Rebellion #16 (Empire #56)
Vector Part 8 (of 12)
Story: Rob Williams
Art: Dustin Weaver
Coloring: Wil Glass
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover: Dan Scott
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/07/2008)
While investigating an unknown moon, the Heroes of Yavin along with Deena Shan, Able and a few other friends are attacked by a horde of rakghouls. Han, Chewie and Deena manage to escape aboard the Falcon, leaving Able for dead, and Luke and Leia at the mercy of the monsters. They discover that their leader is an ancient Jedi woman named Celeste Morne who is tainted with the Dark Side, in the form of the Sith spirit of Karness Muur who is imprisoned in an amulet around her neck. The untrained Luke is easily overpowered by Celeste, but his life is saved by Leia and then a still-alive Able. Karness Muur however sees enormous potential in Luke, so he seeks to transfer his essence to the young Rebel by placing the amulet around his neck. But Leia interferes, and she is possessed by Muur instead. Afraid to suddenly find herself alone, Celeste then steals the amulet back and puts it around her neck, denying Muur the freedom to do what he wants. At that moment, Han arrives aboard the Falcon to rescue Luke and Leia, then Celeste and her horde of Rakghouls (including a transformed Able) board the other ship the Rebels came in on. Unfortunately for Vader, his plan to infect the Rebel fleet with the rakghoul virus fails when Celeste escapes the moon, turning the crew of a Star Destroyer into more rakghouls causing the ship to crash.
After reading this story, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was so scared at the potential to mess up the continuity, but it's not so bad. It's actually a fun little 2-part story, and it fits perfectly in the over-arcing "Vector" storyline. The only major changes to continuity are Able's death/transformation and Luke and Leia encountering "the first connection to the Force they have met since Obi-Wan Kenobi" (as the inside cover blurb puts it). In fact, there is even one cool reference to continuity when Vader wonders if his son is on the moon, whom he learned about on Centares (cementing the fact that issues #7-37 of the Marvel series and Vader's Quest take place before the Empire series) and later from Janek Sunber.
The narration is pretty original too: it opens with Celeste flashing back to her happy days as a Jedi, then jumps back to where it left off last issue. Then a series of "character POVs" follows, showing where certain integal members of the story are at. It starts with Leia escaping the rakghouls and finding the cave where Luke went; then Able finding himself alive and determined to save the Princess; then Vader getting a report from Captain Holt and wondering if Luke is in danger; and finally Han escaping some TIE fighters and going back to the moon to save his friends, before returning to the lightsaber duel between Luke and Celeste.
It's not really a "duel", as Celeste quickly finds out that Luke is untrained. Only the arrival of Leia and Able, and Karness Muur's interest in Luke, distract her from killing him. In the process, both Celeste and Muur see the Dark Side in Luke's future, leaving him with a hint about his destiny. Also the fact that Luke and Leia are not affected by the talisman's rakghoul-changing powers (unlike poor Able) clues the Sith spirit that they are both Force-sensitive, though they might know it yet (as far as Leia is concerned). What does the future hold for Celeste Morne, now piloting her own starship with a horde of rakghouls in the ship's hold? Stay tuned to Legacy #28 to find out.
More Weaver goodness. I love his depictions of Han, Luke, Leia and even Vader. They are instantly recognizable as the characters we know and love (although Chewie's depiction is not the strongest) and look very realistic. And the Millennium Falcon is incredibly detailed. Even the non-movie characters like Able, Deena and Celeste are easy to imagine as actual living people. Weaver is very good at depicting the Star Wars galaxy in general, from creatures to spaceships to backdrops. He put particular attention to the vision of the future with Muur and Dark Luke ruling over the dead bodies of their allies, as this panel on pages 12-13 has a more painted look.
Luke Skywalker's first brush with the Dark Side, and Celeste Morne escapes her 19-year abandonment on an unknown planet. Read it, as this leads in to the next installment of "Vector" and might be the last issue of Rebellion for a while.
Rating: 7.5 / 10