Star Wars #36 finally addresses what is easily the series’ biggest loose end at the moment. C-3PO has been a captive of the Empire ever since the end of “Last Flight of the Harbinger.” At long last, writer Jason Aaron reveals what fate has befallen the poor protocol droid and how the Rebels intend to rescue him. Unfortunately, because Aaron is continuing the series’ recent trend of focusing on standalone stories, there’s not a great deal of room to explore this conflict in the detail it deserves. The rescue of C-3PO is amusing, but it could have been more.
As the cover suggests, this is actually more of an R2-D2 story than anything. Fittingly, Artoo takes it upon himself to rescue his old buddy in lieu of an entire Rebel strike force. And as quickly becomes apparent, Artoo doesn’t need any backup. He’s even more a one-droid army in this issue than he was in the heyday of the Clone Wars. I can’t help but wonder if Aaron pushed things too far in this issue by depicting Artoo as a superhuman force of nature laying waste to an entire Star Destroyer’s worth of Stormtroopers. It’s frequently hilarious, but maybe a little excessive in the context of a straightforward, relatively serious Star Wars project like this. It certainly clashes with Artoo’s portrayal in the Original Trilogy. While capable and crafty, those movies rarely show him going on the offensive as he does here.
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