Star Wars comic book 1981 issue 45

The Rebels are still under threat from the Empire. The are all heading to the rendezvous point. On the blockade ships radar they see something coming directly towards them on a collision course. It crashes into them just before the shields are fully up. They’ve now got a hole in the ship. What crashed into them is an Imperial Probe Droid. The droid moves through the ship, shooting everyone it sees. One officer tries to get a message out to the rest of the fleet about the droid. He’s killed by the droid before he can complete it. The droid sends data to its programmer. Admiral Damon Krell is quite happy with the results. Elsewhere, Luke is flying his X-Wing. R2 is concerned he’s pushing himself too much. Luke is testing how well he has recovered. He thinks back to the tests he’s already gone through with Yoda and Darth Vader. He’s got a bionic hand now, thanks to his father, Darth Vader. If he believes Vader, then Ben misled him. It’s a lot for him to process. Luke approaches the ship the probe droid has attacked. He’s sees damage. He can’t reach anyone though. Suddenly, the ship fires on him. His ship explodes. Luke and R2 are ejected. Luke doesn’t want to get separated from R2 so he uses the force to grab and hold on to the droid. He hopes that R2 can send a distress signal. He then notices the ship has turned and is coming straight at him. It fires on them. Luke uses his blaster to change their direction. He positions them so that R2 can flip over, magnetize himself, and attach to the ship hull. He holds on to R2 with one hand and uses his other hand and lightsaber to cut a hole in the ship. Ship welding beams are making repairs and nearly hit them. R2 picks up a transmission. He’s shocked that it’s Imperial. He realizes the ship must be under Imperial control. They get up into the cargo hold. Loading machinery nearly hooks them. Luke is nearly crushed. As Luke is about to be impaled R2 launches himself into the machine. Luke, in an attempt to get away, puts himself in danger again. But he’s put himself in front of the machine where he can fire on it to disable it. The machine has been stopped but now containers of liquid propellant are falling off the conveyer. They run for the exit. R2 tries to override the system but finds something else is already doing that. Luke tries to short circuit the lift doors. He does so with the lightsabers inserted in the panel. R2 and he barely escape. Admiral Krell is very happy with how control of the Rebel ship is going. They are aware of one survivor on the ship, but they don’t know it’s Luke. Krell reminds his team this programming is to destroy the rebel fleet. He gives the command for the droid final cycle of programming to be initiated. Luke notices the change almost immediately. He goes to the command center of the ship and finds the probe droid. Luke is shocked. R2 stops him from doing anything. They go to a terminal, this way R2 can provide details. The droid has connected to the ships reactors and is building towards critical mass. If they damage or blow up the droid the reactor blows. Luke sees they are approaching the fleet. He realizes the droid plans to blow up the entire fleet. He’s got to stop it. Luke heads for the cockpit. He uses his lightsaber to get in. The droid notes Luke’s speech and responds by blowing something up. The blasts hits Luke hard and he’s in a coma. Krell is worried his plan has been stopped. He’s assured by data from the droid it’s not. Suddenly, the ship turns away from the rebel fleet. It’s refusing commands to destroy the fleet. It’s detected Luke Skywalker on board. Darth Vader wants him alive. The ship is now preparing to jump to hyperspace. Luke is standing with his lightsaber held into a control. He’s trying to conceal he’s conscious. Alarms start going off. The droid realizes that part of the guidance system has been destroyed. The droid was tricked into making a life pod accessible. The ship is about to hit hyperspace. The droid’s refusing the order to cancel destruction. The reactor is still primed to explode. Krell screams for everyone to take their emergency stations. To blast the ship as quickly as possible. It explodes and destroys Krell’s ship as well. X-Wings go to pick up the escape pod with Luke and R2 safely inside.

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