The Screaming Citadel #1

And so begins the could-be-awesome, could-be-awful vampiric horror Star Wars/Doctor Aphra crossover…I think it’s safe to say no one really knows where this story line will take us – in fact, it could very well end up being so crazy and farfetched that it starts to upset some fans only to find out that it’s all an illusion that the crystal containing the essence of Rur is projecting into Aphra’s subconsciousness…wouldn’t that be far out? For the record, that’s not what I think will happen at all, but goofy speculation is kind of my bag, baby…alright, enough stalling, let’s get to it!

The Screaming Citadel #1
star-wars-screaming-citadel-1Before I even start talking about this, so far, very interesting story starter, let me just say how much it bugs me that two of the most important characters in all of Star Wars, C-3PO & R2-D2, are 1) captured and 2) alone in an X-wing attempting to rescue his captured friend…AND NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE!?!? Between the two of them, every single Rebellion secret is basically up for grabs, and yet we’re getting ANOTHER side story before anything’s done to bring them back to the fold…this makes absolutely no story sense to me – as soon as R2 left after 3PO it should have become priority number one and only to go after him. Literally everything else should have taken an immediate backseat. Instead of a tedious, uninteresting, pointless filler story about Yoda and the Stonepower, there should have been a story about the Rebellion retrieving their missing droids…this is a continuity flaw, in my opinion, that the powers that be are purposefully allowing in order to force this crossover through…so, all that said, I’m willing to put this irksome bit aside and see how this outside-the-box Star Wars story goes. This will (probably) be the last time I speak of it…

So, Luke Skywalker’s had a rough go at it lately, and just wants to sit at a bar and think – I can relate to that. Unfortunately, he picks a bar on the planet the rebels are currently calling home that doesn’t take kindly to humans. He’s about to tussle with a few alien patrons when Aphra barges in and says, “He’s with me.” Well, you think somehow her voguing for him is going to smooth things over, but, in typical Aphra fashion, it makes the situation worse:  now everyone wants a piece of them instead of just a few…things look bleak, but, as is often the case, where there’s Aphra, there’s Krrsantan…and where there’s Krrsantan, there’s mayhem for anyone opposing Aphra…so, of course, we move on to see Luke, Aphra, and Krrsantan standing over a bar of beat up, alien thugs. Luke tries to leave, but Aphra dangles the carrot of possibly being trained by what she refers to as “the archived personality of a Jedi called Rur.” Luke is intrigued, but doesn’t think he can reactivate it…that’s why Aphra explains the real plan:  go to the Queen of Ktath’atn (which seems needlessly impossible to say – so much so that Aphra even jokes about not trying to pronounce it), who once a year offers favors for the chance to meet interesting organic life. And just like that, off they go, now joined in Aphra’s sweet ship’s cockpit by R2 & 3PO’s evil twins…oh, and Luke didn’t tell anyone where he was going…so our merry band arrives at the Citadel of Ktath’atn, or, according to 000, the Screaming Citadel. On the way to the entrance, the group is met by a horde of blank-eyed, emaciated citizens. Luke, being the consummate “good guy,” wants to feed them and Aphra acquiesces…unfortunately, when Krrsantan emerges with food, they flee – “More scared than hungry, I guess,” Aphra muses…at the door, my main fuzzball is turned away because the Queen is apparently allergic to Wookiees, so Aphra gives him a pack of cards and tells him to make friends. This idea of finding people prompts Luke to ask Aphra how she found him, and then we slip back to the rebel base and Miss Sana Starros…it turns out Sana still has some lingering feelings for Aphra, and I think Aphra knows it and uses them to manipulate Sana into telling her where she is – and where she is, Aphra correctly assumed, is where Luke is…Han, Leia, and Sana eventually figure out the riddle Aphra presumably left in Essfor and realize Luke left with her, but they don’t know where they are…and, it turns out, they’re getting gussied up (well, Luke is, Aphra looks kind of business casual) for the Queen’s big soirée. The droids stay behind, so it’s only Aphra & Luke that attend. It’s a fancy party full of several alien species, and, of course, humans, as well as the cool-looking guards and a really awesome-looking species called the Ezaraa – they remind me of the Blood Carvers mixed with Kaleesh…they are very, very well-designed, and I hope they don’t end up being a throwaway species…so, pretty soon the Queen shows up, and the party proper begins:  different species bring various creatures, other rare species, etc. in hopes of earning the Queen’s favor (there’s even an ex-Cylo experiment that looks suspiciously like the Hoojib that people on Twitter seem to want back in canon for some reason). Right when you think Luke & Aphra’s attempt is all for naught, the Ezaraa tries to bully his way by, drawing the ire of Luke by first pushing Aphra then pushing him, to which Luke responds by Force pushing the Ezaraa away – an action that brings an ominous smile to the Queen’s face. Immediately, all other guests are asked to leave, and Luke & Aphra are invited to stay and sleep; the Queen will hear their request in the morning. While Luke & Aphra presumably go back to their quarters, the Queen tells her minions to gather her harvest so they’ll have all their strength to confront the powerful, but inexperienced Jedi…and by harvest she means having her minions somehow suck the blood? Life Force? Both? Out of the townspeople (accounting for their shriveled appearance), and then “feeding” it to her…far out, right? It also turns out the Queen’s “tasted Jedi” before…and that’s how the issue ends…

Soooooooo, what did you think? I’m not sure how I feel about it yet (aside from the first thing that I said I wouldn’t talk about anymore), it’s too early to tell. I’m not immediately turned off, so that’s a good start. Anyway, what do you think the Queen’s harvesting? Is she using Nightsister-esque magic to pull the Living Force out of the townspeople, or is she being a more true-to-form vampire and sucking their blood? What did you think of Aphra using Sana’s feelings for her to get to Luke? Pretty clever or a low move, even for her? And do you think Leia, Han, and Sana will be able to, or even try to, find out where they went? It won’t be long before we get more answers because the story continues next week, so give the book a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll tell the Queen of the Screaming Citadel that you’re an incredibly rare, interesting organic being that she’d really love to meet…until next time, TWS out.

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