Wednesday, March 27, 2013

X-Wing Rogue Squadron Omnibus Volume 2

Volume 2 of the X-Wing Rogue Squadron Omnibus begins with a short adventure seeing the Rogues  liberating the planet Tandankin from Imperial control.  During the fighting, Wedge is forced to destroy a monument sacred to the Tandankin people and comes up against vehement criticism from the locals.  A certain pilot by the name of Luke Skywalker explains all of the heroic things Wedge has done to try to mollify them.  It's a slight story, but probably a good refresher for people who are a bit fuzzy on Wedge's background.

The next story arc reprinted, "Battleground: Tatooine" features Rogue Squadron being sent in to investigate Imperial connections on the planet.  Biggs Darklighter's father is holding a special reception to honor his son's death, but a Twi'lek criminal named Firith Olan takes advantage of the distraction to have hired guns steal a datadisk from Darklighter's safe that holds the location of a secret Imperial cache of weapons and starfighters.  The Rogues manage to find the cache and destroy it before Firith can set himself up as a warlord on Tatooine, but he escapes to Ryloth.  The Rogues chase him, but Firith escapes again with the help of an ambitious Imperial leader named Semtin, and the two return to Tatooine to another secret Imperial base! (Apparently, they're laying under every rock on this strategically-useless and remote Outer Rim planet . . .).  The Rogues return and destroy that base as well.  Most of the story is pretty average, but I did quite like the interplay between Firith Olan and his special guest: Bib Fortuna's brain, which, in close continuity with Tales From Jabba's Palace, is stored in the spider-like repository of the Bo'Marr monks.  There's a great twist ending here that makes the rest worth reading.

The second story arc is "The Warrior Princess", which focusses on the Rogue named Plourr Ilo.  Plourr is revealed to be a lost princess from the world of Eiattu, and she reluctantly returns to the planet to help solve a civil war.  A renegade Imperial leader named Tavira gets involved and props up an impostor pretending to be Plourr's long-dead brother.  The Rogues save the day, of course, but Tavira escapes to fight another day and Plourr decides to say on Eiattu and lead her people into the future.  The personality given to Tavira was good and distinguished her nicely from the standard Imperial leader, and the story took the time to flesh out Eiattu's political system.  I don't find Plourr a particularly interesting character, however, so a story focussing on her is not going to be my favourite.

The last story arc in the book, "Requiem for a Rogue", is quite good.  The Rogues travel to a planet called Malrev 4 in the hopes of rescuing a Bith starliner that has strayed off course.  The fate of the vessel, and its inhabitants, are tied into an interesting story about ancient Sith temples and magic.  Two Rogues die in the story, and that's the sort of thing I think is necessary to keep up the tension, as, for the most part, it seems like the Rogues are pretty much invincible regardless of how heavy the odds are stacked against them.

Now I've just got to track down the third and final volume of the series!

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