninhabited as previously thought. Indeed, the Kakara are a sentient species made from rock instead of organic material and were previously undetected by the Rebellion. Also, Darth Vader and the Empire have arrived. Darth Vader is on to the fact that the Rebels are setting a trap although he might not know the details. He is as cunning as ever, and he plans on turning the trap back on the Rebellion. Therefore, Leia and Han’s plan seem ill advised.
Threepio and Chewbacca continue to grapple with the moral quandary they have found themselves in. They have an opportunity to destroy Vader and strike a mighty blow against the Empire. To accomplish that, though, would require sacrificing the Kakara and an entire planet. Threepio contacts Luke Skywalker for advice, but this shouldn’t be necessary. The Rebels just learned a lesson about not resorting to the same tactics employed by the Empire in the prior story arc. Leia cautioned Benthic that to destroy a world in the name of defeating the Empire was to lose the war. They would become the very thing they were trying to destroy. This lesson seems to have been forgotten.
Vader is raising the stakes on K43 too. He initially tried to negotiate with them, through Threepio no less, but by the time of Star Wars #72, he has resorted to dominating them through the Force. It isn’t working. Now, Leia and Han race towards him with a ship they hope to destroy in the Rebels trap that is sure to fail.
Evolution of a Jedi
The final part of Star Wars #72 concerns Luke Skywalker. In the prior issue, his new companion, Warba, tricked him and ran off with his lightsaber. Now, Luke has a decision to make. He can either go after Warba and retrieve his lightsaber, or he can assist the Rebels hiding on the planet and at risk of being discovered by the Empire. This is a real dilemma. Lightsabers aren’t easy to come by after all. Here, Luke makes the Jedi decision. He sacrifices his lightsaber in favor of helping the endangered Rebels. He does so in spectacular fashion as well by crashing a speeder into the Imperial transport.
In the end though, Luke’s selfless behavior is rewarded. Warba has a change of heart. Perhaps she was inspired by Luke’s altruistic actions, but she returns and hands his lightsaber back over to him. Regardless, the Luke in Star Wars #72 was good to see. This is the Luke that still has a few things to learn, but has been travelling the galaxy gaining experience and wisdom, and not the one falling victim to his own naivety as seen in prior issues.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars #72
Star Wars #72 is the fifth issue in the “Rebels and Rogues” story arc, but it feels like it should have been the third. The characters seemed to tread water over the previous few issues and didn’t do much to advance their story. That changes here. All three stories seem on the precipice of merging into a single conflict against Darth Vader and the Empire. Star Wars #72 raises the stakes and reveals some of the character strengths and weaknesses of the heroes. They are now primed for a climactic conclusion.
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.