Just when it seems like all hope is lost, Doctor Aphra may have finally come up with a plan to outsmart at least one of her greatest enemies.
When we last left Doctor Aphra, she was about to flee the Rebel Alliance after General Cracken tried to convince her to help execute an assassination attempt on Emperor Palpatine.
Thinking she has finally found a remote location where she will remain hidden and safe, Aphra loses herself in memories from her past — only to awaken to a new threat she never expected to encounter so soon.
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Spoilers ahead for Doctor Aphra No. 34 — you have been warned!
Aphra is on the run. Again.
This time, she has returned to the system she and her mother fled to after leaving her father behind. But the Empire isn’t far behind, and she quickly realizes she isn’t safe — and might never be free again.
She can’t run from the Empire forever. And unless she agrees to work with the Rebel Alliance, they won’t guarantee her protection. She’s a wanted woman anywhere she goes. Her options are limited. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.
Unless she can outsmart everyone all at once.
It’s Aphra, after all. You know she’s going to try.
She ends up returning to the Alliance, supposedly having experienced an uncharacteristic change of heart … except she’s not there to make amends or join the cause.
She’s there to steal back her gun. The one Cracken wants to reverse engineer so the rebels can create their own version of a Death Star. Sort of.
Why does she want to take back the artifact that has been causing her so much grief? She wants the Empire to see her as a hero. She wants to be the one who “stopped” the Rebellion from assassinating the Emperor.
If you can’t beat them … impress them. Sure. That works. Except when it doesn’t.
Imagine almost seeing your ultimate plan come to fruition — until your ex-girlfriend comes along and ruins everything. That must be frustrating.
It looks like Aphra is going to have to find another way to escape her new makeshift prison and figure out if she can ever get by without someone on her tail.
If you’ve been following this comic since its first issue, you know this story arc is basically following the same formula it always has. Aphra gets herself into trouble, she thinks she’s found a way out, but nope — it turns out she’s still not in the clear, and may never be.
But just because there’s a formula doesn’t mean every element of each arc is wholly predictable. This is one of the best Star Wars comics we’ve seen in a long time simply because it always leaves you craving more.
You always know that, no matter what, our antihero is going to survive. But how? And how narrowly is she going to escape the latest potentially deadly obstacle? Will she ever find her morals? Did she ever have any to begin with?
It’s been quite a journey thus far. And thankfully, it’s not over yet.
The next issue of Doctor Aphra will be available August 21.