Doctor Aphra 38 is the thirty-eighth issue of the canon comic book series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. It was written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard, and published on November 6, 2019 by Marvel Comics. The issue features the story "A Rogue's End Part II," in which Doctor Aphra is reunited with her father, under the supervision of Darth Vader.
A ROGUE'S END PART 2: THE DARK LORD FALTERS…DOCTOR APHRA's reunion with her FATHER would've be a happy affair – if he wasn't a pompous blowhard set to take her job as the Empire's chief archaeologist. Of course, her dear old dad will have to survive Imperial Interrogation first, and which pair of charming psycho-droids do you suppose DARTH VADER has hired for the job? And what happens when the ancient stones of a long-lost Jedi Temple cast their ghostly influence upon the Dark Lord of the Sith himself…?
A tense reunion
Despite their difficult history of working together, Dr Aphra tries to convince Darth Vader that the prisoner, her father Korin Aphra, is a harmless "old kook." Vader is initially suspicious since the prisoner had been speaking Jedi phrases. Dr Aphra manages to convince Lord Vader that Korin is just a scholar.
Korin asks Dr Aphra what she is doing here and if they caught her looking for a way to tear down the "evil" Galactic Empire. An embarrassed Dr Aphra says this is not the case. General Maximilian Veers informs them of the arrival of the "interrogation" specialists "Triple Zero and BT-1, who are eager to torture the prisoner. While Korin is happy that her daughter has "friends," Aphra is dismayed and pleads with Triple Zero not to torture her father.
While Lord Vader orders the droids to interrogate Korin and not to let Dr Aphra interfere, General Veers tells Dr Aphra that the Empire picked the droids up during a sweep on the Ring of Kafrene. As a safety precaution, they had deleted their memories and installed restraining bolts. As Triple Zero straps Korin into the interrogation chair, Dr Aphra pleads with her dad to tell them everything.
Korin tells the Imperials that he had been searching for a divine consciousness inside a lump of bantha dung. Dr Aphra appears to be upset that her father spent the past two years chasing religious nonsense following their adventure with the Ordu Aspectu. Korin responds that people do not change and that the best they can do is to get better at shielding those they love form their defects. Even if that means keeping them as far away as possible. He tells Dr Aphra that her mother understood this "sort of thing." He says that he likes to believe that she never resented him for needing to.
At the Kartovian Formation on Ash Moon 1, Vulaada Klam discovers a holo-recording left by Dr Aphra, explaining that she left behind in order to protect the young girl. Dr Aphra believes the Vulaada is safer without her.
Back aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Triple Zero discusses torture methods while Dr Aphra presses her father for information about the Rebel Alliance. The elder Aphra pretends to cooperate with the Imperials, claiming that he resents the rebels for desecrating ancient temples.
Later, Dr Aphra tells Lord Vader that Korin had been trying to get into a ruin on Asteroid Helix 13-v near Karga, which belongs to an old Force cult. She claims that Korin rain into a rebel cell, who gave him some rations and forced him to leave at gunpoint. General Veers backs Dr Aphra up, saying that their sensors corroborate his claims.
When General Veers asks if he should prepare a scout team, Lord Vader orders him to continue working on the Executor and adds that he will see the shrine himself. He orders Dr Aphra and her father to join him on the scouting trip, wanting to determine which Aphra is more useful.
Asteroid Helix 13-v
At Asteroid Helix 13-v, the two Aphras carry out their work under Imperial guard. Darth Vader tasks BT-1 with guarding the father and daughter, ordering him to maim them should they try to escape. Dr Aphra asks Korin what brought him back here and briefly recounts how he curried favor with the Imperial top brass by saving the Emperor's life. Dr Aphra believes that would prevent Lord Vader from killing her.
Korin Aphra is delighted to encounter a traditional Archicella of the J'doon school and ponders how many pilgrims came here to petition the Living Force for peace and prosperity. Despite what he regards as the Empire's "repugnant" policies, the older Aphra regards them as a boon to the field or archaeology. When Korin asks his daughter about Rupo Ud, Aphra merely responds that he let his work get on top of him.
Examining the site, Dr Aphra says this is where the rebels camped based on traces of offworld silicates and vaporator residue. She notices there is a top layer of fur, leather, and jootoo seeds. Korin praises his daughter for her good archaeology. Aphra tells Beetee to tell Lord Vader that the rebels came to Helix 13-V on a stopover from a desert world, enroute to somewhere cold. After haggling with the droid, Dr Aphra decides to tell Lord Vader himself.
Meanwhile, Lord Vader encounters Force visions of corrupted versions of Ahsoka Tano, Yoda, Padmé Amidala, Qui-Gon Jinn, Shmi Skywalker Lars and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader dismisses them as mind tricks and ghosts that might have once troubled the lost boy but rejects his former identity as Anakin Skywalker. Vader damages an altar with his lightsaber, dismissing the worshipers for praying for what they could not take.
Lord Vader orders his stormtroopers to shut down the site. Dr Aphra protests, saying that they have not properly started the exploration yet. Vader ignores her and orders BT-1 to signal the Imperial fleet and to dispatch bombers. Vader says that the rebels are not here and that is all the exploration he requires. Korin protests against Vader's decision to destroy the place but the Sith Lord hurls him to the ground. Before leaving, Vader tells BT-1 that he only needs Aphra and to give them no longer than the journey back.
Rebels to the rescue
While traveling back on the Lambda-class suttle, Dr Aphra tries to speak to her father but he is fixated with finding the Martyrium of Frozen Tears. He asks Dr Aphra if she was able to find clues about its existence. Dr Aphra turns to the topic of which Aphra should live while BT-1 holds them at gunpoint. However, Korin does not want to grapple with the topic and instead regales his daughter with memories about watching Prayer-oolites form aurorae above Piu when the annual Giganism Sacrifice hit the troposphere.
When Korin asks about what she did, Aphra says that she used a flight school as a battering ram, got swallowed by a Shadowfang Beast and activated a hellhulk guardian. She also regales about preventing an Abersyn symbiote outbreak, blowing up a lot of tooka cats, awaking a fungus that she thought was a Jedi, and saving the life of a monster to get revenge for her mother. Aphra also says that she fell in love but ruined it. Aphra admits that she has made noting better but has run away from things, back-stabbed and swindled.
Being optimistic, Korin points out that Aphra survived and reassures her that she has seen and learnt so much. Despite her mistakes, he tells her that she never stopped feeling. Korin tells his daughter that he is proud of her and wishes that he told her that a long time ago. Korin decides to lay down his life so that his daughter may leave. Before Aphra can stop him, the shuttle is caught in a tractor beam of another starship.
The Imperials prepare for boarders but are overwhelmed by the Rebel Alliance Intelligence Service's Strike Team Misericorde. The rebel strike team is lead by Captain Magna Tolvan, who recognises Aphra's father Korin. Though Aphra has hidden herself, Magna realizes that she is aboard and orders her team to find and kill her.
In Doctor Aphra 38, Aphra states that she had not seen her father, Korin, in two years, since the events of Doctor Aphra (2016) 6. The issue also makes reference to other previous story arcs, as Aphra and Korin explain their recent exploits to each other.[source?]
- UPC 759606086290; November 6, 2019; Marvel Comics; First printing
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Notes and references
- Doctor Aphra 38 takes place shortly before Doctor Aphra (2016) 39, at which point Echo Base has been constructed on Hoth, and prior to Empire Ascendant 1, which in turn takes place before the Battle of Hoth. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that Echo Base was constructed in 3 ABY and places the Battle of Hoth in the same year, meaning that the events of Doctor Aphra 38 are set in 3 ABY.
- Doctor Aphra (2016) 6