Darth Vader continues his mission to bring Mon Cala to heel! As the Emperor grip tightens on the galaxy, no tolerance for rebellion can be afforded… especially not when being fomented by a surviving Jedi. Vader goes in for some wet work in this brutal story!
Mon Cala. The Great Ungeness Trench.
A gloved hand ignites a crimson bladed lightsaber. Vader sinks amongst the debris of Dac City towards the bottom of the trench. His suit is at critical levels due to the pressure and his oxygen level is at less than 30%. He reaches out through the force and guides himself towards and opening in the trench wall. The water pressure adjusts and his suit returns to safer levels, but there is something in there. The sea creature’s tentacles grab and he loses grip of his lightsaber. The beast pulls him closer toward its mouth, but Vader stretches out an arm towards its open maw. It yields to his will through the force and lowers Vader to the surface, then retrieves his weapon for him. Vader takes control of the creature and rides it up and away back through the debris and bodies. The creature starts to die, but Vader is being rescued by a ship and passes into its airlock.
Surrounded by Inquisitors that are astounded that he has survived, he only wants to know one thing. Is the Jedi dead? He seems displeased that the answer is negative and then asks the same about the king. The king’s fate is unknown, but they do have the location of the Jedi. Vader again is unhappy as the king could still be a live and sent a warning to the Jedi that they were coming. They had pursued his rescue rather than go straight for the Jedi, Vader insists he did not need to be rescued.
The body King Lee-Char is suspended in a watery grave as a Quarren rescue craft approaches and they load his body on board.
Imperial Aerial staging platforms deploy TIE fighters into the continuing battle above the seas of Mon Cala. Raddus has withdrawn his forces to the south of the battle, but Tarkin believes this could be stage a counter attack. A large group of single man water skiffs emerge from the water, headed by Ackbar and they are on the attack. The TIE’s swoop down to attack and the Mon Cala forces plunge below the surface to evade them. They break the surface directly below the platform and form up for another attack. They launch missiles straight the underside of the platform and return back to the water.
On the platform bridge there is disbelief with the Imperial Officers as the missiles have penetrated their shields and are approaching their target. The platform explodes and what remains falls into the seas below.
Ackbar and his forces float on their skiffs to watch the demise of the platform. An office receives confirmation from the Quarren rescue vehicle that the king is alive!
King Lee-Char lies in a water chamber recovering from his injuries. Ackbar is present and is updating him on their progress and suggests a truce to give them chance to negotiate with the Imperials. The king does not agree and he needs to speak to the Jedi immediately. He needs a comm now and lifts himself free of the chamber.
Master Barr and his Jedi are still in their hideaway, watching the progress of the battle above. His droid Endee alerts him to an incoming comm from the king. He warns Barr that he has revealed his location during torture and it is no longer safe where they hide.
Tarkin is angry at the loss of the platform of Colonel Bergon, Skybase. He holds Commander Jordo responsible for not knowing about the missiles used against Skybase and their ability to evade their shields. He has the commander taken away to be measured for Stormtrooper armour and for him to be sent to the surface to make himself more useful.
A lieutenant asks Tarkin whether retaliation is their next action, but he thinks escalation is the way forward.
The cover for issue 15 shows Vader wielding his lightsaber in the depths of the Mon Cala seas. There’s been a very clever usage of colour for this cover and although not in line with the story, it is a great piece of artwork.
The Mon Cala are a force to be reckoned with. We all know about the great Admiral’s Raddus and Ackbar from their unerring service to the rebellion, but it’s interesting to see them protecting their own planet from the Empire. Lee-Char is resourceful, but are his decisions being too heavily influenced by Master Barr? Could there be some surreptitious usage of the force to his decision making by the Jedi Master?
Vader’s arrogance comes over when he berates the Inquisitors for rescuing him and not pursuing the Jedi. He is there to teach them, but if they keep making mistakes like that they will dwindle in numbers quite quickly.
2 things I really like about this issue. Firstly, those Mon Cala skiffs used by Ackbar and his team to attack the Skybase. The design just looks right and we’ve not really seen these type of vehicles before. They are insect and aquatic looking at the same time, with a touch of a Jet Ski about them. I also loved the fact that there missiles used in the attack have some sort of organic compound which enables them to defeat the shields of the Skybase.
I find it hard to answer when I say to myself each with is there anything I don’t like about this series? Again, with this issue I can’t really give you anything. The standards have been so high from issue 1 and continue to sustain the quality. Charles Soule has a knack for keeping a level of suspense going from event to event. Very clever writing backed up great artwork and dialogue and you’re not going to go far wrong.
So the hunt is on for the Jedi Master and his followers, let us see in issue 16 what will happen next.
This issue was released on 25th April 2018 and is available via the Marvel App and all good comic book stores. This issue retails at $3.99.