Following the first AND second printing sellout of Star Wars #1 in January, the new series from Dark Horse hits lightspeed with issue #2 this week. While issue #1 set the board, issue #2 saw the pieces begin to move.
This installment kicks off with Han and Chewie on their own secret mission, which was vaguely teased in issue #1. They too have been tasked by Mon Mothma with a clandestine undertaking, but all the reader can glean so far is that it involves Rebel Alliance funds. (Han, don’t you owe enough people money?) In keeping with the well-known fact that the Millennium Falcon is never operating at peak performance, our favorite smuggler pair argues/growls about the state of the ship’s sensors while loitering at a Rebel rendezvous. Much to the joy of any fan, the lack of sensor detection capability results in everyone’s favorite bounty hunter getting the drop on the Falcon. Mr. Bob A. Feet’s untimely arrival is compounded by the appearance of a Star Destroyer, furthering the notion that there is an Imperial spy in the Alliances’ midst. Needless to say, Han and Chewie cheese it.
Back at the still homeless Rebel Fleet, we are presented with an utterly heart-wrenching moment as Leia tortures herself with a recording of an Alderaan tourism pitch. It might sound silly, but the fact that all she has left of her home is a smattering of images and a disembodied voice describing scenic vistas and promoting “Old Republic charm” tugs at the heartstrings. With responsibilities to the Alliance constantly bearing down on her shoulders, she must take her moments to mourn where she can get them. Occupying the rest of Leia’s time, however, is her mission to locate a suitable base for the Rebels. To counter the alleged mole in the Alliance, the Princess has assembled her hand-picked team of pilots, including Luke, Wedge, a Trandoshan, a Twi’lek (how she fits the tentacles under the helmet is anyone’s guess), and a handful of humans. And what’s a black ops team without some fun toys? Straight from the Incom Corp itself, the squad receives some slick, black X-Wings with which to carry out their super secret assignment. I’m pretty sure I was just as excited to see them as Wedge.
‘What’s going on in the Empire?’ you ask? Well, Imperial tight-ass Colonel Bircher has swaggered his way onto the Star Destroyer Devastator to replace the shamed Darth Vader. Sadly, the Dark Lord is not present, so we don’t get the openly hostile/smug transfer of command you might expect. Instead, we get a glimpse of Col. Bircher’s militant personality…and that’s saying something for an Imperial. This guy did the whole check-dust-with-the-glove thing….ON A STORMTROOPER’S FACE! Grand Admiral Thrawn he is not, but this guy is going to be a Hutt-sized pain in someone’s ass. For entertainment’s sake, I hope it’s Vader’s rather than the Rebels’.
To wrap up the issue, we get another clue as to what Han and Chewie’s mission entails. We still don’t know what Mon Mothma has planned for them, but we do know where they will be executing it: Coruscant. A good “Holy Crap!” moment on which to leave us hanging. Well-played, Mr. Wood. Well-played.
Star Wars #2, written by Brian Wood and drawn by Carlos D’Anda, is out today. Be sure to pick up your copy before it sells out. Trust me. It will. Expect the third printing of issue #1 on February 27th.