Review: C-3PO #1 – The Phantom Limb

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Written by James Robinson

Art by Tony Harris

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna

Release Date: 04/13/16

Price: $4.99

Intro

Ever since The Force Awakens came into our lives four months ago, we’ve been faced with numerous questions: who are Rey’s parents? Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? Why is BB-8 so freaking cute? What’s up with Luke? And why is C-3PO’s arm red?

Plot

James Robinson and Tony Harris’ one-shot story “The Phantom Limb” (clever for more than one obvious reason) follows C-3PO along with five other droids on a Lord of the Rings-esque journey to take Omri, a prisoner droid of the First Order, to the Resistance. Sometime before The Force Awakens, Admiral Ackbar has been captured by the First Order. The Resistance’s strategy to find and rescue Ackbar depends on one droid: C-3PO.

Story

After a crash that seemingly kills all humans on board, C-3PO and five other droids set out from the crash site for a homing beacon about 55 miles away. C-3PO leads the clan attempting to take their prisoner droid Omri safely to Resistance. In order to retrieve the whereabouts of Admiral Ackbar who is currently held captive by the First Order, Omri must be delivered undamaged. Along the way, Omri cause strife amidst the droid clan, questioning their independence, potential past lives and even their existence.

Encountering a heard of giant spiders, sea monsters, and giant flying bug-like creatures along their way, this entire issue feels like a condensed  version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With various types of droids playing the roles of elves, dwarves, hobbits and humans, the droids’ journey delivers a somewhat fun story arc although we do know where story must end (C-3PO with a red arm). During the entire trek, C-3PO’s often helpless demeanor in the face of opposition makes him feel similar to Frodo, almost always in need of someone else to defend him.

As the pages turn, so do the lives of every single one of the droids and C-3PO’s arm (as expected). By the final pages of the story, threepio finds himself journeying alone with the prisoner droid. Omri is won over by C-3PO’s perseverance, giving threepio the details the Resistance was seeking just before he sacrifices himself for C-3PO. After being demolished by acid rain, conveniently Omri’s arm remained intact (although the pain washed away to a red primer).

The issue ends joyfully with Poe Dameron and BB-8 arriving to retrieve C-3PO and the whereabouts of Admiral Ackbar.

Art

Tony Harris’ art is decent and enjoyable. Drawing from a color palette just a tad more muted than the original Star Wars poster, this entire book feels dreary and dull. Perhaps it represents and even foreshadows the dark and uncertain times the Resistance is to face as the First Order ascends to power. Regardless, it worked for me.

I did, however, find it odd in the panel where C-3PO’s arm gets torn off by a sea monster. Initially, it seems like threepio is bleeding due to the red coloring in the torn wires from his shoulder.

The Verdict

You know how when you go to a Mexican restaurant, the server brings you chips-and-salsa while you wait for your main course? They’re meant to temporarily satisfy for your cravings for Mexican food. Don’t get me wrong: you can’t wait for that delicious burrito that is being prepared for you. But those warm, salty tortilla chips paired with fresh salsa and sips of ice-cold Coca-Cola really help pass the time by.

If you’re like me and can’t wait until Rogue One drops 241 days, pick this book up. This book along with Charles Soule’s ongoing series Star Wars: Poe Dameron are the chips-and-salsa to the Rogue One-burrito that will be coming in December. Although this book in particular is definitely not a main course, it’ll definitely help hold you over until the time comes.

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