- "Aphra's setting off on a new adventure with a new crew, so if you're new to the series, this would be a great time to jump in."
- ―Alyssa Wong
Doctor Aphra 1 is the first issue of the canon comic book series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. It was written by Alyssa Wong, illustrated by Marika Cresta, and published by Marvel Comics. The issue was first released as a digital exclusive on May 4, 2020, and a print edition was published on May 27, 2020.
The issue features the story "Fortune and Fate Part 1: The Rings of Vaale," which is set after the conclusion of the 2016 Doctor Aphra series. The story sets Aphra up with a new crew and mission to recover the cursed Rings of Vaale.
NEW CREW, NEW MISSION! With the Rebel Alliance back on the run after their defeat at the Battle of Hoth, it's never been a more dangerous time for outlaws, scoundrels and the errant rogue archaeologist to make their way in the galaxy. But after a string of bad luck and near escapes, DOCTOR APHRA is back on the job! She's been keeping a low profile – jobs are scarce and credits scarcer. But the promise of the score of a lifetime is a chance too good for her to pass up. And to find the cursed RINGS OF VAALE, Aphra will need a crew of treasure hunters the likes of which the galaxy has never seen before! But RONEN TAGGE, heir to the powerful Tagge family, also has his eyes on the prize. Do Aphra and her team stand a chance at fortune and glory?
Around 3 ABY, several weeks after the Battle of Hoth, snowtroopers of the Galactic Empire collect contraband from the abandoned Rebel Alliance outpost of Echo Base on the planet Hoth. A transport arrives to collect the contraband, though one trooper insists that they have orders to keep searching for signs of rebel activity. Aboard the transport, the snowtroopers question the route that the driver is taking, and one trooper orders the transport to be turned around. Before the driver can react, the bounty hunters Black Krrsantan and Tubleek Ruz attack, and the driver reveals herself to be the rogue archaeologist Doctor Chelli Aphra, having led the transport into an ambush in order to steal its cargo. Ruz turns on Aphra and threatens to take out the bounty on her, mocking her for her misplaced trust. Aphra reveals that she had never trusted Ruz, and the assassin Just Lucky shoots the bounty hunter dead with a sniper rifle. An All Terrain Armored Transport approaches, forcing Aphra, Krrsantan, and Lucky to flee aboard Aphra's starship, the Ark Angel III, abandoning most of the cargo.
The search begins
At the Shadow University, Aphra hands in a fork-nosed ice worm fossil she found aboard the Hoth transport, and is paid by Sava Estat for the find. As Aphra, Krrsantan, and Lucky celebrate the money, they are approached by the Shadow University student Detta Yao. Yao, having been inspired by a guest lecture Aphra taught several years prior, wished to hire her to find the Rings of Vaale, a lost artifact that Yao intended to write her thesis on. Yao explains that the Rings, which the university does not believe are real, supposedly granted eternal life and boundless fortune when worn together, but were also cursed. Both Aphra and Lucky are intrigued by the artifact, and the archaeologist agrees to help Yao find the Rings in exchange for money, and accepts the deal.
Yao explains that only one academic wrote about the Rings of Vaale: Doctor Eustacia Okka, former professor at the Shadow University. Aphra is discouraged, having previously been classmates with Okka, though they had since fallen out. Nevertheless, Aphra heads to find Okka on Kolkur, where the former professor is studying a set of ancient ruins with her droid, TA-418. Okka is similarly displeased to see Aphra, and refuses to help anyone finds the Rings of Vaale, having been asked numerous times by Ronen Tagge, scion of the powerful Tagge family. At that moment, a number of mercenaries working for Tagge enter the ruins, intending to force Okka into cooperating. Aphra initiates a firefight with the mercenaries, and Okka activates the large droid guardians of the ruins, causing them to attack the mercenaries. With the mercenaries distracted, Aphra, her associates, and Okka escape to the Ark Angel III, where Okka is convinced to help the crew find the Rings in return for receiving credit for the find. Explaining the history of the Rings, Okka identifies their location as Dianth in the Malitoris system, which had supposedly become corrupted by the artifact's curse. Aphra expresses doubt about the truth of the curse and its effects, but sets a course for Dianth.
In his private penthouse in Canto Bight, Ronen Tagge has two artists debate over which of their creations is superior. Knowing Tagge's reputation for obtaining rare artifacts solely to destroy them, the two artists attempt to persuade Tagge to choose the others' artwork over theirs. Before Tagge can decide, his mercenaries return from Kolkur, informing him that Okka escaped with Doctor Aphra. Tagge, angered by the news, decides to destroy both artwork as the artists watch in despair. Tagge orders his forces to disperse his fleet and find Okka, wishing to personally settle a debt with Aphra.
- (No UPC); May 4, 2020; Marvel Comics; Digital edition
- UPC 759606097241; May 27, 2020; Marvel Comics; First printing
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