Hey, looks like I got another five trades read, so here I am with another week of seemingly random trade paperbacks to knock out a few quick reviews. I mean, I have a very large stack of unread trades, and I just pull five at a time to read and then review when I get those five done, then take up another five and so forth and so on.
Anyway, first up is the second volume of the most recent Star Wars series from Marvel, subtitled Operation Starlight.
Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance have a new problem in the form of Commander Ellian Zahra. Zahra was a protege of Grand Moff Tarkin, and she only barely escaped the explosion of the original Death Star by sheer dumb luck. Angry over her mentor’s death and specifically assigned to destroy the Rebels by the Empire, Zahra will not only do what she can to take out the Rebels, but she will enjoy every second of it while making the suffering for Leia specifically to last as long as possible.
By this point, knowing the Empire has cracked their codes, the Rebels need a way to communicate with other cells without alerting the Empire of what was being said? The answer comes from, of all possibilities, C-3PO. The protocol droid has a plan involving a long decommissioned prototype droid in an Imperial Museum, the last thing around that has a long forgotten language stored in its databanks. All the Rebels need to do is retrieve the thing.
On the surface, this sounds like a good story. Plus, I like writer Charles Soule. He’s rarely disappointed me. However, this is one of those instances. The ancient droid is rather fun, and I think I vaguely recall Zahra from an old novel that had a similar woman Imperial officer looking to avenge Tarkin’s death, but in her case, Tarkin was her lover and not her mentor. So, hey, if I am right, that’s an improvement. But the heroes here are often interchangeable, or I just don’t know who these people are. Characters I barely know are killed off, but the whole thing treats it as a tragedy. I just couldn’t see it.
And then there’s Lando, who spends the whole story continuing to grouse and look for a way out. He doesn’t believe in the Rebel cause, and all he really cares about is his silent friend and companion Lobot. Having an unheroic hero gets old after a while. True, it makes sense that Lando might need some convincing to join the cause, but why the others tolerate him at this point is a big unknown. You’d think Chewbacca at least would do something about him…
Anyway, this one didn’t much work for me aside from the few points I mentioned above. 7.5 out of 10 X-Wing attacks inside an Imperial hanger bay.