With the First Order on the doorstep of Black Spire, the Sword of Kashyun becomes the treasured artifact everyone is after. And who else is better suited to find the sword than Doctor Aphra?
This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #4
This week’s issue of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge features two of the most notorious members of the underworld, Hondo Ohnaka and Doctor Chelli Aphra. Both are quick to point out that they are merely trying to make their way in the galaxy. Written by Ethan Sacks, with art by Will Sliney, Galaxy’s Edge #4 continues the story of Kendoh, Remex, and Wooro’s attempts to relieve Dok Ondar of the Sword of Kashyun at any cost. Marvel Comics published this issue on July 31, 2019. Colors are by Dono Sánchez-Almara, letters are by VC’s Travis Lanham, the cover art is by Tommy Lee Edwards, the variant cover art is by Stacey Lee, the editor is Mark Paniccia, and assistant editor is Tom Groneman. Galaxy’s Edge #4 “The Betrayal at Kashyun” is one of the best Doctor Aphra stories not within the pages of Doctor Aphra.
The scroll that preludes the story says Kendoh, Remex, and Wooro are after the Sword of Kashyun, and that even Dok Ondar fears it’s potential. It’s curious Dok Ondar would own something as feared and revered as the fabled Sword. He does it, of course, to keep it out of the hands of Kylo Ren, which would be bad news for the galaxy if he was able to obtain the ancient weapon for reasons to be explained later (stay tuned). Once procured, Kendoh plans on hiring Hondo’s service to help them escape the First Order Blockade of Batuu.
The First Order Closes In
Galaxy’s Edge #4 opens with First Order stormtroopers in a firefight with two soldiers who are thought to be Resistance. Are they or aren’t they? Considering how easily they were disposed of, the troopers think not, but one soldier remains unnoticed behind a tree, whose jacket displays the logo of the rebellion. After the exchange of blaster fire, the troopers are called to Black Spire to find three fugitives with death marks ordered by General Hux. These are assumed to be either Kendoh, Remex, and Wooro, or Kendoh, Hondo, and Dok. Either way, First Order stormtroopers are advancing towards Black Spire on a mission.
The Odd Couple of Galaxy’s Edge
Sliney’s art shows a tender moment (not something expected from Dok), when Ondar shows his love for his deceased parents, as he speaks to them in what appears to be some sort of standing tomb. Not only does Sliney’s art evoke emotion from the old Ithorian, but Sack’s dialogue also reveals his deep respect for them and what they’ve accomplished. BONUS: You can clearly see this tomb in Galaxy’s Edge, to the right of Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquity’s sliding doorway. It’s nestled right next to a giant statue and THE Black Spire the outpost is named after.
Enter Hondo Ohnaka; Ondar and Ohnaka’s partnership is strictly business and tenuous, to say the least. Dok deals with Hondo purely because he has to.
Hondo confronts Dok about how he didn’t tell Hondo that Kendoh knew about the sword, to which Dok simply says she must have procured the sword, but admits that if she were to collect both halves, it would be too much power for her to handle and if it was to fall into the wrong hands (aka Kylo Ren) that would be a worst-case scenario. A sword with two halves brings to mind the Power Sword of He-Man fame. When both halves were combined as one, the owner of that sword had the power to rule Castle Greyskull. Could both halves of the Sword of Kashyun rule a particular castle on Mustafar?
The Sword of Power
At this point, it seems like Kendoh has one half and she needs to get the second half from Dok. Through a hidden camera, Kendoh hears that Dok is about to hide the Sword, so it’s not found. At this news, Kendoh makes her way to Dok’s Den of Antiquities with Wooro, Remex stays behind to turn off the camera. Hondo demands to know Dok’s history with Aphra. Now the story begins.
The flashback occurs at an unspecified time except for the appearance of Aphra’s two droid sidekicks, Triple Zero and BT-1 so it must be around the time of the Doctor Aphra comic book series pre-droids trying to kill Aphra. Aphra pilots a ship with Dok as her passenger. The two land on Moraband, an ancient Sith homeworld accompanied by the two droids and two of Dok’s Shistavanen (the wolfman from the cantina scene in A New Hope) bodyguards.
A Sith homeworld? (spoken in Mace Windu’s voice). The Sword of Kashyun was forged by a sect of Dowutin Sith warriors who thought lightsabers were for the weak. Only a worthy warrior had the strength to wield it. The sword is believed to be cursed and causes those Sith who wield it to betray and kill each other. That’s kind of what Sith do, isn’t it? Kill each other to bogart all the dark side power? Is this the start of Rule of Two for the Sith? The difference being, maybe they don’t have to be master and apprentice. It’ll be interesting to see where this leads.
Dok and Aphra arrive on Moraband, along with Aphra’s droids and Dok’s Shistavanen bodyguards. Smartly, Dok stays on the ship with Triple Zero and one of the bodyguards. Upon entry to a Sith temple, Aphra, BT-1, and the other bodyguard battle booby traps and Sith spirits. BT-1 jams the signal from the ship so Dok can’t communicate with Aphra. What Aphra claims to be a preemptive betrayal (So Aphra!). Curiously, Dok decides to stay on the ship. While he is the collector, so is Aphra, they just have different philosophies about their professions. Aphra is much more willing to risk her safety to make a buck. Dok is equally adventurous (see Galaxy’s Edge #3), but only when he’s more assured of his own safety. Besides, Aphra is the one who owned the map to the sword.
Eventually, Aphra finds the sword partially sheathed in stone in front of a mummified Sith sitting on a throne. With sword in hand, Aphra has thoughts of renegotiating her deal with Dok forcefully, Aphra returns to the ship to find Triple Zero somewhat incapacitated by Dok and his bodyguard. Triple Zero no doubt attempted to remove Dok from the equation and failed. The flashback ends there with Aphra at Hondo’s dismay. Kendoh then arrives to obtain her bounty but is met by Dok’s primary security droid BK-86 (a variant of the IG assassin droid). Meanwhile, Remex is trying to call Kendoh to tell her the First Order is right outside their door.
Ronto Wrap Up
And that folks, is how Galaxy’s Edge #4 ends this month. Letterer’s in comics are kind of the unsung, overlooked hero and don’t get the praise that writers and artists do. So pointing out the job done by Travis Lanham is something that needs attention. So many comics get muddled down with word bubbles that are all over the place, which can make it confusing where to read next, only figuring it out after you’ve read through them once. Lanham places them logically throughout, which helps the flow of the story. Even simple things like squiggly lines to show that Dok is speaking his native Ithorian language helps because you’re not forced to read gibberish and the translation bubbles, again, helping the flow of the dialogue.
Galaxy Edge #4 was another fun read that included scoundrels and sith history alike. This series has a knack of mixing characters never before seen together and churning out great stories that make complete sense, it’s sad the end is near. The series concludes on 8/28 with the release of Galaxy’s Edge #5.