In his new solo series (heh), everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerfhereder is badgered into an undercover assignment for the Rebellion. With a leak inside the Rebellion leading the Empire to a network of their spies, and needing a pilot and ship for a dangerous mission, Leia convinces both the reluctant Han and the reluctant Rebel leaders that Han Solo is their man.
The first few pages of the issue, where Han is basically kidnapped and brought to the new Rebel is a bit awkward (did anyone, anywhere believe he would give up control of the Millennium Falcon for any reason?). However, things pick up with the appearance of Leia (and I guess, if you wanted to read between the lines the entire plot to get his ship could be seen as nothing more than a ploy to get Han on board for the mission).
Sending the murder droids after their missing creator, Darth Vader turns his attention on his new assignment from the Emperor: find rogue scientist Cylo who is building his own cyber-fleet of ships. Finding Aphra drunk in a bar in the Outer Rim, Triple-Zero and Beetee cause murder and mayhem on a large scale before finally convincing their former master to accompany them back to Lord Vader.
Vader’s journey takes him to the Crushank Nebulae in the Outer Rim where he forces Cylo to flee once again, but not before drilling his T.I.E. Advanced deep inside the traitor’s flagship where he will have to cut a large swath, and put down all obstacles placed in his path, to bridge the difference between himself and Cylo.
Has he gotten away with it? That seems to be the case as Darth Vader survives encounters with both the Emperor and Inspector Thanoth. The former appears unaware of his apprentice’s machinations while the later will offer no threat to the Dark Lord of the Sith following this issue. While his plans are far from complete, there’s still the missing Aphra to deal with, it would appear Darth Vader has made it through events unscathed.
While the Han and Luke‘s story is held to a minimum as nothing more than a comic interlude, the majority of Star Wars #18 focuses on Leia and Stana Starros getting stuck in the middle of the hijacking of Sunspot Prison while attempting to get some useful answers from Aphra. With all hell breaking loose, including dozens of killer robots shooting up the place and a masked man with ties to Leia’s past calmly executing prisoners, the three women must put aside their individual differences and find a way to work together if they have any hope of survival.