Published: October 1, 1995
Writer: Michael A. Stackpole & Mike Baron
Penciller: Allen Nunis
Inker: Andy Mushynsky
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colourist: David Nestelle
Editor: Ryder Windham, Peet Janes
Designer: Scott Tice
Cover Artist: Dave Dorman
Tycho Celchu must make the hardest decision of his lifetime: choosing between saving his friends and supporting his cause. Disguised as an Imperial fighter pilot, Rogue Squadron flyer Tycho Celchu has successfully infiltrated the Imperial troops. But success turns sour when his TIE fighter unit encounters Wedge Antilles and Rogue Squadron! If he abandons his post with the Imperial fighters, he abandons the cause of the New Republic; but if he stands his ground, he risks killing his comrades. Either way this Rebel plays, he plays a losing game . . .
Well this is it. I can’t quite believe I’ve come to the end of this series of fabulous comics from Dark Horse Comics.
OK, the cover. You can almost hear the gears of the AT-STs as they come to a halt and the Stormtroopers rush in to train their blasters on their captive. In your mind you hear the main trooper issue the command, ‘freeze’, as he raises his blaster to their prisoner. Surely it can’t end like this! Into the story….
Having been shot down, Tycho hails a lift with some Imps heading into town. Tycho maintains his rouse, posing as an Imperial pilot. He’s exhausted from 36 hours of trying to make it through the dense undergrowth, when he spots the convoy. Once inside the Imp’s transport, Tycho is introduced to their prisoner, one ‘Princess Leia.’ She is ordered to help heal the exhausted soldier. She agrees but only through her compassion for the soldier, citing his commander as a cretin, like all of the superiors. Tycho knows straight away who she really is, they recognise each other, speaking in hushed tones they catch up on the latest events. When they arrive at the secure hangar, the woman, they believe is Princess Leia, is introduced to the Governor. He holds a scratched, old photograph of Leia, it looks plausible to him that she is the Princess of Alderaan.
There are two frames on the next page that I loved, Winter calls out to Leia, through the Force, for her guidance. Only to be interrupted by a knock at the door. As propositions are made over dinner, the action then cuts back to Wedge Antilles and the rest of the two factions of Rebels, their allegiance now pretty much sealed.
The thread throughout has been a sinister treachery, bubbling below the surface. Someone among the ranks is a traitor, but who? At this stage you now start to realise who that person is and who else senses it too.
Two teams are assigned their missions. A ground team and a strike team from the air. The rescue mission is underway, but with the traitor at the wheel of a ground transport, tension starts to rise. Elscol realises she’s in danger and ends up fighting for her life. One of my favourite supporting characters in this series is Groznik, the extremely energetic Wookiee, always at Elscol’s side. Yet again he swoops in to save the day.
The sky battle towards the end is awesome. A swift move from Wedge covers Tycho’s TIE Fighter in yellow dye, marking him as one of their own. With Rogue Squadron and Tycho in his ‘eyeball’ they soon make short work of the enemy.
Back to the ground assault and Elscol has made it, they save Winter, the woman the Imps mistook for Leia. There’s a nice moment at the end too, with Wedge and Elscol, which brings the story full circle. But I won’t give that away.
It has been a real pleasure getting stuck into this brilliant story that’s so expertly told and beautifully illustrated. This series really has been a pleasure to read and review. I can’t recommend it enough!
And thank you the team at Jedi News for inviting me to be part of Lockdown Legends, it’s been a blast.
May the Force be with You!
Originally released by Dark Horse Comics, the Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron series ran from 1995 to 1998, for 35 issues. Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #4 is currently available in digital format from the Marvel Online Comic Store, via the Marvel App, comiXology or by subscribing to Marvel Unlimited. A physical copy can be found in one of the many trade paperback releases from Marvel. Please check with Amazon UK and US or your local comic bookstore for availability.