Comic Review – Lando, Lobot, and Some “Dark Droids” Infiltrate Jabba’s Palace in “Star Wars” (2020) #38

In addition to the Star Wars: Dark Droids miniseries releasing a new issue yesterday, the crossover event continued in the pages of Marvel Comics’ flagship Star Wars title– also written by Charles Soule. Below are my recap and thoughts on this exciting installment.

Star Wars (2020) #38 opens in Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine, where the ancient “Talky” translator droid is set to be disintegrated for “making a simple mistake” during one of the Hutt’s transactions. But little does the torturer droid EV-9D9 know that many of his compatriots have been taken over by the evil artificial intelligence known as the Scourge, and they quickly put an end to the destruction. The Talky manages to escape the chaos and melt down a good number of the possessed droids, enlisting a couple hapless Gamorrean Guards in his protection. Meanwhile, out in Tatooine’s Dune Sea, Lando Calrissian and his malfunctioning cyborg friend Lobot prepare to sneak into Jabba’s Palace by using disguises they find left over in the hold of the Millennium Falcon from the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story. We then get a three-page flashback to “years earlier,” when the same pair of pals used (admittedly much classier-looking) disguises to gain access to a swanky nightclub as part of one of Lando’s cons. Back in the present (between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) on Tatooine, the two trick Jabba’s security droid into giving them access to the palace, only to find that it has been overrun by the Scourge.

As they explore the aftermath of the droid-led massacre, Lando and Lobot run into a fleeing Boba Fett, who simply advises them to “leave,” and then we finally get the moment where Calrissian sees his frenemy Han Solo hanging from Jabba’s wall in that carbonite block. But just as he’s taking in that sobering sight, the trap door opens beneath him and both he and Lobot fall into the rancor pit below, where the Talky is waiting for them. The droid convinces Lando to help him escape in exchange for his assistance in fixing Lobot’s cybernetic implants, but naturally before they can do so the rancor wakes up… and the evil droids corner them from the other direction. It’s a tense, suspenseful issue with another semi-misleading cover (our heroes are never confronted– not to mention strangled– by EV-9D9) and I love how Soule has brought back the Talky to serve as another member of the resistance against the Scourge. I also thought it was interesting that under slightly different circumstances, Lando might have had the opportunity to rescue Han during the droid uprising, but as fans we know that must wait for a later day. Jabba’s Palace on the whole is a fun sandbox for Star Wars writers to play around in, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Lando and Lobot deal with their obstacles in the next issue. Until then, I’m definitely appreciating the work that Soule and his talented artist Madibek Musabekov (along with colorist Rachelle Rosenberg) are putting into this title during the Dark Droids crossover.

Star Wars #38 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.