WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marvel's Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance #3, by Ethan Sacks, Luke Ross, VC's Clayton Cowles and Lee Loughridge, on sale now.
In the Star Wars Universe, we've seen a wide variety of droids ever since George Lucas and co. brought A New Hope to screens in 1977. We've had the cute, friendly ones, like R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8. But on the other end of the spectrum, the most notable killers have been the droid armies the Separatists used in The Phantom Menace, as well as the ones General Grievous had at the battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones.
In Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance, however, we're finally getting an up close and personal look at the biggest, baddest robot in the galaxy, and it's a beast Marvel fans will remember from the early battles on the aquatic planet of Mon Cala.
General Leia captains the Millennium Falcon, taking her crew -- Chewie, the Jedi-in-training Rey, C-3PO and the trusty Rose Tico -- to act as diplomats to get Mon Cala back into the Resistance as allies. However, things don't go according to plan. The Mon Cala inhabitants don't want to become a target of the First Order as they've only just rebuilt after their war with the Empire, which leads Leia to hold court with the king, Ech-Char. Sadly, Rey and co. end up in chains after a violent outburst against Chadkol Gee and the squid-like Quarren species, leaving Leia fighting to free her people from possible jail time.
The hot-headed Rey, however, wants an aggressive confrontation. So, Chadkol lures her into "an ancient rite of challenge" involving two warriors in a gladiator arena duking it out. The winner goes free but it's a battle to the death, with the loser fed to Mon Cala's undersea scavengers. Rey quickly agrees without knowing the stipulations, and having fallen right into Chadkol's trap, she's placed in the arena to battle the RK-9, a giant droid that looks like one of the 'bots from The Phantom Menace, except its very Jaeger-like stature makes it seem ripped from Pacific Rim. Chadkol knows his champion has the firepower to kill just one girl.
The duel ensues. What's intriguing is Chadkol's engineers got RK-9 from the Empire's invasion of Mon Cala in the early trilogy era in which Leia and Mon Cala's late Admiral Ackbar forged a united front against Darth Vader's squadron of destroyers. Now, we discover Mon Cala has been stockpiling all the droids and vessels, with RK-9 upgraded with an energy saw like never before.
Rey struggles against the behemoth, with her Force pushes not strong enough to displace it. RK-9's simply too powerful and its strength overwhelms Rey, who can't budge it no matter what angle or Jedi ability she uses. Her electric staff also does nothing here. Yet, just when it seems all hope's lost and Rey's going to be murdered, Rose breaks the rules of engagement and snipes the bot's head off. At this point, Rey's disqualified. However, Leia's simply glad her team's alive.
Sadly, they're kicked off Mon Cala with the king admitting they can't form a partnership anymore. But as Leia says, once they're safe and sound, all that matters is they'll live to fight another day. Still, it makes you wonder the extent of Mon Cala's secret weapons repository and why the Resistance didn't do the same. It would surely have helped them in such depleted times in the wake of The Last Jedi.
Marvel's Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance #4 goes on sale Oct. 30.