• Marie E. Wilson

SPOILER REVIEW: "Star Wars #11: Operation Starlight, Part III: The Last Hope" by Charles Soule

"Operation Starlight, Part III: The Last Hope" is the 11th issue of the "Star Wars" (2020-) long-run comic series. It was written by Charles Soule, illustrated by Jan Bazaldua and Rachelle Rosenberg, and published by Marvel Comics on Feb 3, 2021.

Deception! Lies! Betrayal! This issue had me going for awhile there, wondering why in the world Leia was being so heartless and cruel. And there was action and close calls galore on the Starlight Squadron side of things plus plenty of super artfully drawn explosions. This issue was packed within its two story lines and we even get the re-appearance of Commander Zahra! I'm definitely pleased with how this series is going so far.

The first storyline is that of the ancient Talky droid that requires Lobot's mysterious tech savvy to keep him functioning properly and speaking understandably. Problem is, Lobot is being fairly quickly killed by the strain and Lando can't stand to see his best friend going through so much pain. This all led in the previous issue to a confrontation whereby Kes Dameron (Poe's father) is holding his blaster at Lando, demanding that Lobot continue doing the job...regardless of his dying, since Kes's wife Shara is out with Starlight Squadron and the code the Talky is producing is their only way of contact--Starlight Squadron is currently not responding and that's because they are in a heap of trouble!!

Which brings us to...

Starlight Squadron attacks!

The second storyline which involves Starlight Squadron going up against a hoard of TIEs and Commander Zahra's Star Destroyer. Their astromechs have been taken out of commission and there's no way for the Squad to get back to the Rebel fleet. Zahra engages tractor beams and Wedge suggests that they accelerate and go with the flow of the beam so they can fire at the tractor beam generators and enter one of the Star Destroyer's hangar bays. The goal is to find an Imperial astromech to help the Squad calibrate navigation coordinates so they can return home. But all hell breaks loose as AT-STs enter the hangar and blaster shots fly with abandon from both sides. In the melee, Shara's starfighter gets blown to bits and she orders the rest of the Squadron to leave her behind and return to the Rebel fleet...

Lobot not dealing so well with the strain of keeping the Talky functioning.

I mentioned a cruel Leia above, well she acts this way because she has a trick up her sleeve...but it doesn't seem like she ever totally lets Lando in on what is truly going on because at the end of the issue, he is pissed! And he makes another call to his sketchy, worrisome contact, Bib Fortuna. Let me back up a bit, not only does Leia demand that C-3PO continue using the Talky to get a whole list of messages encrypted and sent while Lobot stands there dying, but she sends Lando to the brig!!! I was like, WTF lady!! The trick is (and this is a bit trivia-heavy but I found it interesting) that C-3PO is of course a much newer droid than the Talky and in 3PO's own words, "My maker, whoever that enlightened being was, customized my Tranlang III Comms Module for direct connection to my AA-1 verbobrain." Say that three times fast! Basically he's just saying that all he needs are a few samples of the code to learn the full language so that they don't need the evil, selfish Talky at all! Hooray for that solution!!

As for this budding relationship between Lando and Bib, I don't like it one bit, whether in universe or as a literary plot point. I feel like it muddies Lando's character. I want him to be the guy who did what he had to for his people on Cloud City, then realized what a mistake it was, and went on to make up for it in any way he could by fighting the good fight. I don't want him to be the bad guy a second time!! And there's no indication that this is all a ruse to get into Jabba's palace to eventually save Han. Lando seems like he really is ready to betray the Rebellion. I just find that heartbreaking.

MY SCORE: 8/10 because as plot goes, this issue was chock full of it! But, I'm nervous and skeptical of the whole Lando/Bib thing and even though it was all for show, seeing a heartless Leia made my soul ache!

"Star Wars #11: Operation Starlight, Part III: The Last Hope" 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