Published: March 4, 2019
Writer: Jody Houser
Penciler: Cory Smith, Wilton Santos
Cover Artist: Paolo Rivera
A DESPERATE DIPLOMATIC MISSION FOR SENATOR AMIDALA! PADMÉ sets out in secret to try to bring a neutral world into the Republic fold. Is this a genuine offer of alliance, or another trap for the outspoken Senator? And will rejecting the help of the JEDI be a deadly mistake?
Padmé is escorted through the corridors of the Senate as she explains her mission to Duro to Anakin. They find a secluded corner, embrace and kiss only to be disturbed by Moteé. Anakin reels in embarrassment and starts to make excuses. Padmé assure Anakin of Moteé’s discretion in this matter. She insists that she does not need a Jedi chaperone for her mission and she will be quite safe with her own bodyguards.
On board her Nubian ship, she reveals to Moteé and Dormé that their mission is to Clabron and not Duro. No one knows that this is their real destination and Padme request the controls from Dormé to pilot herself. In flight her bodyguards discuss what Moteé witnessed and if it were to be revealed, but Dormé just wishes her happiness.
Their landing is easy on Clabron, but not normal. No one has hailed them, and the landing pad is void of any greeting party. Padmé leads them down the boarding ramp and they cross the pad. Dormé and Moteé are on high alert with a hand on their blaster handles, then out of nowhere a blaster bolt strikes Moteé on the shoulder. Dormé and Padmé move to help the injured Moteé and get her under the shelter of the doorway out of the snipers’ sights.
A figure from behind the door advises them to leave Clabron, but Padmé insists that they open the door for Moteé to receive medical attention. The door opens and Tarmin, Clabron’s second minister, introduces himself.
He escorts them to a medical room where many injured Clabron lie. They too were attacked by the sniper and the first minister orders the droid tending him to look after Moteé. He is badly wounded and Padmé offers the Republic help for Clabron. He thinks Separatist spies learned of their meeting and lay in ambush for them. While talking to Padmé he passes away, she turns to ask Tarmin who is now in charge and he tells her that this job now moves to him. Tarmin has no wishes to join forces with soldiers, but Padmé reminds him that their meeting was for political reason and not for them to take up arms.
Padmé reveals her past to Tarmin, telling him of her rule of the Naboo and now how she serves the senate. She will now return to Coruscant, but not before undertaking some ‘aggressive negotiations!’
Lis Mohles looks on from high above as Padmé and her bodyguards make their way across the landing pad back to her ship. Grasping for his sniper rifle, he looks to take aim at the senator. Suddenly a blast from behind renders him incapacitated as Padmé stands over his lifeless body. Tarmin had acted as a decoy allowing Padmé to sneak up on the sniper on the roof top.
As they depart, Tarmin agrees that there may be other ways that Clabron can aid the Republic and not resort to fighting. She is pleased to hear this and boards her ship.
We have another four covers for this issue and the direct edition cover from Paolo Rivera is to the usual high standard. Rich colours accompanied by a great illustration that really stands out. The Lucasfilm ‘movie’ variant is a standard stock image of Queen Amidala from their archives. The next puzzle piece has a curious addition in one of General Grievous’s arms! It looks like Mike McKone and Guru-eFX have been having trouble squeezing the General onto the final cover of the series. The concept cover features an Ian McCaig drawing of Amidala in her familiar red and gold dress which to me looks like an extravagant costume and pose of an opera singer. This is not a bad thing by the way, it is a piece of concept art that I really do like, but the winner is the direct edition yet again!
The release of the Padmé Amidala issue couldn’t have been better timed. With the US release of ‘Queen’s Shadow’ by E.K. Johnston swiftly followed by International Women’s Day no better time to air the eighth and penultimate instalment of the ‘Age of Republic’. I would like to hope that this was the case rather than it just be a coincidence.
When I started making my notes on the story for the summary above, I did notice one thing, I had a hell of a lot of them. I usually fill one page of my notepad for most comics, it’s rare that I go over that threshold, but this time I was nearing 2 pages. Now the story is very simple, but the depth of details that the conversations seem to go to show that these take the plot deeper than most normal issues. To me this is due to this being a political plot with less action than usual.
Moteé and Dormé are Padmé’s bodyguards on this trip. They have their concerns about the relationship between her and Anakin, but they resolve to be supportive of her in this matter. I have always wondered who would have known about their relationship and who would have been tasked with running interference to help hide the events surrounding this. Handmaiden’s are the obvious keepers of her secrets, but who else may have known? We may never find out, but this has brought that question to the forefront of my thinking while reading this issue.
Clabron and its people are an interesting addition to the equation. A species and a planet that I am not immediately aware of and it feels like they are a peaceful people who wish to stay out of the war. The death of their First Minister at the hands of a Separatist sniper sent to assassinate Padmé may just turn the balance of their allegiances.
Cory Smith returns with Wilton Santos as artists. Now although I like the feel of the comic, I do think the likeness to Padmé isn’t as it should be. At times, I didn’t like some of the frames and how she was drawn. Although in general, I do like what they have done with this issue.
Although I feel this is a predictable storyline and chain of events, this is another story that could have easily been an episode in the Clone Wars animated series. Jody Houser has really proven her worth as a writer of material for this era. Should Lucasfilm or Dave Filoni need any help for a new animated or even live action series set during this period, they should consider enlisting her.
The issue finishes with another piece called ‘The Hero for a Generation’ from Bria La Vorgna summarising the life of Padmé Amidala.
Next up is the ninth and final issue of the series featuring General Grievous, one of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s arch enemies. Let’s see what Jody Houser has in store for us.
This issue was released on 6th March 2019 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.