Writer: Jo Duffy Art: Ron Frenz & Tom Palmer Over the previous year, the Rebels had been searching for a missing Bothan spy named Tay Vanis. That scene in Jedi where Mon Mothma mentions many Bothans had died getting the plans to the new Death Star? Well, here you go. Luke, Leia, and C-3PO track Vanis last location to a remote planet run by Imperials. There they meet Vanis droid LE-914 (hence, Ellie), a female droid who seems to have a much closer relationship with her owner than we had previously seen in Star Wars. She tells them Vanis had left the data tapes containing the plans with her but she destroyed them per his orders when it appeared no Rebel help was coming. With Ellies assistance they are able to find Vanis, but he has been tortured and left in a vegetative state. After viewing a holographic message left by Vader where he reveals that he had set up the search for Vanis as a ruse to keep the Rebels occupied and out of his way, Ellie discloses she could not follow her owners last order and still has the tapes. After turning them over, she chooses to stay with Vanis and triggers a self-destruct mechanism, killing them both. What really comes across in this issue through Frenz and Palmers artwork are the emotions imbedded in Jo Duffys script. You really do get the sense that Ellie is in love with Vanis, and has basically been living with a broken heart. The tapes represented a last link with him, something she cherished. Destroying them would have been that final act of letting go. In fact she keeps them inside her chest literally where her heart would be. The final panel of C-3PO standing in the rain with tears rolling down his face sums the whole story up in one image. This is one of the best examples of taking the world of Star Wars and pumping it full of some real human emotion, something that the franchise as a whole has sometimes been accused of falling short of.
I've been a huge sci-fi fan ever since going to see "Star Wars" at the tender age of 3 (and yes I actually do remember it! I love pretty much any intelligent and entertaining film and television series (some of my all time favorites are 2001, Lawrence of Arabia, Battlestar Galactica [SyFy], and The West Wing). Must thank the stars above for such things as HBOGO and Netflix (Am thoroughly enjoying Ripper Street btw). I've also been an avid comic book collector since childhood. I earned a bachelor's degree in creative writing with a second emphasis in film studies from Florida State University (Go Noles!) and definitely enjoy sitting back and watching pretty much any sports. I wish I had a joke to end with, but I don't so I'll simply say "The End."