Star Wars 68: The Search Begins is the sixty-eighth issue in the Marvel Star Wars series of comics.
The Rebels continue their search for Han Solo, having just recently learned that Boba Fett was in league with another bounty hunter during the search for the Millennium Falcon. Having narrowed the search down to three different bounty hunters, the Rebels split up into three teams: Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 in his X-wing, and Princess Leia Organa and C-3PO in a Y-wing. Of the three bounty hunters on their list, the princess is assigned to hunt down Dengar, last seen on the planet Mandalore. Landing just outside the capital city of Kedalbe, Leia and C-3PO make their way on foot before encountering a caravan of individuals. To their surprise, the procession is a group of slavers, herding a group of enslaved Mandalorians. Before Leia and C-3PO can sneak away, the caravan comes under attack by a group of Mandalorian soldiers led by what looks to be, Boba Fett. During the battle, Leia ends up saving "Fett" from a slaver's attack, and is shocked to find herself fighting by the Mandalorian's side. Following the end of the battle, the Mandalorian leader introduces himself to Leia. He is not actually Boba Fett, but another Mandalorian named Fenn Shysa. Shysa brings Leia and C-3PO back to his base and explains to her how he has spent the past few years trying to free his people from the Galactic Empire's influence in the aftermath of the Clone Wars. Shysa then tells Leia of his role in the Clone Wars, claiming that he fought for the Empire, was led into battle by Boba Fett, and even became acquainted with Leia during briefing missions. Shysa finishes his tale by telling Leia that of all the Mandalorian Protectors, only three survived, his commander, his childhood friend, Tobbi Dala, and himself.
At the end of his story, Leia asks Shysa if he had seen Dengar anywhere on the planet. Shysa leads the princess to a suspended cage, deep within the Mandalorian base, but refuses to turn the bounty hunter over to her. Shysa's friend, Dala had unfortunately been captured a few days before Leia's arrival, and the Mandalorian had made a deal with the Empire, planning to exchange the bounty hunter for his imprisoned friend. As Shysa leads Leia away from Dengar's prison, the bounty hunter calls out to her, promising that he will tell her everything he knows if she will only free him from his cell. Leia decides to take the hunter up on his offer, and when night falls on the camp, she distracts Shysa, while C-3PO sneaks over to Dengar's suspended cell and cuts him free. Dengar's cell falls onto two Mandalorians. Before Shysa can figure out what is happening, Leia tricks Shysa into kissing her, using the action to position him next to a large tree. With Shysa off balance, the princess slams his head into the tree, knocking him unconscious. With the Mandalorian leader incapacitated, and Dengar cut loose, Leia and C-3PO make their way back to their ship with their captive, planning to bring him back to the Alliance base and interrogate him there. However, unknown to the princess, when she had freed him from his cell, Dengar had used the time to send a signal to the Empire via a transmitter on his armor. Leia and C-3PO are ambushed by an All Terrain Advance Raider and a group of stormtroopers, leaving C-3PO to claim that the two Rebels are most certainly doomed this time.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Behind the scenes
- C-3PO: "Are you certain you don't want me to stay and guard the ship your highness?"
- Leia Organa: "No, Threepio. Most Mandalorians speak Galaxy Standard—but I might need you to translate if—"
- ―C-3PO and Princess Leia[src]
Jabba the Hutt is referred to as "Jabba the Hut" in this issue, continuing the inaccurate spelling that commonly occurred in the Marvel comics.
The capital of Mandalore is referred to as "Kedalbe" in this issue. Later sources have changed the spelling to "Keldabe".
Princess Leia mentions in this issue that most Mandalorians speak Galactic Basic Standard, but is cut off before she can tell C-3PO why she needs him to come along on the adventure. Retroactively, this may be an oblique reference to the Mandalorian language.
One of the slavers who attempt to kill Fenn Shysa during the opening battle refers to the Mandalorian as an "outlaw son of a—" before he is gunned down. Retroactively, the term "son of a bantha" may have been a reference to this mention.
The background of the Mandalorian Protectors given by Fenn Shysa in this issue appears contradictory with the story laid down in the film, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, namely that Shysa claims that he fought on the side of the Empire, that his commander was Boba Fett, and that he became familiar with Princess Leia during briefing before battles. These were all contradictory statements, as Boba Fett was only 10 years old during the beginning of the Clone Wars, Leia Organa had not even been born yet, and Jango Fett had been allied with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Star Wars Insider article, The History of the Mandalorians eventually retconned these discrepancies, by claiming that Shysa had been confused in his retelling. The clone Alpha-Ø2 was shown to be Shysa's real commander, with the article stating that there were rumors that the clone was Jango Fett's son. The picture of Princess Leia in the comic was shown to actually be a picture of Padmé Amidala, showing that Shysa had confused the two when he met Leia many years later. Lastly, the article stated that the Mandalorians were sent into battle by Darth Sidious, making Shysa's claims of fighting for the Empire true, from a certain point of view.
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