WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance #2, from Ethan Sacks, Luke Ross, VC's Clayton Cowles and Lee Loughridge, on sale now.
One of the things that upset many rabid fans in Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the death of military legend Admiral Gial Ackbar. Famous for his "It's a trap!" line, which has been immortalised in pop culture forever, he perished when the First Order's fleet blew away the Resistance. It was a sudden death that caught folks off guard and many felt the war hero didn't get the send off he deserved, especially as there wasn't time to mourn since the rebels had to get their enemies off their tails.
However, Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance #2, Marvel's prequel comic, perfectly handles his legacy with the introduction of his son, Aftab. What makes this debut so special is, clearly, he's someone who's following in his dad's footsteps as an ally to the rebels and building a bond with her just like Gial did.
When Leia captains the Millennium Falcon and touches down on Mon Cala for a diplomatic mission, she doesn't get the reception she envisioned. The ocean planet is trying not to attract attention from the vindictive Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and, as a result, the squid-like Quarren want Leia, the Jedi-in-training Rey as well as the feisty engineer Rose and the rest of the team to depart. It gets pretty tense, with Chadkol Gee, the Quarren commander, even threatening violence if it comes to that. Aftab, however, shows up and quickly deescalates the argument, making it clear Leia saved the planet in the past when the Empire came calling and she deserves an audience with the powers-that-be.
Leia's hurting, however, as she misses Gial Ackbar. Aftab and her reminisce at a shrine, with her reminding him that she hasn't seen him since he was a kid. Interestingly enough, she has to honour his dad's memory by keeping up the fight, which his son acknowledges as well. What's interesting is Aftab didn't have that great a relationship with his father, as Gial was mostly absent. Of course, it's because he put duty first and with the freedom of the galaxy at stake, Aftab fully understood, excelling in his studies so he could someday walk in his dad's shoes.
And that day has indeed come. As Leia tries to convince the Mon Calarian king, Ech Char, the successor of Lee Char, her ally from the old days, of a renewed partnership, she's met with a stubborn attitude. Of course, he's being cautious but Leia needs his planet to return to the fold. Sadly, the Quarren are secretly looking at Aftab as a traitor and not seeing this meeting as beneficial.
In fact, they might not respect Gial as much as either because they think by him being such a key cog with the Rebellion, he doomed Mon Cala to forever face oppression. To them, continuing this alliance will keep the planet a target and as the negotiations occur, you can tell there's possibly a civil war brewing that could result in terrible consequences for Leia, her movement and Mon Cala itself. In addition, by supporting the rebels, Aftab might also have made himself an enemy of the very people he swore to defend.
Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- Allegiance #3 goes on sale Oct. 23.