WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars #69 from Greg Pak, Phil Noto and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Marvel's Star Wars comics continues to fill in the blanks in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with Greg Pak and Phil Noto now detailing how the Rebellion went on the offensive. Tired of playing defense, the destruction og the the Death Star has lifted their spirits enough to stage a counter-attack and surprise the pursuing Imperial fleet.
However, as the brand-new "Rebels and Rogues" reveals, the Rebels have a secret weapon to combat Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader: their very own Death Star, and it just might be the most twisted weapon in the Rebellion's arsenal.
General Rieekan comes up with a strategy since that the Empire is sending probes out all across the galaxy to hunt the Rebels. In the Outer Rim, he decides to form three attack squadrons with very different purposes to strike and weaken Palpatine's forces at various junctures. Luke's job is to lure Imperial vessels away from a refueling station used by Rebel ships, while Han and Leia have to head to Lanz Carpo and send fake communications to Rebels there, so the Empire would think it's an enemy outpost. This is the Resistance's way of getting revenge on the planet that's been informing on their freedom fighters and selling them out for money.
However, Chewbacca doesn't get to go with them because he's tasked with taking the Millennium Falcon and C-3P0 to the volcanic planet K43 for a dangerous mission. Its their duty to turn the planet into a Death Star by hiding a few proton detonators around the planet and turning it into a bomb. Rieekan wants to lure Vader's Star Destroyers there, activate the charges and blow the planet up, killing off the Imperial vessels.
He even calls it their "own little Death Star," indicating that with the shifting tectonic plates of K43, the slightest destabilization will make the planet a weapon of mass destruction. It's a trap, as Admiral Ackbar would put it, that plays off of the Rebels' strengths of cunning tactics and stealth. C-3P0 provides technical support on the mission to keep things from going awry, and there really aren't any objections since Rieekan tells them the planet is uninhabited.
The planmakes sense as the Rebels don't have the tech to make this sort of weapon on their own. It also fits their guerrilla warfare mode and overall style of improvisation and capitalizes on something waiting to be used for a greater purpose. Things go off course, though, when the duo almost fall into a lava pit after planting the bombs. Luckily, they're caught mid-air by some rock people who look similar to Marvel's Korg.
C-3P0 is astonished because his sensors pick up flesh and blood organisms, not these beings made from molten rock, so they completely overlooked these creatures. And as expected, the heroes have no intention of blowing these up aliens or their home. They miscalculated but sadly, time's ticking down as the bombs have already been armed and the countdown's on. Any hopes of diplomacy are thrown out the window, though, as the creatures attack Chewie and C-3P0 which cause them to flee in the Falcon.
Their conscience strikes them, however, and they return to try to make peace and rescue the folks, because they can't abandon innocents. However, the heroes' luck takes another turn when the homing beacons lure in Star Destroyers while they're trying to bring the rock people aboard the Falcon before the bombs blow. The idea of their Death Star may have sounded good at the time, but it's beginning to look like a death sentence for the innocent aliens the heroes are trying to save.