Star Wars #38: Tatooine Treason
Lobot is rapidly approaching a critical state and Lando is desperate to save his dear friend. His salvation lies with a particular ancient droid Lando once sold to Jabba. Now he must go into the Hutt’s fortress to find it.
This series has shifted between three basic narrative focal points surrounding Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Lando. Luke seeks Jedi knowledge. Lei commands rebels against the Empire. Lando just sort of goes along for the ride and tries to protect Lobot. The last time the story changed to Lando’s perspective, he was not so loyal to the Rebellion. In fact he used a code cracking droid with hundreds of years worth of memory and rebel secrets to gain leverage with Jabba. It seems Lando didn’t just become a good guy suddenly. He’s a scoundrel after all, and a gambler. He is even surprised when Leia tells him she trusts him. The only things he remains loyal to is Lobot. Currently Lobot doesn’t have much in the way of a personality. He explicitly silent and frequently dazed, however Lobot used to be just a regular guy. This issue gives a neat flashback to who he was before he becaome mostly a walking computer. It is almost a throwback to Lando’s first Marvel mini-series from shortly after Disney acquired Star Wars. Lobot’s history with Lando was well established long ago. Very directly, this issue embodies the entire Marvel “Star Wars” series’ history.
In many ways, this issue also embodies Return of the Jedi as part of it’s 40th anniversary. The majority of the issue takes place in Jabba’s home from the beginning of the film right down to the droid eye that greets beings at the gate. Lando Has been there only a few times before and thinks he knows his way around, but setting and specific characters will be instantly recognizable to fans of the original films. This issue acts as a double film reference chapter as it takes time to make nods to Solo. Lando discovers Han never threw away his old clothes and not only is his costume from that film present, but it marks the first time Lando uses the guard disguise Becket wore on Kessel in Soloas well. In fact that is almost certainly going to become a plot point as fans already know he uses that disguise again at the beginning of Return of the Jedi in Han’s rescue. Referencing both films and their specific time periods also brings with it classic Marvel “Star Wars” vibes as there was also a mini-series about young Lando from Solo.
This chapter embodies the larger multi-series event, “Dark Droids” as well. This issue has a ton of droids in it. It seems like a good idea to not have Artoo and Threepio front and center in this series as they are susceptible to the zombie droid plague it is about. It is better to place Lando in that spot instead as he can’t be affected and knows how to move in the Tatooinian underground. There is a bit of a horror element to this issue as well. Lurching undead looking droids and even a Rancor is enough to scare anyone. On top of that the droid Lando has come for is yet unaffected, so his mission to save Lobot is still in play. This issue provides a very good example of what “Dark Droids” should be and without getting in the way of the overall story. It fits well into Lando comics. It fits well into the pre-Return of the Jedi era. It fits well into the “Dark Droids” series. Color and art are typical of the entire run, focusing on story details over flash and sizzle bright colors and attention to detail. A common aspect of this series is main characters not exactly capturing the likenesses of their film actor counterparts. This issue departs from that slightly as Lando is very recognizable and bears a bit more of Billy Dee Williams’s swagger.
Lando and Lobot aren’t out of the den of depravity that is Jabba’s Palace yet. Seems like a really good time for Lando to plan Han’s rescue, but first he needs to fix Lobot.
Star Wars #38: The Horrors of Jabba’s Palace
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 6/106/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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