Comic Review – Lando Launches a Mission to Rescue Lobot from the “Dark Droids” in “Star Wars” (2020) #40

Today saw the release of issue #40 of the current volume of Marvel Comics’ main Star Wars title, and below are my brief recap and thoughts on this installment.

Star Wars #40 picks up immediately from where the previous issue left off, with Lando Calrissian and the ancient “Talky” droid drifting through space in the Millennium Falcon, but the always-reliable writer Charles Soule amusingly uses the gap between chapters as an opportunity to recap the recent storyline via the Talky. Lando is hilariously frustrated by this expository dialogue, but he does work through his options with the droid, considering he has to return to the Rebel Alliance to ask for help, bringing stolen property with him. We’re then treated to another flashback to Lando and Lobot’s younger days, and a moment when the cyborg marvels at Calrissian’s ability to weave complex untruths to everyone he interacts with. But Lando then vows that he’ll always be honest with Lobot, and we cut back to the “present” (the period set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), with Lando arriving at the rebel flagship Home One.

The scoundrel then drops another big fib on Princess Leia, who soon hesitantly agrees to launch a rescue mission to bring Lobot back to the rebellion. Next we find ourselves aboard the Falcon with Lando, Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca, and no mention whatsoever of the Talky droid. Lando must be keeping that particular bit of information to himself for the time being, as he and his friends track Lobot’s implants to the tech-centric (and newly introduced here) planet of Epikonia. There are some nice references to L3-37’s droid core having been embedded in the Falcon’s navigational systems, and after a rough landing our heroes begin to explore the mysterious planet. Soule and artist Madibek Musbekov cut to a laboratory where Lobot– now possessed by the evil artificial intelligence known as the Scourge– is running further tests on inhabiting organic bodies, and when he realizes that Lando has brought a Force-user with him, the A.I. decides it simply must have him.

This month’s cliffhanger features our four unlucky protagonists overrun by “Dark Droids” (in keeping with this current crossover event’s title) on the streets of Epikonia, and with a frighteningly malfunctioning Lobot preparing to confront them face-to-face. I thought this was a really exciting issue and another great tie-in to the larger story, but I’m mostly thankful that Charles Soule gets to focus so heavily on Lando Calrissian as a character in this narrative, since he’s just so good at writing him. As always, I can almost hear Billy Dee Williams’ iconic intonations coming from those dialogue balloons, and Musabekov’s art (helped along quite a bit by colorist Rachelle Rosenberg) also goes a long way in establishing the proper tone for this storyline. But I’m simultaneously glad that the heroes have regrouped and are preparing to tackle the Scourge together as this crossover begins to come to a head. I can’t wait to see how they get out of this scrape and how this villain is ultimately dealt with across the coming month or so of comics.

Star Wars #40 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.