With the dawn of a new ‘Star Wars’ saga beginning this August (‘Star Wars Clone Wars’) I would like to get back into the universe George Lucas has created. Dark Horse Comics is currently the most vibrant outlet for ‘Star Wars’ stories. I picked up their trade paperback, “Star Wars: Rebellion Volume 2: The Ahakista Gambit”, in the hopes to journey back to that galaxy that currently seems so far, far away.
“The Ahakista Gambit” read as if it were one of the numerous caper episodes of the hit TV show ‘Farscape’. It has colorful characters, double crosses, hopeless situations, hard choices and a tiny love story. Our doomed hero, Wyl Tarson, has to recruit expendable Rebel agents to break into an impenetrable fortress. He wrestles with recurring memories of his brother and tries to figure out a way to diffuse the bomb implanted in his head.
The impenetrable fortress in question is on the planet Ahakista. The fortress is a hub for all Imperial intelligence and Imperial fleet communication in the galaxy. Its purpose is to relay all information from one side of the galaxy to another. Wyl’s mission is two fold. One, he must place a bug that will allow his vengeful crime lord boss, Raze, access to the Empire’s communications. Two, sabotage the hub allowing the alliance/ rebels a foothold on the Empire. Wyl recruits the rebellion’s unwanted to go on this suicide mission. There is Baco, a lock-breaker and drunk who’s lost the will to live and Darca Nyl, a hermit, who may or may not be a former Jedi. Wyl’s team is accompanied by Laynara, Raze’s personal assistant. Laynara has romantic ties to Wyl but her loyalty to Raze is absolute. Their mission plays against the background of revolutionaries and Imperial turncoats looking to remove the Imperial presence from Ahakista.
An interesting bit was done where Wyl has a micro chip (ala’ ‘Farscape’) stuck in his head. This allows Raze to taunt his ex-lieutenant constantly reminding him that the bomb he planted could go at any moment. More than less Raze’s banter plays to the stories conventions and adds a bit of dark humor to this tale. A sick conscience ready to point out the obvious and dubious downfalls that await Wyl.
Wyl’s back story with his brother plays out superbly over the course of five issues. It is a testament to the four authors. Williams, LaCombe, Ross and Glass spin a tale that asks, what you are willing to live and die for? Fitting perfectly into the time frame of “Star Wars Rebellion” (after ‘Star Wars’: Episode 4).
It was refreshing that I wasn’t required to read volume one “Star Wars Rebellion” to follow the exploits of this caper. However, the brief encounter between Darca Nyl and a former Dark Sider on Ahakista was enough of a hook to get me to read “Star Wars Rebellion” Vol. 3. Exactly what I wanted to get me ready for the ever growing tapestry of George Lucas’s universe.