"THE ESCAPE" PART THREE! [sic] LUKE, LEIA and HAN remain stranded on the isolated moon of Hubin and out of the fight against the Empire. Who says they even WANT to leave? But their hideaway may not be so secret…especially for old foes hot on the rebels' trail.
At Thane Markona's estate on Hubin, Han Solo asks Princess Leia Organa about her plan to destroy Shu-Torun. Leia explains that when they sliced into Queen Trios' files back at Mako-Ta Space Docks, the Rebel Alliance not only obtained intelligence on how they disabled the Alliance Fleet but also acquired the key layouts of Shu-Torun itself including access codes, security weakness, and plans. She plans to destroy Shu-Torun's energy-gathering technology in order to knock out a key Imperial asset.
Han Solo says that Leia should shared her plans with Luke Skywalker since it would have helped him understand why she had been holed up for so long. Leia said that she had kept her plans secret because she did not want to give them false hope. Solo is impressed by Leia's plans but says that was not what he was expecting. He goes out to look for Skywalker, wishing that Chewbacca were here.
Meanwhile, Tula Markona finds Skywalker gazing out the window at the stars. She notices that he looks hopeful after activating the communications beacon. Skywalker says that he activated the beacon because their friend had been gone for so long. Tula fears that Skywalker's actions could have drawn the Empire to Hubin and risks endangering their haven.
Skywalker disagrees and says that he is trying to protect the galaxy. Tula responds that she was tying to protect him and everyone else from the Empire and that his selfishness would undermine her efforts. Skywalker counters that he and his friends are trying to save the galaxy while she wants to have a vacation and a romantic walk. Tula responds that life is never a holiday but expresses concern that Skywalker's message could have doomed them all.
The following day, Princess Leia briefs Skywalker about her plans to attack Shu-Torun. When Skywalker asked why he kept her plans from him, Leia says that she wanted to be careful following Trios' treachery. Meanwhile, Solo bumps into a local who challenges him to a blaster duel. A perplexed Solo accepts the duel despite Leia's dismay.
His challenger is determined to see what kind of man his opponent it. Solo distracts his opponent by pretending to call out to Thane Markona before stunning his opponent. When Solo quips that his opponent knows what kind of guy he is, Tula responds that Solo did not need to use stun and that people will have a reason to distrust him. Solo responds that he was not going to kill a "loudmouth" because he is not a murderer. He fails to convince Tula who regards Solo's actions as dishonorable and cowardly.
A tense dinner
That night, MK-1 invites Tula for dinner. Tula tells her father that she fears that they will risk everything for what they desire. Thane Markona responds that they must prepare their contingency plans. At dinner, Markona senses Luke's unease. Skywalker asks why Clan Markona is staying out of the war despite their fighting abilities and connection with the Jedi.
Tula counters that they now know who exactly their guests are. Markona asks his daughter if she is upset about the transmitter that Skywalker had built. Leia is shocked that Skywalker built a transmitter. Markona reveals that he sent MK-1 to help Skywalker to send a signal offworld. Leia is upset that Luke had gone behind her back. Skywalker responds that he could not stand the waiting any longer and asks Markona what he has been playing at.
Markona tells Skywalker that he has been testing his character since he arrived. He says that he took an interest in Skywalker's mysterious appearance, secrets, and lightsaber and had been testing him. MK-1 interrupts the dinner to inform everyone that their sensors have picked up a starship with a dampened transponder. While Markona deals with the visitors, he leaves Tula to deal with the rebels.
When Skywalker accuses Tula of spying on them, Tula counters that she was just being his friend and has been truthful in her interactions with them. While the rebels ponder on who the visitors are, Markon confronts a group of stormtroopers who have exited an Imperial landing craft. While Markona leads the visitors to the house, Tula asks Skywalker about what trouble he has brought to Hubin.
The lead stormtrooper Kreel introduces his unit as Scar Squadron, an elite stormtrooper special forces unit. The stormtrooper leader informs Markona that he has been harboring "rebel scum" that they had been pursuing halfway across the galaxy. As the stormtrooper identifies the fugitives, Tula tells Skywalker that Markona had simply wanted to know if Skywalker would activate the signal.
As Skywalker ponders how the Imperials found them, the stormtroopers present another prisoner in the form of their friend Sana Starros, who had drooped them on Hubin. Kreel says that their interrogators had discovered the rebels' location from Starros. The lead stormtrooper threatens to kill Starros with a green lightsaber if the rebels do not surrender.
Before Markona can surrender them, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker surface and demand that the Imperials release Starros. With neither side backing down, Markona gets Tula to stun Leia and Han. Before the Imperials can take the rebels into custody, Markona and Tula explain that the Imperials and rebels can settle their dispute through a lightsaber duel between Skywalker and Kreel.
When the lead stormtrooper asks what is to stop them from razing the settlement to the ground, Markona reveals that his clan are armed and disciplined warriors who have a fondness for trial by combat. Markona warns the stormtrooper that he and his men forfeit their hospitality should they refuse to submit to trial by combat. Luke and Kreel accept Markona's proposal and position themselves while Markona oversees the duel.
- UPC 759606081134; January 9, 2019; Marvel Comics
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Notes and references
- The events of this issue take place after the events of Star Wars (2015) 55, which Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition places around one year after the Battle of Yavin, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places in 0 BBY, meaning that the event takes place in 1 ABY. Additionally, the issue takes place before the events of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places in 3 ABY. Therefore, the events of this issue must take place between 1 ABY and 3 ABY.