WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #16, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
Ever since Disney took over Star Wars, there has been relatively little information about the ancient history of the galaxy. With rumors of an Old Republic movie circulating, hopefully that will change soon. For now, though, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #16 offered fans a glimpse of what could be coming.
The new comic, by Alyssa Wong, Minkyu Jung, Rachelle Rosenberg and VC’s Joe Caramagna, detailed a Dark Side cult called the Ascendant, and some fans think it hinted that Luke Skywalker may have an affiliation with it. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Probably.
During the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event, Dr. Aphra and Sana Starros were working for Domina Tagge and spying on Crimson Dawn’s Han Solo auction. While aboard the Vermillion, Aphra encountered a thought dowser – an ancient piece of technology associated with the Ascendant. She activated the tech in order to escape the Crimson Dawn Ship, but the effects were horrifying… and murderous. Aphra left the thought dowser behind and vowed to never use such technology again, but that wasn’t its last appearance.
In Doctor Aphra #16, Domina Tagge required an update of their spy work, which included a detailed report on both the thought dowser and the Ascendant. Apparently, the Ascendant was an ancient cult that built malevolent technology which could, in a way, replicate the effects of the Force. Neither the Jedi and the Sith took kindly to the replication of the Force and eventually did away with the Ascendant – possibly even forming an alliance to do so.
Intrigued by what she heard, Domina instructed Aphra and Starros to find out more about the thought dowser. They went to Coruscant to find a shady, black-market-dealing museum curator named Tase Somar, but after Aphra sliced her way into his residence, they were met with a terrifying sight. On the floor was a ring of severed hands, and in the center of the circle were burn marks in the shape of a different thought dowser.
Just then, a mysterious figure emerged from the shadows in a black, floor-length robe, holding a lightsaber in a robotic hand. Also, it’s notable that the mysterious figure and Aphra seemingly recognize each other.
The appearance of a cybernetic hand holding a lightsaber prompted some fans to believe that the robed figure was Luke Skywalker. The two of them did encounter each other during the Screaming Citadel comic arc, but that simply cannot be Luke. First of all, Luke was too busy running from Vader during The War of the Bounty Hunters to have any idea what a thought dowser was. On top of that, the lightsaber doesn’t even remotely resemble his yellow, Jedi Temple Guard lightsaber, which he is currently using.
If the figure can’t be Luke, there are a few other possibilities. It could be Ren from the Knights of Ren. He was working with Crimson Dawn at this point and could be pursuing Aphra, but the lightsaber doesn’t match his explosive saber, nor does he have a cybernetic hand; of course, that could be a glove. Another option could be Magna Tolvan, a former Imperial Officer who turned into a Rebel. She and Aphra had an odd relationship for a while before Aphra broke it off. The main argument there would be that Tovin had cybernetic arms, but she also programed her cybernetic brain to think that Aphra was dead, in the event of Vader capturing and questioning her. So, she would have no reason to go after Aphra either.
The figure’s identity remains perplexing. Any of the aforementioned characters could be possibilities, but none of them really fit the bill. Perhaps the coolest option – long shot though it may be — would be for the figure to be an actual Ascendant cultist out of the depths of history. The Sith stayed hidden for a thousand years, so it’s possible that a follower of the Ascendant could have done the same thing.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #17 will release on December 22.
from Ultimate Comic Blog