While Luke Skywalker is busy writing debriefings on previous adventures Leia, Chewie, Threepio, and a group of Rebels scout a new planet as a potential base. Planet Arbra is densely populated by trees and caves which makes it an ideal spot to hide from an angry Galactic Empire. The planet’s only indigenous lifeforms appear to be these cute little rodents called hoojibs who look a lot like a cross between a rabbit and those moogles from Final Fantasy. The hoojibs are energy eaters that can consume electricity and power like food directly from technology such as ships, vehicles, and even weapons.
While the Rebels are asleep in their encampment the little hoojibs sweep in and suck up all of the energy from their blasters, speeders, and lights. This, of course, makes the suddenly awakened rebels very angry and just as Chewbacca is about to rip some hoojib arms out of their sockets one of the little rodents, whose name is Plif, speaks up telepathically and apologises for the theft. It suddenly becomes apparent that the hoojibs are a sentient species capable of communication via telepathy and it is revealed that their consuming the rebels energy supply was an unhappy necessity due to the fact that their prime source of energy has been annexed by a horrible flying manta-ray like creature called a slivilith. It so happens that the hoojibs’ home is a large cave full of powerful crystals that contains massive amounts of electrical energy which the hoojibs have fed on for years. But with the arrival of the slivilith on their planet they lost their cave and had to resort to theft or else face inevitable starvation.
Princess Leia offers to help the furry little beings, and soon the rebels and the hoojibs battle the slivilith until Chewie eventually grabs a hold of the monstrosity and throws it hard into a structure of crystals and kills it out right.
Getting a good look at the crystals the rebels realise this is a perfect place to make a base since they can use the crystals as an indefinite power source. This does not bode well with the hoojibs who initially object to invaders making a home in their cave against their will. Instead of forcing them out of their home Princess Leia nobly decides to leave Arbra and find another base. She feels that for she and the rebels to forcibly exile the hoojibs would only make them no better than the Empire and she did not wish to take any mercenary actions against anyone. Cassian Andor, she most certainly is not!
But, thankfully, her noble gesture impresses the hoojibs who decide to share their cave with the rebels. After months of searching a new base is found!
Elsewhere, Lando Calrissian has been feeling anxious about the future of Cloud City after departing there months back and he feels the need to stop by and see how things are going. Taking the Millennium Falcon and Artoo with him, Lando heads to Bespin and finds his beloved city in the clouds vacant and empty. As he looks around a shadow looms up behind him. Who could it be?
The answer to that is in the next issue which I will review next week.
As for Plif!, I thought it was a simple, enjoyable story. The rebels finally find a new rebel base after their retreat from Hoth and we are introduced to the hoojibs who make further appearances throughout the rest of the classic Marvel run.
Some readers may object to the cutesy-ness of the hoojibs, but in all honesty they are no worse than Ewoks or Gungans.
You can read this comic 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 #56-57 and may the Force be with you.