While Luke, Lando, and Chewie leave to acquire goods from a business dealer named Ferret, Leia formulates a plan to keep the Rebel fleet invisible from Imperial scouts passing by Arbra, the rebel home base.
A pyramidal satellite called the Kerts BHRG Generator creates a temperature absorbing field that can envelop the entire fleet which can then be safely stowed away in the chromosphere of the Arbran sun without any danger. While that sounds scientifically unfeasible I remember in the last issue Lando Calrissian landed on the surface of a gas giant so I am content to believe anything at this point.
After bringing the Generator along with the Rebel fleet inside the sun Leia, General Rieekan, and a few other Imperial officers, jettison a small shuttle from the pyramid and head back for Arbra. However, they receive a transmission from Artoo and Threepio who failed to enter the shuttle with them and were still aboard the Generator. Sensing a malfunction in the Kert BHRG Generator’s temperature absorption systems (say that five times fast) Artoo took off to investigate. On the verge of panic Threepio is dragged along by Artoo who straps a rocket pack to the protocol droid’s back and flies toward one of the Rebel cruisers with an energy cable in tow. Intending to connect the cable to the cruiser’s reactor Artoo hopes to glean enough emergency power to keep the heat absorption field operational until full repairs are completed.
However, as the field begins to weaken Threepio’s pack begins to melt rendering it useless. Thankfully, Artoo decides to use his built-in fire extinguisher as a propulsion unit to complete the job and the connection is successfully made.
Following the typical Artoo tradition of saving the day with his technical prowess Leia, like Queen Amidala decades before her, commends the droids by having them cleaned up and pampered for a few hours as a reward.
Meanwhile, Luke, Lando, and Chewbacca arrive at a giant space station called Bazarre, a huge market place in space, where they hope to meet the squirrelly Ferret who proves unreliabe when they are captured and held at blasterpoint. They have been double-crossed!
Elsewhere, in another system, Leia receives a report that they have lost contact with Luke and Lando. Cliffhangar ending.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this issue and from the way my review is written it may come across that the story is shorter than most issues I have reviewed. However, that is simply not the case. While the comic is standard-sized, the story is simply so straight-forward and requires such little explanation or comment that not a lot of padding or detail is conjurable. This may have been one of the easiest and most clear-cut issues I have ever had to review.
There isn’t a lot of introspection, new characters, new ideas, or whatnot. It’s just Threepio and Artoo fighting the clock to save the day from a technological disaster of dubious scientific accuracy while Princess Leia plays the calm, but apprehensive military leader and steadfast friend. It’s standard Star Wars fare. And I really liked it.
I am extremely partial to C-3PO as he is my second favourite character after Han Solo which may have substantially contributed to my enjoyment of Sundown. A lot of the Artoo and Threepio-centric stories, no matter how absurd they can often be, I have always enjoyed immensely and Threepio is just a character that never gets boring. So while this story has all the straight-forwardness of a kids’ cartoon the characters really shine in it.
It also has the distinction of revealing that there are more games on board the Millennium Falcon than just Holographic Chess. On their trip to Bazarre we see Lando and Luke engaged in a tense game of Novacrown which looks more like traditional chess in that is utilises a multi-squared board and physical pieces moved by hand. That being said I have no idea what the rules are and I swear one of those pieces looks identical to the dead alien pilot from the first Alien movie.
But it is nice to see that entertainment in the Star Wars galaxy is as varied as it is in our world. Even if it doesn’t have video games and Mountain Dew.
For those wishing to read this issue it can be found in Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Volume 2 which you can purchase here.
Check next week for a review of Classic Marvel Star Wars #59: Bazarre and may the Force be with you.