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ALL TIMELINES

THE REBEL STORM

A newspaper strip graphic novel by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson (1995, Dark Horse Comics)
Book 3 of Star Wars Newspaper Strips
1 year after Star Wars: A New Hope

Luke, Han and Leia battle traitors, monsters, an imposter, and Imperials, while searching for a new base and a way to defeat Vader's new super star destroyer.

 

 

3 stars

Read June 22nd to 30th, 1996  
    More really good stories.  The characters even behave as they would during the movies!  The art isn't the greatest, but it does contain a lot of detail, even if the main characters don't look like their actor counterparts from the movies.  And I have to say that Princess Leia is drawn quite nicely!

  This volume begins where the last one ends.  Silver Fyre turns out not to be the one who is about to betray the Alliance.  It is her second in command.  Luke is stunned, and his ship is caught by the giant squid they were hunting.  Han once again has to rescue him, and does so just in time.  Leia captures Fyre's second in command as he tries to steal the information about Vader's super Star Destroyer from R2D2.  He evades her, but is captured by Han as he tries to escape. 

  Fyre and her group help the Falcon run the blockade around Yavin 4, where Luke delivers the information about Vader's new ship. 

  The Imperials attack the base, but are driven off.  Unfortunately, the firefight has awakened an ancient guardian of the Massassi ruins on Yavin.  The beast attacks the rebel base, and Chewbacca wrestles with it.  It escapes, and leads the rebels to search the old temples in search of the creature. 

  Luke discovers its hiding place, and flushes it out.  He discovers that it can communicate via the Force, albeit crudely.  The creature was to guard the Massassi temples awaiting its masters' return, since the Massassi had fled a great war.  Luke convinces it that he is not its ancient enemy, and directs it to a ship where it can follow its masters to the stars. 

  How it got through the Imperial blockade is another question.  But I assume the war they are speaking of was not the Sith war, since it was determined in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, not to mention the Tales of the Jedi, that the Massassi were completely enslaved by Exar Kun and Freedon Nadd, and that they were primitive people who were all killed when Exar Kun died.  I like that version better.  However, continuity does not have to be served all the time between the older texts and the new ones.  This was written before Jedi came out, so I can't expect it. 

  Luke hears word that Obi-Wan Kenobi saved a rebel informant from Imperial troops, so he goes out in search of his old mentor.  He travels to a desert planet, where he is incapacitated following an attack on the Imperials, and is saved by Kenobi. 

  Kenobi brings him to a tower where Vader is laying in wait for them.  It turns out that an actor was surgically altered to look like Kenobi, and uses technological wonders to impersonate the use of the Force.  But he feels compassion for Luke, and begins to see how much Luke revered Obi-Wan.  So he betrays Vader, and destroys Vader's tower.  Vader himself narrowly escapes, as does Luke, but the actor does not survive. 

  Meanwhile, Han and Chewbacca go in search of a legendary Power Gem.  This is a gem that can supposedly reduce the shields on any vessel to nothing.  Han and Chewie go from bar to bar looking for tips, and find a gambler who runs a gladiatorial ring, with the Power Gem as the prize. 

  Han volunteers Chewie to fight, but they attack one of the competitors outside the ring, where a crowd collects, and the gambler cannot collect any entrance fees.  Han then goes to the power gem and scans it, where he discovers that it is losing power.  It might work for one last assault on a large ship. 

  By threatening to release the information that the prize everyone is fighting for is losing power, Han gains the Power Gem, and heads back to Yavin 4. 

  Meanwhile, Luke runs into Imperial forces again, and manages to disguise himself in a comet's tail to evade them.  He is caught by its inertia, though, and can't pull out until the comet crashes on barren ice world, a world known as Hoth. 

  How he does this seems a mystery to me, since the comet would take years to get from a different system to Hoth, and the Imperials would know about the planet if they were so close.  But that's just a plot device, so we continue with the story unimpeded.

  Han meets a beautiful woman, who brings him to her father's hideout.  It is never clear if he managed to hollow out what would become the rebel base, or if the rebels had to do all the work themselves. 

  But Luke discovers that the father is a former Imperial senator, who hates both sides of the conflict, and tried to get away from it all.  He attacks Luke, and ends up killing his daughter instead.  Luke then discovers that both of them were robotic impersonators, designed to let the real senator get away from a rebel attack.  This story is further elaborated on in a Star Wars Galaxy Magazine comic.  That was kind of neat to see. 

  Luke repairs the communication equipment, and Han and Leia pick him up.  They get news that Vader's super star destroyer has been activated, so Leia insists that they go rendezvous with the Mon Calamari, newly joined members of the Alliance. 

  Admiral Akbar's ship has been destroyed, but his crew left in a lifepod.  They track it, as well as Imperial movements, to a planet, where giant sea worms grab the Falcon and drag it to the bottom of the sea. 

  Han tries to slow the Imperial movements while Akbar tries to dislodge the worms from their ship.  Unfortunately, Han isn't very successful, and the Imperials reach the Mon Calamari position.  But suddenly the worms abandon the Falcon and take a liking to the Imperial ships!  They are able to escape into hyperspace.

  On the way back to Yavin 4, they pass through the destruction of a Nebula B frigate, evidence of Vader's Executor in action.  Luke sees a shuttle hiding behind a small moon, and thinks it strange.  They arrive on their base and discover that General Dodonna's son was on the frigate that attacked Vader, and is now presumed dead. 

  But he shows up with a damages shuttle, the same shuttle that Luke saw hiding among the wreckage.  He knows that the General's son ran from the fight, but can't prove it.  He talks to the man, but ends up in a fistfight, and Vrad Dodonna seems to have the upper hand. 

  Meanwhile, Vader is about to strike at Yavin 4, and nothing seems to be able to even penetrate its shields.  I can see where this is leading. 

  I thought this one was even better than the last volume.  Exciting, really, even with the gaffes I noted above. However, like the last one, I couldn't remember most of it once I had finished reading it.  Again, that must mean something.  Perhaps that it wasn't as great as I thought it was.

 
   

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