Rebellion #15 (Empire #55)
Vector Part 7 (of 12)
Story: Rob Williams
Art: Dustin Weaver
Coloring: Wil Glass
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Travis Charest
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (09/28/2008)
Remembering abandonning an ancient Jedi possessing a powerful Sith artifact and its creator's spirit years ago, Darth Vader comes up with a plan to destroy the Alliance. But first, he sends shuttles carrying his own troops to confirm if she is still alive. Once he confirms that she is, and she can still turn people into Rakghouls using the powers of the Muur Talisman, Vader plants the information inside the Rebel Spy Network. The Alliance send Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and a team of commandos down to the unnamed moon, where they are quickly overtaken by the infected creatures. Luke is able to escape their clutches, only to find himself standing right next to the source of the infection: the Jedi Celeste Morne and her Sith spirit companion Karness Muur.
This story takes place 9 months after the Battle of Yavin, the same timeframe as the previous story arc "Small Victories" and it is also a bit over 19 years since Celeste Morne was last seen in Dark Times #12. The Rebel fleet is still on the run and as mentioned last issue, Rebel fighter squadrons (including Dagger Squadron) were sent away on an unknown mission to Ansion and Luke is not happy that he's not going with them. Instead, he's been sent along with Princes Leia and a group of commandos (including Deena Shan, Basso and the 33-year-old-equivalent-to-66-year-old clone trooper Able) and with Han and Chewie for backup, to investigate reports of secret Imperial weapons abandoned on an unnamed moon.
But unbeknownst to the Rebels, this information was planted within the Alliance spy network by Darth Vader (via a returning Wyl Tarson) and the "abandoned weapon" is in fact the ancient Jedi Celeste Morne whom Vader abandoned there years ago. But before setting a trap for the Rebels, Vader sends out three Sentinel-class landing craft transporting squads of elite stormtroopers to the planet to verify if she is still down there. When Captain Holt reports that he's lost contact with the landing craft, Vader knows that Celeste is still alive, and furthermore he just provided her with a new army of Rakghouls.
By the time Luke and co. arrive there, they are quickly overtaken by the hungry horde. After seeing Able overtaken by them, and another several Rebels turning into monsters after being bitten, the Rebels retreat aboard the Millennium Falcon. Unfortunately, Luke and Leia are both held up and separated by the Rakghouls, with Luke managing to free himself with his lightsaber and hide underneath the roots of a tree. But the cave is also where Celeste is hiding, watching the whole battle along with Sith spirit Karness Muur happy that a Jedi has returned to free them.
The dialogue is nice, and the annoying Wyl Tarson is used to a minimum here but I feel that Vader is a little bit under-used. Although the narrative flows pretty well and offers a direct link to previous installments of the "Vector" storyline, I don't really see the logic in Vader luring the Rebel leaders to some unknown fate instead of taking care of them himself, unless of course he is not aware that Luke, Leia and Han themselves would be chosen. If he knew, I'm sure it would have changed things. His plan is that some Rebels take Celest back to the fleet where she will wreak havoc among the Rebels. But I wonder why Vader would not consider the possibility that she might kill all the Rebels right then and there.
Also, I do like the opening scene, with Luke on the observation deck of Home One reminescing about Obi-Wan Kenobi and feeling sad that no one else will be ble to teach him about his father and the Jedi. This is very old school to flashback to scenes from A New Hope, and Luke remembering Kenobi is not done very often in comics. But maybe Luke should talk with Able to learn about Jedi, a veteran of the Clone Wars. At one point, Able even calls Luke a general, explaining that "all Jedi were generals in my day". Take a hint, Luke! On the other hand, we can assume that they did talk about it and being a soldier, Able's knowledge of Jedi and Anakin in particular is very limited. Too bad Able apparently falls victim to the horde of Rakghouls. Still, this story has some creepy moments and is as close to a zombie horror story as Star Wars can get.
I loved Weaver's artwork in the Knights of the Old Republic series and I love it here, even if it is inked by a different artist. All the characters have distinct features, and I can finally imagine what characters like Deena and Able really look like in real life. The movie characters are not spot-on, but they are still very well represented. Weaver composes panels with a lot of elements in them, whether it is a busy shot of the Rebel fleet or a wide shot of the fight between Rakghouls and Rebel commandos. Also, the scene where Celeste brings down a landing shuttle with the Force seems inspired by trailers of the upcoming The Force Unleahsed game. It makes me imagine how much better the first chapter of "Vector" (in KotOR #25-28) would have been if Weaver had been the artist.
The "Vector" storyline reaches the time of Luke Skywalker, but it may not be completely logical. The artwork makes it worth it though.
Rating: 6 / 10