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A graphic novel by Michael A. Stackpole and Mike Baron (1995, Dark Horse Comics)
Book 1 of X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
4.5 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

Rogue Squadron attempts to liberate an Imperial planet after being ambushed on an escort run.



1 star

Read on April 30th, 2001  
    Not a very good chapter in the Rogue Squadron saga. The story was confusing, the artwork quite simple, and it was riddled with contradictions and lapses in continuity.

I can't really blame the story, though, as this was made fairly early in the Star Wars mythos. The indicators within the story seem to make it set just before Grand Admiral Thrawn's return in Heir to the Empire. We know for sure it is after The Truce at Bakura, which is mentioned, and there is also mention of a new Grand Admiral in the Imperial fleet. One of the Rogues also says something about contacting Coruscant, which has not been captured by the New Republic yet. However, this marks the first appearance of Elscol, who appears in many other Rogue Squadron comics.

Winter also makes her appearance here, masquerading part of the time as Princess Leia. She gets to flirt with Tycho, so the romance appears to start even earlier than I thought! 

I can see why this episode was never released in compiled form (it is only available as four comics). Barely anything from this chapter fits with subsequent chapters in the comics or the novels. 

Rogue Squadron has been ambushed on Elscol's planet. They land and try to establish a base while searching for their contact, who happens to be Winter. Janson is hit, and Tycho goes looking for him. They are ambushed by Winter, who explains that she was nearly captured when the local governor suddenly switched sides to the Empire, when they discovered the existence of a new Grand Admiral. 

Wedge and the rest of the squadron are themselves ambushed by the local resistance, led by Elscol, who is fighting the Imperials, but has no illusions that the New Republic can keep them safe. Through a traitor and some more ambushes, with Tycho playing at being an Imperial pilot, everyone gets to play at something. 

Winter at one point mentions that the people here know her, which is why she had to go into hiding, but then pretends to be Princess Leia after she is captured by the governor. Elscol says she doesn't know the Alliance contact, but later reveals that it's Targeter, Winter's code name, which Wedge mentioned earlier. 

Wedge figures out who the traitor in Elscol's group is. As far as I'm concerned, it always has to be the person whom the leader names "the only one I can trust". They then feed him false information (at least that's what I assume the Star Destroyer info was all about, although it's never really used), and manage to capture the governor. 

I can't figure out how Elscol could understand her Wookie counterpart if, as she claims, he can't speak Basic, and she implies that she can't understand him. She seems to communicate well with him later. And why (or how) she would abandon him at the end, to become a Rogue, is beyond me. He owes her a life debt, and would not let her abandon him (unless he considered the debt paid by saving her from the governor, but that does not fit in with other Star Wars information, either).

All in all, I've seen much better, and this was not a very good start to the Rogue comics. As for the artwork, it was quite simplistic, as well. It did not have the neat tones that the later stories developed. Not one I can recommend.

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