• Marie E. Wilson

SPOILER REVIEW: "Star Wars #10: Operation Starlight, Part II: The Rebel Code" by Charles Soule

"Operation Starlight, Part II: The Rebel Code" is the 10th issue of the 2020- "Star Wars" long-run comic series. It was written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Jan Bazaldua and Rachelle Rosenberg, and published by Marvel Comics on January 6, 2021.

This was another issue without a lot of action but some incredibly interesting things did happen...and we got a better idea of what Starlight Squadron's purpose is! All in all, this was a pretty great issue with an engaging plot and some wonderful visuals. Surprisingly, Lando was the star of the story with some fantastic quotes and daring actions.

We start off with a small group of Rebels, including Leia, Lando, and Lobot, standing outside of a room where C-3PO is trying to get the ancient protocol droid from last issue back on line. R2-D2 is aiding him, but neither are having much luck. In response, Lando says, "That goofy golden gizmo's all the galaxy's got." Haha!! I absolutely love this--it's a ridiculous statement that holds a lot of weight, and it puts one of my favorite characters (who unfortunately is maligned by the majority) in a hero-esque light!! After much trial and error, the droid (a "talky" as they call it) reactivates...and goes bonkers! He lifts 3PO up into the air, sends electrical currents into R2, and speaks utter nonsense.

The Talky going bonkers and attacking C-3PO!

Things look REALLY bad until Lobot enters the room and electrically communes with the droid, allowing the talky to calm down, speak sensically, and begin...negotiations?!? Yes, this guy doesn't care who's who in the current battle for the galaxy, he's only worried about his own preservation. And so he makes a deal with the Rebels for them to not simply download his Trawak program, but to employ him as their translator with Lobot keeping him sane. (Another great quote from Lando is spoken right as Lobot enters the room and after Kes Dameron asks Lando what his friend is doing, "Got no idea, Kes--but he better not get himself killed! I just rescued him!" Which is a perfectly valid, but still humorous statement in context. I'm telling you, Lando is killing it in this issue!!)

Lobot communing with the Talky.

Before the Rebels solidify their deal with the talky, Lando asks Lobot if he's down to continue keeping the droid sane, to which Lobot of course says nothing, but Lando interprets this as a yes. He then explains, "Lobot wasn't always like this. He got these implants from the Empire--they were using him for battle calculations. But he broke free of that, and he and I worked together for a good long while. Had some wild times, pulled off some amazing jobs. But we got in over our heads on this one heist, and he...well. He gave up most of his mind so I could get away clean." I love this particular quote because toward the end, it references the first Lando comic miniseries about the artifact heist aboard Palpatine's personal yacht! (A fantastic miniseries by the way!!)

Sounds like everything's back to some semblance of normal...but we all know that can't last too long! It turns out that controlling the talky is sapping Lobot of his own energy. The poor guy is becoming even less human than he already is as each minute passes. Nearing death, Lando proclaims that Lobot cannot keep providing this service, his friend means more to him than the Rebellion by a long shot. But Starlight Squadron (I'll explain more on them below) has ended up in a dire situation without any way to get back home and Kes won't let the Rebels abandon his wife, thus leading the Pathfinder to point a gun at Lando...and the comic ends!! This is all around bad, like either way the Rebels are executing strategies that will hurt people. There's certainly no easy answer and I'm chomping at the bit to see what happens next!

Starlight Squadron!!

I promised more on Starlight Squadron!! It consists of: Wedge Antilles, Freyta Smyth (a Twi'lek), L'ulo L'ampar (the Duros who flew in the Resistance alongside Poe as part of Black Squadron and who makes several appearances in the YA novel Poe Dameron: Free Fall), Shara Bey (Poe's mom), Evaan Verlaine (the woman who Leia recommended to be the new princess of Alderaan), and Mart Mattin (the leader of Iron Squadron from the "Rebels" TV show!). What a cast of characters!! I cannot believe they included Mart Mattin, what a call back!! And the fact we have a couple of connections to the sequel trilogy is also super exciting. This really does make the Star Wars galaxy feel like a truly inter-connected world and I am so here for it.

Starlight Squadron's overall purpose is to locate the scattered Rebel fleet and bring everybody back together. They head out to find their first lost Rebel group, Sixth Division, and find it completely destroyed in deep space near Felucia. Before Starlight Squadron can leave the site of the destruction, Imperial probe droids activate and surround the pilots. One of the probes even attacks Evaan's droid (which of course has multitudes of coordinates for future potential Rebel bases in it) and the squad decides to jettison their droids to self-destruct...leaving them even without the coordinates on how to get back to the main Rebel fleet--hence Kes's bold action against Lando mentioned above.

Oh! And I totally forgot to mention that Bib Fortuna himself makes a call to Lando to inquire about that deal he made with Jabba a few issues back...oops, looks like that empty promise is about to bite Lando in the butt...unless he's actually planning on betraying the Rebels...

Like I said, things are scary and bad at this point for our Rebel heroes. And everyone's stuck between a rock and a hard place. I cannot wait to see where everything goes from here!!

SCORE: 8.5/10 - A LOT happened and I was thoroughly engaged throughout the entire read. Plus little references here and there to other content simply made my heart sing!

"Star Wars #10: Operation Starlight, Part II: The Rebel Code" written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Jan Bazaldua and Rachelle Rosenberg

About Marie:

I am so excited to have joined the Beyond the Blast Doors Star Wars conversation! As a person who is deeply passionate about every aspect of the galaxy far, far away, I'm always looking for ways to spread my Star Wars joy and love.

I've spoken at cons and written articles on a variety of Star Wars topics but one of my biggest passions is the canon literature. I hope to help you find your way through the Maelstrom because what is out there is truly amazing!

Email: aphrasartifacts@gmail.com

Twitter: @aliamorgaine

Blog: www.thestarwarsreview.blogspot.com