There's no denying the Rebels are the heroes of the Star Wars saga, fighting for galactic freedom without superpowers or superweapons. But in a war where stealth, secrecy, and deception are life-or-death strategies, Star Wars has shown why Chewbacca may be a beloved Rebel... but also one of their worst operatives.
That isn't meant to besmirch the flying skills of Han Solo's co-pilot, his gifts in maintaining the Millennium Falcon, or his loyalty to multiple generations of heroes. But being a good friend isn't the same as being a good Rebel. Star Wars comics helped make up for the Wookiee's biggest movie mistake, having Chewie give Leia a hug after Han Solo's death. They've also confirmed Chewbacca did get a medal for the Battle of Yavin. But now that comics have shifted further along the Star Wars timeline, the Wookiee's major weakness is making life a lot more difficult for the Rebel Alliance.
After spending years filling in the gap between the first movie and The Empire Strikes Back, Marvel's Star Wars series has arrived at the sequel. Technically, the opening crawl of the sequel. A time when the Rebels worked to keep the Empire off their trail and away from their secret base on Hoth. It's a job for the original trilogy's heroes, and Chewbacca is given a mission tailored exactly to his specialty: blowing things up. The plan is to create the Rebels' version of a Death Star, luring Imperial forces to an unstable planet, and obliterating it (and them) without warning.
It's a brilliant, if devious plan, and it's prepared perfectly by Chewie and C-3PO... until the homing beacon meant to draw in the Imperials is prematurely activated. Before the pair manage to hole up planetside, the arriving Imperials get a scan of their ship. Ordinarily, the lack of respect for the Rebels might lead Imperial officers to disregard the common YT-1300 freighter, and a single life form on a dead planet as an error or unlikely coincidence. In fact that's exactly what the ship's commander plans to do... until he's told the other crucial detail about this single, solitary life form.
It's hard to ignore the fact that in the Star Wars movies the sight of a Wookiee moving freely about the galaxy is supremely rare. Fans know it happened, thanks to Star Wars novels and expanded universe stories, but they're also known to stick together, defend rather than attack, and typically avoid stealth maneuvering (why would they bother?). But once rumors and reports spread of a Wookiee not only close to the Rebellion's top leadership, but carrying out covert missions of the highest importance? There may be no worse cover. In this one instance alone, a Rebel trap is spotted from orbit just by noting a Wookiee's presence where it shouldn't be. Compare that to the guerrilla effectiveness of the Rebellion embodied in the covert methods of Rogue One's Cassian Andor, and Chewbacca seems like a downright bad choice for a key Rebel operative.
It's still an engaging caper to watch play out, especially once Darth Vader makes it his mission to deduce the trap and those behind it. Fans can begin with the first chapter in Star Wars #68, and find the full details and plot synopsis for the most recent issue, Star Wars #72, below:
- STAR WARS #72 (2019)
- Written by: Greg Pak
- Art by: Phil Noto
- Cover Art by: Phil Noto
- The time for answers is upon us - and destinies will change! As CHEWIE grapples with a terrible moral choice, LORD VADER reveals his plan for the rock people of K43! As LUKE questions where he's placed his trust, WARBA reveals her origins and true relationship to the FORCE! And as LEIA and DAR spin around the dance floor, HAN uncovers the real villains of Lanz Carpo!
Star Wars #72 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.