I am not a particular fan of the issue I am about to review, but I am forcing myself to go through with it. There a few reasons why I dislike this story and one of the more notable ones is that I find Lando Calrissian to be completely out of character here. Compound that with poor writing and really bizarre, nonsensical ideas and we get a real distasteful mess. On a positive note the artwork is decent and I have read worse stories before and after this one so I reserve many of my complaints with that in mind.
This issue is all about Lando and Chewbacca who are on a quest to find Han Solo who was taken by Boba Fett. While flying aboard the Millennium Falcon the hyperdrive suffers a serious malfunction which apparently opens a rift in the fabric of space which our two heroes plunge into. They find themselves in a parallel universe which, like in all cheesy sci-fi plots, is described as “another dimension.” I always found that description annoying. A dimension is a mathematical space that specifies points within it like in a line, square, or a cube. It’s not a location or alternate reality. “Another dimension” is technically inaccurate when describing a parallel universe. But since I am forwarding this complaint to a world where parsecs are a unit of time I guess I should be more lenient.
In this “other dimension” Lando and Chewie discover an island floating in space with a city in its centre. They land on the island to make repairs when they are attacked by a strange batlike humanoid who looks like a mix between Gollum and Nosferatu. They are rescued by an alien on the island who absorbs the attacking creature into himself. This person is Cody Sunn-Childe and the strange creature he absorbed was a psychic demon created by the darker nature of his soul. Cue eye-rolling.
Cody Sunn-Childe was a former warrior who fought the Empire and disappeared ten years ago. Lando is ecstatic to meet him since Cody was one of his heroes growing up.
Cody takes the pair to the city which is known as the City of Dreams. Cue additional eye-rolling. Here we see a society of men and women of all races and species who have eschewed all violence in favour of a completely pacifistic philosophy who are hiding in this “dimension” to avoid the horrors of the war-torn Galaxy.
A decade ago Cody Sunn-Childe was struck by a laser blast during a battle with the Empire and he fell into a pit of fire. The fire was a Flame-God worshipped by a species known as the M’usts who were astonished that Cody survived the flames. They took him to be a messiah and he adopted and converted himself to their peace-loving views. Evidently, Cody’s species’s biochemistry formed a unique combination with the Flame-God which gave Cody the unique ability to psychically separate himself from the darker parts of his self. The separation created psychic demons who vent their rage on the island outside of his city. Cody and his followers live in peace in this parallel world with only the monsters outside as a reminder of what they fled from.
This backstory enrages Lando (and me too for that matter) who condemns Cody as a coward for abandoning the fight against the Empire. In the midst of their debate a group of Imperial Star Destroyers suddenly appear outside the island ready to bombard and kill all of them. The ships, led by a Captain Plikk and Lieutenant Nizzon, detected the spacetime rip the Millennium Falcon created when its hyperdrive failed and followed them through it. Because why not?
Lando and Chewie head to the Falcon to take on the new enemy while Cody is left below questioning his beliefs in the face of the potential death of his friends. He, for a brief moment, gives in and unleashes the psychic demons outside at full strength upon the Imperial Star Destroyers. Although Cody eventually calms down and reverts to his pacifism the damage ensued by the monsters is enough to cost the Imperials significant hyperdrive power. Making a last ditch effort to gain glory for the Empire they divert power from the already damaged hyperdrive to their weapons and fire upon the City of Dreams destroying it and rendering themselves completely immobile and adrift in the process.
Lando looks on with tears in his eyes at the sacrifice Cody made to save them. He decides, in honour of Cody’s memory, to not engage the Star Destroyers in battle, but to leave them trapped in the “other dimension” eternally instead. Cue eye-rolling one more time.
My major complaint with this story is how Lando is depicted in it. We all know him to be a con man, mercenary, and scoundrel. He is the sort of person who up until this time held no allegiance to any group except that which would profit him the most at the time being. So for Lando to have hero worshipped a Rebel warrior in his past is absurd. And as much moral progress he might have made since then I find it unlikely he would leave Imperial Star Destroyers alone and unattacked for any reason. I prefer Lando as a charming rascal. Not moved to tears by nobility and idealism.
Also the whole story about psychic demons excised from a person’s soul is just stupid to me. Even in the Star Wars universe I don’t see how such a thing could work and even if it did I question what this would mean for our understanding of the Dark Side/Light Side philosophy we have been taught all this time. I would think separating the dual natures of sentient morality would create an imbalance in the Force or something. But, hey, I am no philosopher. I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.
Check next week for my review of Classic Marvel #47: Droid World and may the Force be with you.