REVIEW: ‘Star Wars,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Star Wars #9

Star Wars #9 from Marvel Comics begins a new arc in the series with Operation Starlight: The Ancient Relic. Written by Charles Soule, Star Wars #9 follows the scattered Rebel Alliance as our heroes attempt to rally together after the presumed defeat of Commander Zahra. Soule is joined by artist Jan Bazaluda, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Clayton Cowles, as this team takes readers through the latest installment in the canon Star Wars series.

Previously in Star Wars #8, the Rebel Alliance led by General Leia Organa battled Commander Zahra, who led a division of the Imperial Navy herself. Zahra would eventually board the starship that Organa was on during the conflict. Zahra, who had a personal vendetta against Alderaan’s former queen, lured Organa down for a chat. Despite Zahra’s menace and clear combat ability, she is eventually runoff by Luke Skywalker. Zahra was defeated, but her encryption of the Rebel security codes continues to plague the Rebel Alliance.

Star Wars #9 opens with Organa detailing the plans of Operation Starlight, an attempt to regroup the scattered Rebel Alliance following the events of The Empire Strikes Back. Current attempts have been futile as the Empire has intercepted any communications. The Rebels are stronger together, but they stand no chance of reassembling when the ever cunning Commander Zahra is waiting in the wings for her next move. Many of the Rebels, including Lando Calrissian, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and even Poe Dameron’s parents Kes Dameron and Shara Bey, give their opinions on how to proceed. After banter back and forth, it is left to C-3PO to lay out a workable plan.

The Rebel’s need a communication method that cannot be understood by the Empire, and who better to provide that than the protocol droid fluent in over six million forms of communication?  3PO suggests a long-dead language known as trawak to be the base of the new code. He insists that the language is impossible to learn or translate as a lost language and admits even he does not know the language. However, an ancient linguistics droid could be the key to developing a code with trawak. The only problem is, it is kept in the Imperial Museum on Coruscant.

Organa tasks the Pathfinders to retrieve the droid. Star Wars fans may recognize the group as the strikeforce led by Captain Cassian Andor and Sergeant Jyn Erso in Rogue One and General Han Solo during the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. With Solo frozen in carbonite, it falls on Lando Calrissian to lead the group of Kes Dameron, Frell, and Needle in the Millennium Falcon to Coruscant.  The rest of Star Wars #9 follows the group’s attempt to liberate the ancient droid from the Empire.

Star Wars #9 felt much more akin to Rogue One. The use of the Pathfinders is a great connection to that. We follow a small force carrying out a vital mission that anyone else cannot do. There are more important missions than the ones undertaken by our main characters, which is a dive into that. Since these are not characters who are well known, the stakes are very high for any of them to meet their end. Seeing Kes Dameron in action was also a treat. Kes’s dialogue and quips are Poe Dameron-esque so it clear to readers where the Sequel Trilogy hero gets his snarkiness. The end of Star Wars #9 certainly leaves the door open for a compelling arc with Operation Starlight.

Overall, I enjoyed much of Star Wars #9. I was taken aback by how fast the Commander Zahra and Leia Organa incident played out in the previous issue. I was worried that the commander’s efforts might have been in vain, but it is clear that Zahra still holds some sway over the Rebel’s actions moving forward. Further, the focus on the Pathfinders is a refreshing change of pace. Readers get to see the elite special forces unit in action without someone like Luke Skywalker to come to save the day like in the previous issue.

Star Wars #9 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Star Wars #9
5

TL;DR

Overall, I enjoyed much of Star Wars #9. I was taken aback by how fast the Commander Zahra and Leia Organa incident played out in the previous issue. I was worried that the commander’s efforts might have been in vain, but it is clear that Zahra still holds some sway over the Rebel’s actions moving forward. Further, the focus on the Pathfinders is a refreshing change of pace. Readers get to see the elite special forces unit in action without someone like Luke Skywalker to come to save the day like in the previous issue.