Continuing from the the cliffhangar that ended issue #58 this story begins with Lando and Luke held at blasterpoint. At Bazarre, the giant marketplace housed in a large space station, the three heroes hoped to do business with the shady Mr. Ferret. But now it looks like they are about to be sent to the auction block as slaves. Thankfully Mr. Ferret intervenes and informs the would-be slavers that these customers are his guests.
This begs the question though as to why any market (black market or otherwise) would maintain any success and popularity if potential buyers were getting captured and enslaved right and left with no provocation. You would think Mr. Ferret’s enterprise would end real quick just after a few incidents like that.
Anyway, Ferret takes Luke and Lando to his private room where the Rebels pay for the four TIE Fighters that they ordered. These are for hit-and-fade operations where the Rebels could encroach on Imperial military targets and attack without being shot at first.
However, acquiring these TIE Fighters proves to be a hassle. Mr. Ferret is a very unreliable and untrustworthy man and Lando having had dealings with him before when he used to be the administrator at Cloud City knows this. Calrissian recognises Ferret as a disloyal, backstabbing scoundrel and this occasion proves to be no exception.
After receiving payment for the four TIE Fighters Ferret tells Luke and Lando that their goods are on planet Patch-4, a junkyard world, where they are safely tucked away. They are provided with a shuttle with which they can reach Patch-4 and acquire the TIE Fighters, but the greedy Ferret has installed an ejection mechanism inside that can be operated by remote control from the Bazarre station. Hoping to send the two Rebels hurling into space on their way to the junk planet Ferret figures he can pocket the money and also keep the TIE Fighters as a bonus.
This scheme fails to come to fruition, however, when Lando decides to leave Chewbacca behind to keep an eye on Ferret until they get back. Too scared to piss off a Wookiee the ejection device remains untriggered the entire trip to Patch-4.
I am not entirely sure why Luke and Lando couldn’t have just taken the Millennium Falcon to the planet, but I guess they wanted to save gas by leaving it parked at Bazarre.
Unfortunately, while Ferret is a coward, he is not a stupid one. He has one more trick up his sleeve. Buried underneath the refuse and trash on Patch-4 is a giant carnivorous worm that tries desperately to consume Luke and Lando at the location of the TIE Fighters. Ferret calls it the Watchbeast and the inhabitants of the planet call it Ceasar. It’s like Caesar, but with the ‘a’ and the ‘e’ reversed. Clever, huh?
The inhabitants of the trash world are a bunch of hobos who lost their homes to the Empire. These people rescue our heroes and tell them that the creature outside is controlled by Ferret with a sonic pacifier. There is one of these pacifiers aboard the shuttle that Luke and Lando arrived in and they realise that if they can get to it they may be able to mollify Ceasar and escape with their TIE Fighters as well as their lives.
While Lando and the hobos create a diversion, Luke makes it to the shuttle and activates the pacifier. It causes the beast to pass out and our Rebel friends escape with their goods intact.
Back at Bazarre Lando and Luke have some very choice words to hurl at Ferret for his betrayal and Chewbacca expresses his own displeasure by tossing the little man onto a heap of scrapmetal. While sitting there, bruised and humiliated, Ferret is told by Luke that they gave the Patch-4 hobos the sonic pacifier which means they have direct control of Ceasar ensuring that Ferret will do no more business on their world.
They return home to an overjoyed Leia who plans a grand celebration in honour of all that has been accomplished for the Rebellion recently. As they enter their hidden base on Arbra Leia casually tells Luke that he needs to change his uniform which is still covered in garbage from Patch-4.
Ignoring the obvious weirdness of the existence of space hobos altogether I think what should be mainly addressed here are the manifold plot holes that permeate this story. I already mentioned the illogical choice of leaving the Falcon behind in favour of Ferret’s suspicious shuttle and I already mentioned the problems with running a market where you casually and frequently kidnap and sell your customers at random. But there are some other gaping problems with this story as well.
For one thing, why the devil did the shuttle Ferret provide Luke and Lando have a sonic pacifier installed? He was prepared enough to implement an ejection system, but he couldn’t be bothered to remove the one thing that could ruin his plan B?
Also before leaving Bazarre for Patch-4, Lando tells Chewie to rip Ferret’s head off if they do not report back in an hour. It was for this reason that Ferret chooses not to trigger the ejection system. But, then why did he trigger the Watchbeast? Did he think Chewie would be more forgiving about that than he would about his friends being ejected into space?
And one final mild gripe of mine is Leia’s comment to Luke about changing his uniform. Why hadn’t he changed and cleaned up on the Falcon already? Does the ship have no refresher? Did he pack no extra clothes for his trip to Bazarre? It seems like the Millennium Falcon has a cursed history of garbage related incidents in conjunction with having no extra clothes on board. In A New Hope the only option for cleaning up after being flung into a garbage chute was to take their Stormtrooper disguises off. And they were wearing the same clothes they wore on Tatooine the entire trip to the Death Star. I know I am digressing here but do people in the Star Wars Galaxy just change their clothes once a week? I imagine everyone must smell awful then.
Anyway, this wasn’t a great story. But, it does show the Rebels being provided with the TIE Fighters which will be used in a much better story coming up.
This issue can be found in Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Volume 2 which can be purchased here.
Check next week for a review of Classic Marvel Star Wars #60: Shira’s Story and may the Force be with you.