Star Wars #39: Hostile Hybroid
In a effort to save his rapidly deteriorating friend, Lobot, Lando Calrissian must enter Jabba’s Palace to find the one droid he needs to fix him. As soon as he does, he stumbles onto a terrifying legion of possessed droids and even the Rancor as well.
This issue hit just about ever level it needs to. It continues Lando’s plot with Lobot. It foreshadowsReturn of the Jedi. It also is very well connected it is to the “Dark Droids” multi-series event it is a part of. Pretty much every issue where Lando is the main character involves his pal, Lobot. Even beforehand, Lobot was tied to the earlier “Lando” mini-series proving just how deeply this relationship means to Lando. For all intents and purposes, Lobot is a very strange character. He can’t talk. He has glitches. He sort of just sits in the background. Lando on the other hand knows that his old friend is in there and will do anything to keep him safe. This involves a bit of a side mission behind the Rebellion’s back. Enter Jabba’s Palace. Lando at one point gave Jabba an ancient droid with lost knowledge of mechanics that happens to be full of Rebel codes. He has since ventured into the palace to find the droid to save his friend. This was accomplished in the last issue. This issue was about trying to escape. Of course there is plenty of murder Droid action all throughout to solidify this chapter as one important to the “Dark Droids” mini-series. Some major plot points happen, and now that the “Dark Droids” series is about halfway through, this issue makes good on the second part of the series’ tagline, “first, it comes for the metal…then it comes for everything else.”
In addition to being a solid chapter in both the “Star Wars” comic series and the “Dark Droids” event, this issue takes time to hit some points on the upcoming events of Return of the Jedi. All four main “Star Wars” series have been slowly building up to it. On the surface, the very fact that Jabba’s Palace is the original setting for the beginning of that film is apparent enough. Yet the issue focuses on some other characters from it too. The Rancor is or course a huge one, both literally and figuratively. The big baddie even makes the cover. Lando is also wearing the outfit he will eventually use to disguise himself when Luke and friends come to rescue Han Solo. Something very mysterious is happening with the possessed droid legion, yet Lando does comment that Jabba and his entourage are missing. It is explained that he is on his sail barge with them in a monthly celebration. The issue confirms this by showing the gathering. This setting is important as it is the second one from Return of the Jedi. And finally there is Han, still frozen in carbonite and safe from Jabba or droids. It would seem to most readers at a glance that it seems almost silly that Lando is that close to him and doesn’t simply save him. The rebels are planning to do this anyway. In this series it was shown that Chewbacca has been running fight simulations of the palace. After a sweet moment where Lando does take time to consider his sometimes friend, sometimes enemy, he decides to wait. During the current chaos, it is deemed to dangerous to try and save him right then in effort to make sure Han wouldn’t be in more danger trying to escape under hibernation sickness.
This issue is particularly gorgeous. The art is very detailed, especially the droids. Lando and Lobot have very good expressions ranging from shock, to laughter, malice, anger, and fear. Colors are all over the place in a great way. It doesn’t stick to an specific scheme and is simply support for the detailed art. Characters and droids seem especially bright given the eerie atmosphere, but it makes everything pop so much that it works well anyway. The impact on the overall saga is certainly apparent, supporting Return of the Jedi, this series, and “Dark Droids.” Traces of Return of the Jedi art on ever other page. It very much feels in line with this entire series, continuing Lando’s part of the story. More than that, it is a very exciting issue for the “Dark Droids” event. It furthers that plot, but introducing a new and terrifying entity added to the collective mind of the possessed army of droids. It makes the multi-series event personal for Lando and it is exactly the kind of thing that motivates him into great heroics, which is not always his style. He is slowly becoming the great Alliance general he is destined to become.
Lando leaves this tale not quite able to help his good friend. On top of that, he is reminded that Han is also a friend he owes help to. But like any good gambler, Lando knows when to cut out so he can come back and win later on.
Star Wars #39: Palace of Terror
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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