Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika #5
[Also available in photo cover]
Story: Mike Kennedy
Art: Carlos Meglia
Coloring: Helen Bach
Lettering: Steve Dutro
Cover: Carlos Meglia
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (11/19/2004)
It all comes together on the fourth moon of Yavin. Jozell manages to grab the Vasillika, and steal the Falcon. She flies to Yavin to give it to "The Collector" who turns out to be General Dodonna. Han arrives right on her tail with the rest of the treasure hunters, and meets Bria. Lando realizes that the Rebels are paying for the Vassilika with the money they got from the Ylesia raid. Dodonna reveals that the Vassilika holds the key to the greatest Massassi temple. Jozell is killed by Farquil Ban'n who steals away her reward money. But Barquil is soon visited by a collector named Fett.
This being the final issue, I can now reflect on it and on the series overall. This issue features the return of Farquil Ban'n, who everyone will remember from issue #1 as being Embra's aide. Turns out he's got ambitions of his own. Also this issue showcases the apparent death of Jozzel. Too bad.
As far as the series is concerned, let me say that maybe there were a few too many characters involved. Their roles were for the most part supporting roles (as stated by a reader in last issue's letter column), especially Chewie, whose role is the script is virtually non-existant. And I still don't understand why Greedo had to be included in this story. He's supposed to be the comic relief in the story but given that it's not serious to start with, his role is redundant. Zuckuss and 4-LOM bring almost nothing to the story. It would have been enough to have Dengar and Bossk as the competing bounty hunter group. We didn't need two separate groups.
Then, of course, we have the obvious continuity gaffes. And there are some major ones.
First, a quick recap of Rebel Dawn's last chapter. There is a part where Han goes to Tatooine to tell Jabba's he lost his spice at Kessel. Jabba is not happy, and gives the smuggler 10 days to collect the money. The next scene finds Han on Nar Shaddaa six days later, having failed to find someone to lend him money. He is desperate and goes looking for Lando. Lando is infuriated at Han for giving away the Besadii spice to his Bria's Rebel friends. He tells him not to ever come near him again. The next scene is Han arriving on Tatooine three or four days later finding out from Boba Fett that Bria died 3 days ago.
1 - The timeframe: from this summary of the novel, Underworld can only take place in the 1 day between Han and Lando meeting, and Bria dying. And with all the flying around in hyperspace that happens in the story, that is just not possible (even though hyperspace is only like riding a motorcycle from one street corner to the next in this story. Everybody arrives exactly at the same time on Yavin IV, which is impossible unless everyone has the exact same hyperdrive on their ship.)
2 - Lando hanging out with Han: sure, he's not happy about it, and he keeps reminding Han about the event, but this defeats the whole purpose of the scene of their next encounter on Cloud City (as discussed in my review of #3.)
3 - There is no mention of Han loosing a major load of spice for Jabba. Or even that Jabba gave Han 10 days to pay it back. It's hard to believe that Jabba would permit Han to be distracted while he's supposed to come up with his money. Or would he...? With only 4 days remaining, maybe it was intentional on Jabba's part. Maybe he wanted to put a bounty on Solo's head? Not likely.
4 - I haven't even checked with the Greedo story from Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, but I'm sure it conflicts with some parts of that as well.
5 - Although it could have been a nice turn of events for Han meeting Bria for the last time, and trying to get some vindication for her double-crossing him during the Besadii raid, there is just not enough time for this to unfold before she dies on Toprawa with her Red Hand Squadron. We're talking not even a day here. Also, this takes place literally days before Han comes back to Yavin with Luke and Leia, so it doesn't give much time for General Dodonna to open up a new Massassi temple with the Vassilika key and set up a Rebel base.
6 - Speaking of Han on Yavin, there is a line in the Radio Drama, after they escape the Death Star and Leia tells him where the base his. Han then tells Luke they're going to the "Fourth moon of some place called Yavin." Since the Falcon's been to Yavin, only a couple of days before, why aren't the coordinates already in the nav-computer? And how come Han doesn't mention he's just not only been on the planet, but he also met with General Dodonna?
Basically, the writer and editor could have easily set this story a bit earlier, and end it on a different planet. Although there are some admittedly fun moments in this series, overall it feels like wasted potential. Just a bit of extra effort could have easily made this story fit with everything else. As it is, this should be an Infinities title.
More of the same funny goodness. The colors and tone are a bit darker in this issue, due to a different colorist. The cover is also by a different artist than the previous issue. It is by interior artist Meglia, and it is pretty dynamic and colorful. But that dark fellow with glowing red eyes at the bottom, is it supposed to be Bib Fortuna? What is he doing there, he's hardly in the first issue? I guess this could be used as the cover for the trade paperback (but it wasn't. Meglia created a new cover for the TPB.)
This issue offers a somewhat satisfying conclusion, so you can't miss it if you've followed the series so far. But unless you like "what if" stories like Infinities, you shouldn't waste your money on this series.
Rating: 5 / 10 Not Recommended