Almost a century and a half after our favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away saved said galaxy from the evil Empire and re-established peace and justice, a new government has been formed by the Galactic Alliance, Jedi Council, and Imperial Court, one which many fear will not last. As the story opens, Yalta Val, Imperial Jedi Knight, is on a mission to the Outer Rim to try to convince the Carreras System that being a part of the Galactic Triumvirate is a good thing. He’s even bringing a communications droid to act as a relay station and emergency beacon so that Carreras may communicate with the far-away government leaders. Before it can be launched, however, a sudden collision cripples the ship and forces a crash landing on an uncharted planet that appears on their screens just in the nick of time.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
Things turn ugly quickly with a few flashes of an ominous red lightsaber, and Master Val finds himself face to face with two Sith. In the ensuing swordfight, his lightsaber is knocked from his hand. It is retrieved by the communications droid that was never launched, which breaks free from the wreckage, surveys the situation, finds no survivors, and heads for its home base. The droid doesn’t get very far, either, though, as space debris damages it and causes it to crash.
In the Carreras System, Governor Biala and her aides nervously await Master Val’s arrival, especially after learning of the attack that killed his entire crew. Being able to link the communications array with the rest of the galaxy is important for the small, isolated system (and for the political aspirations of Galactic Triumvirate officials as well, we learn, although leaders on Coruscant don’t agree on the value of communications over, say, weaponry). The man that strides out of Yalta Val’s spacecraft, dressed like Val and responding to his name, brings unwelcome news — the Sith, who I gather were supposed to have been defeated once and for all, are still around and hanging out in the nebula near Carreras. He demands help in getting rid of the Sith in return for not revealing the rampant corruption within the Carreras government, something that just would not play well when broadcast across the galaxy by the newly linked communications array.
In the midst of the political drama, a young woman named Ania drives a hard bargain at the junkyard she runs on Carreras Minor. The latest bin of salvaged goods nets little of worth, except for a battered and damaged communications droid. Excited over the discovery, she runs to get her friend Sauk, a Mon Calamari refugee working as an ice miner. They are both looking for something big that will give them a way out of this backwater, and they think they may have it when, in examining the droid, a hatch pops open to reveal a lightsaber, an even bigger prize than the droid itself. They try to sell it, but the pawn shop owner won’t touch it — it’s too sensitive an item with all the security forces around right now, and despite its value, he can think of no one he might sell it to anyway. They are thrown out of the shop, only to come face to face with security forces. At the end of the chase, Ania still refuses to give up the lightsaber, but she does reveal her last name — Solo — and the fact that she is just as quick with a blaster as her however-many-greats-grandfather.
On the last page, there is an ominous scene in a deep, dark, dungeon. The prisoner being held there is revealed to be Yalta Val, now wearing the face-covering helmet last seen on his Sith attacker. Who is the imposter negotiating with Governor Biala, and what is his objective? Will the communications array come on line? What is going on with the Galactic Triumvirate on Coruscant? Will the security forces defeat Ania and her friend and capture the lightsaber?
This is my first comic review, and I must say I was only disappointed by how short it was! I can’t wait until the next installment to find out what happens. I am generally a word person more than a picture person, which is probably why I missed a few key details on the first reading — the fact that the Yalta Val that steps out of the shuttle in the Carreras System does not look like the Yalta Val last seen being held at lightsaber-point by a mysterious Sith enemy, for example. I should not have been surprised when the prisoner in the dungeon was identified as Master Val. I will definitely be looking closer and paying better attention to the pictures next time.