• Star Wars: Rebel Heist #2

    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 28, 2014

    Matt Kindt’s second issue of what I’m terming as “character studies” is setup in similar fashion to the first issue: An undercover Rebel spy needs to contact and work with a more veteran/seasoned member of the Rebellion and is skeptical of the person they meet. This time, though, it’s Princess Leia Organa that gets center stage.

    [“That’s no moon - it’s an article full of spoilers!”]

    The story takes place on the planet Feddasyr, a planet where anything and everything is permitted as it’s all regulated. So it exists outside the influence of both the Empire and the Rebellion but provides the perfect backdrop for their shadow war against each other. The primary narrative character this time around is a Twi’lek named Sarin. She’s exotic for her race as she’s red rather than blue, so she uses that as cover to rub up against high-ranking Empire officials and get info from them.

    But she’s also good and paranoid so when she suspects her cover’s blown she kills the Imperial agent coming to kill her and flees, taking the chance to meet her mysterious Rebellion contact anyway. She’s thus very disappointed when it turns out that the person to help her is a pampered little rich girl only there because of her daddy’s name. Leia, however, is cool and controlled, taking out the other Imperial agent trailing Sarin quite easily before they head to her penthouse rental.

    From there, Leia details what the plan is as they attempt to extract a special Imperial code that’s housed in the impenetrable home of a notorious celebrity. Leia tells Sarin all she needs to do is cover her from here with a tricked-out sniper rifle while Leia uses some fancy tech to sneak over to this house. There, she quickly swaps outfits to become the glamorous princess (w/ a facial-distortion necklace to hide her true identity) and impersonates a drug dealer there with something special for the host.

    Once inside, she uses all her feminine wiles to entice the host into letting her stay at the party. This provides her opportunity to try the central safe in the house. But Leia’s interrupted by a stormtrooper who, when he takes off his helmet, explains that he himself is the code, it having been inscribed on his very DNA. Leia and the trooper then escape when their activities (plus a couple of bodies) are found. Sarin keeps her covered, though, and during the escape notes each time how tough and heroic Leia actually is. Sarin realizes this isn’t some pampered rich girl but truly someone dedicated to the cause. This really comes home when Leia allows herself to be captured, to provide coverage for Sarin and the trooper to get away safely. Sarin is inspired to be like that and she sends the trooper off with a trusted friend.

    Far less annoying than the first issue this time Matt Kindt provides some great material on what’s traditionally sorely been lacking in the Star Wars universe: Strong, independent female characters. Leia here is sexed up a bit but it’s mostly in serving her use of that to an end that benefits her cause. Otherwise, she’s confident, capable, cool and committed and really well done here. Marco Castiello gets some good pin-up kind of shots of Leia in the issue along with all the other near-non-stop action, making this a great read all around.