REVIEW "Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker: Fight or Flight" written by Greg Pak
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
This was a fascinating issue delving into Luke questioning his place in the war courtesy of good ole Palpatine from afar. There was even a vision sequence part-way through that had me all thrown off at first until I saw Luke with a kid and a wife and knew something was up. Luke imagines himself working as a farmer without having to worry about the war or his guilt or shame over lost comrades. Very reminiscent of the prologue to The Last Jedi novelization in which Luke is a married old man who never went off with Ben Kenobi. Luckily, Luke doesn't let the vision get the best of him and he does what he can to help save the day! This issue absolutely embodies its title of "Fight or Flight."
My interpretation of the timeline is that this issue is post-Empire Strikes Back. First off, we have Luke wearing his black Return of the Jedi outfit. Secondly, the "title crawl" says "the Emperor and his powerful apprentice Darth Vader are close to crushing the freedom fighters once and for all" which is very reminiscent of how defeated they seemed after Empire Strikes Back. And third, the Emperor and Vader discuss "young Skywalker"--a revelation that happens (at least on the movie screen) in Empire Strikes Back. Wookieepedia currently says otherwise.
We start with a group of Rebels in captured Imperial Support Vessel 49AX3 headed to Imperial Refining Platform M36. Their goal is to obtain enough fuel to power the fleet for a year. Luke comes barreling into the Refining Platform with lightsaber blazing, swiftly taking out everything around him with ease. (It's all a bit much to me.) And a Pau'an Major is understandably disturbed by the awesome display...likening the young Jedi to Darth Vader himself. The whole raid takes them less than three minutes which I find extremely unrealistic, but I guess with Luke powering through the security droids like he was, they could've accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time.
So the Rebels think they're going to pull off the heist without a hitch but then Imperials show up and everything seemingly goes to hell; enter the vision.
I enjoyed how we got a very human, questioning Luke. A character who is clearly uncertain and confused but still wants above all to do what is right...despite mental prodding and poking from the Emperor himself. Although we've never seen such a thing previously, I quite liked the idea that the Emperor was toying with Luke's mind from afar all along to try and push him off the righteous path--akin to his political machinations in the Prequel trilogy. A nudge here, a nudge there, all to move closer inch by inch to one grand plan. Makes me even wonder if Palpatine had something to do with Luke going away to cut himself off from the Force as shown in The Last Jedi. Perhaps there was some mental manipulation going on once Luke lost Ben Solo to Snoke. It's all conjecture but would be quite an interesting story point. See the Emperor below needling his way into Luke's mind (along with his nasty fingernails).
As in previous issues, the sound effects were brilliant with such words as Prachow, Skrraak, Vrraaaaawww, Frakooom, Ftoom, Kthok, Skranch all very indicative of the action taking place in the panels. To be honest, the "Skranch" sound effect actually helped me understand what was going on in the scene which was super cool--I was confused by the sound until I really examined the panel and a lightbulb went off. So bravo for whoever's responsible for making these wonderfully enthralling sounds to go with the visuals. They are most definitely doing their jobs!
I'd say this one was a win for me and was a necessary story as it shows Luke's struggle with the realities of war and the feelings beneath the fight. And anytime I get more Palpatine is a super score in my book. Still loving this series!!
My score: 4.5/5
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