Charles Soule and Phil Noto hand Black Squadron a dangerous mission!

Each week, Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels, and droids.

Prior to the silver screen events of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” General Leia Organa gave the Resistance pilots known as Black Squadron a specific and important mission in the pages of POE DAMERON: find Lor San Tekka. And while readers may know what happens at the end of this specific operation, the journey there has proven to be engrossing.

After a blazing start, the second arc of the series, which ran from issues #47, began with a celebration on D’Qar after Poe Dameron and Black Squadron made it back alive from a dangerous raid across the galaxy. The team, however, realized that they had trouble in their ranks, as the enemy seemed to know their destinations almost immediately after their arrival. Nonetheless, following Leia’s orders, they proceeded to Megalox, a prison that housed Grakkus the Hutt—a contact of San Tekka.

Poe Dameron (2016) #4

Poe Dameron (2016) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Thanks to a prison warden’s flexible ethics, the Resistance group bribed their way into the jail, though upon arriving at the cell, found the First Order’s Agent Terex—Poe Dameron’s nemesis—had arrived before they did. In response to the situation, the wily Hutt told each side that he would provide Lor San Tekka’s location to whomever broke him out of Megalox.

Poe Dameron (2016) #5

Poe Dameron (2016) #5

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Poe and his crew dispatched their droids to work on the prison controls while Terex began his own scheme to harness the other prisoners’ hatred of the Hutt as a means to start a riot. As the resulting mob began to overtake the prison, BB-8 and a team of astromech droids hacked into the jail’s network before disabling the prison’s Grav-Field Dome. As the Dome shut down, chaos ensued, allowing Black Squadron to abduct Grakkus and leave the planet. Terex, however, managed to summon his own ship and followed.

Poe Dameron (2016) #6

Poe Dameron (2016) #6

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Furious at his rivals’ success, Terex decided to fly his ship directly through the prison’s control satellite. Instead of leaving the people of the prison to suffer the consequences, Poe led Black Squadron into a counterattack on the evil agent’s ship. Damaged from the ensuing fight, the First Order craft retreated and jumped to lightspeed.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

If Grakkus the Hutt seemed familiar to readers of the current era of Star Wars comics, that’s because he first appeared in the pages of STAR WARS during the “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon” story. Not long after the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker made his way to Grakkus’ domain and found himself in awe of the Hutt’s collection of Jedi artifacts. Grakkus, however, had something else in his midst: an Imperial spy. That fact led to the Hutt’s imprisonment, where readers would later find him.

Next time, we look back at a story set before the prequel films in STAR WARS: QUI-GON & OBI-WAN – THE AURORIENT EXPRESS.

Read More

Charles Soule runs down the talented squad Poe has watching his back.

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron’s embarking on a new mission in STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #21, out November 21, and he’s going to need all the help he can get to score his ultimate target, the mysterious Lor San Tekka.

Good thing Black Squadron’s got his back.

They’ve had their ups and downs over the course of the series, even lost members, but the men, women, and droid of Black Squadron also have someone to back them up, namely writer Charles Soule. He knows the ins and outs of their strengths and weaknesses, and he’s ready to tip his hand to light them up for your illumination and edification.

Snap
“Temmin ‘Snap’ Wexley has been fighting evil in the galaxy since he was a little kid, as we saw from Chuck Wendig’s great ‘Aftermath’ trilogy of Star Wars novels, set right after ‘Return of the Jedi,’” says Soule. “He fought the Empire, and knows how important it is to prevent anything like them from rising again. So, he’s got enormous strength and resolve. He can be a little impulsive, though—he’s not always in control of his emotions—and it gets him into trouble.”

Poe Dameron (2016) #21

Poe Dameron (2016) #21

Jess
“Jessika Pava is fantastic!” raves Soule. “I love writing her. She’s a gearhead, who’s always tinkering with her ship and modifying it to make everything run more powerfully, better, faster. She talks tough and fights tougher. That also lends itself to her main weakness, though, which is that she always needs to feel like she’s in control—that stems from events in her childhood. If she doesn’t, her effectiveness goes way down, to the point where she almost collapses, psychologically.”

Karé
“Karé Kun is just one of those hyper-competent badasses you want on your side in a fight” Soule offers. “She’s been flying with Poe since before the Resistance was formed, and knows her job inside and out. However, sometimes she gets too job-focused, and forgets she isn’t just part of a machine. Black Squadron is a fighting force, but it’s also sort of a family, and she’s not always sensitive to that.”

BB-8
“BB-8 has no flaws!” insists Soule. “He is all strength, and I will hear nothing different!”

Suralinda
“Suralinda Javos is extremely smart, she can handle herself in a fight and, oh yeah, she can spit venom—literally,” Soule says. “Sura was a journalist in the New Republic, and an old friend of Poe’s who has been swayed to the cause of the Resistance by the evil she’s seen committed by the First Order. She’s got a lot of strengths, but she’s also the kind of person who will move into grey areas all the time if it thinks it will help her accomplish her goal. She’s definitely an ‘end justifies the means’ gal. That’s a slippery slope—but I love her anyway.”

Poe Dameron (2016) #22

Poe Dameron (2016) #22

Read More