Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #102

"School Spirit!"
December 1985

In a Nutshell
The return of Kiro.

Writer: Jo Duffy
Breakdowns: Sal Buscema
Finishes: Sam De La Rosa
Coloring: Petra Scotese
Lettering: Rick Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Luke & Lando return to Iskalon, intending to inform Mone about the death of Kiro. The Nagai are on the planet as well, but one of their detachments is taken out by a mysterious figure. When Mone meets with Luke & Lando and learns they were not responsible for defeating the Nagai forces, Mone tells them it must have been Kiro, whom he insists is still alive and on the planet. Luke & Lando are skeptical, but when a secondary force of Nagai attack, Kiro does indeed appear and help fight them off, but not before Mone and other members of the school are captured. With Kiro having disappeared again, Luke & Lando work together to rescue Mone and destroy the Nagai base. They are soon joined by Kiro, who savagely attacks the Nagai and rescues Mone and the rest of the captive school. Afterwards, he tells Luke how he survived his encounter with Den on Kinooine, then followed the Nagai to Iskalon. He begs Luke to keep his survival a secret, as he must remain on his homeworld to help protect his people from the Nagai. Luke agrees to keep his secret, and realizes that while he'd been mourning Kiro, he's now starting to feel pretty good again.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

X-amining X-Men Chronicles #2

"Shattered Dreams"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
Wolverine attacks the X-Men as Rogue & Gambit's relationship falls apart.

Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Ian Churchill
Inks: Hanna/Vey/Moncuse/Wiacek
Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Matt Webb
Color Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Upon his successful rescue of Jean Grey from Apocalypse's slave pens, Weapon X, angry that Magneto was unwilling to mount a rescue effort, announces that he and Jean are leaving the X-Men. Meanwhile, Holocaust meets with his agent, Wolverine, and orders him to find Magneto and make him watch as the person closest to him is killed. Days later, the X-Men arrive in the ruins of Denver, rescuing a group of humans from a gang of bandits. Wolverine, watching from the shadows, empowers two of the gang members, and one of them manages to stab Magneto. The concern shown by Rogue & Gambit makes Wolverine realize they are the closest to Magneto, not, as Wolverine suspected, his son Quicksilver. Back at the X-Men's base in New Mexico, Gambit tries to get some time alone with Rogue, but she insists on helping the recovering Magneto plan their next mission. As Wolverine picks up the scent of the X-Men and starts tracking them to their base, Gambit confronts Rogue, looking for a commitment, but Rogue apologizes and runs off. Gambit then goes to Magneto, conducting a training session in the woods outside the base, and talks to him about his feelings for Rogue. As Wolverine draws nearer, Rogue interrupts Magneto & Gambit, saying she needs to talk to Magneto. But when Magneto reveals he's found a way to neutralize her powers - such that only he can touch her - an angry Gambit confronts the pair. Just then, Wolverine attacks the X-Men's base. During the ensuing fight, Magneto's injury is exacerbated, but Gambit comes to both he and Rogue's defense, fighting off Wolverine, after which Gambit announces he too is leaving the team, saying it's time for Gambit to go it alone again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #31 - Patreon First!

"Book of Revelation"
April 1996

In a Nutshell
Book makes his first appearance.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Computer Seps: Malibu
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Executive Editor: Bobbie Chase
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
After receiving highly-specific information regarding a mutant in need of rescue, Fitz, Luna & Meanstreak break into the Quetzalcoatl Corporation headquarters. Inside, a mutant named Book is tortured by the head of the corporation, Javier Belize. In Halo City, Victor Ten Eagles is fitted with a cybernetic arm, and when Krystalin visits him, he warns her off, saying the Foolkiller is targeting members of the Lawless, and he doesn't want her caught in the middle. Back inside Quetzalcoatl Corp, the rest of the X-Men follow the specific information they received to reach Book, who sent them the info in order to get rescued and taken to Halo City. In Neveda, Bloodhawk & Metalhead take out a group of hijackers. At Quetzalcoatl, the X-Men defeat Belize, with Fitz absorbing the electrical energy he generates, then leave with Book.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

X-aminations in September 2019 & February 1995 Power Rankings


"Age of Apocalypse" concludes and the prime reality returns this month, in which I'll be traveling a fair amount and prepping for our local October comic convention, hence the lighter-than-normal schedule.

On Sale April 1995
September 4: X-Universe #2

September 11: Generation Next #4
September 12: X-Man #4

September 18: X-Men Omega

On Sale May 1995
September 25: X-Men Prime

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Force in Focus: The Mandalorian & Rise of Skywalker D23 Trailers

Disney held their annual "D23" convention this weekend (basically, Comic-Con for Disney), during which they unveiled trailers for both The Mandalorian, the upcoming Disney+ series set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and The Rise of Skywalker (though I'm not sure if this footage constitutes an official trailer - whatever that entails - or if it's just supposed to be a bit of D23-specific footage). Here are five things that caught my attention/got me excited from each.

Spoilers below, obviously.

First up, The Mandalorian.

Friday, August 23, 2019

X-amining X-Calibre #4

"On Fire"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
The Shadow King attacks Avalon.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Ken Lashley
Inker: Tom Wegrzyn (with Philip Moy)
Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Colors: Joe Rosas
Separations: Digial Chameleon
Editor: Suzanne Gaffney
Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
In Avalon, the newly-formed X-Calibre prepares for the second wave of Apocalypse's assault on the sanctuary, which comes in the form of the Shadow King, who possesses various inhabitants and uses them to attack the team. When Damask is able to use her power to briefly harm Shadow King, Nightcrawler asks how his power work, and she explains that when Shadow King moves from mind to mind, he travels briefly through a sub-dimension. This gives Nightcrawler an idea as to how to defeat him, and when Shadow King possesses Mystique, Nightcrawler puts it into action. Grabbing Damask & Switchback, he teleports the three of them, hoping that the sub-dimension he briefly travels through when teleporting is the same as the one being used by the Shadow King. In the brief moment the trio is in that dimension, Switchback uses her power to keep them there long enough for Damask to locate Shadow King and use her power to drive him out of Avalon. But one of his thralls still tries to kill Destiny, prompting Doug to sacrifice himself to save her. In the wake of Doug's death and the destruction wrought by Apocalypse on her sanctuary, Destiny agrees to return with Nightcrawler to the X-Men and help bring down Apocalypse. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

X-amining Gambit & the X-Ternals #4

"The Maze"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
Upon their return to Earth, Strong Guy betrays his teammates and turns both the M'Kraan Crystal and Magneto's son over to Apocalypse.

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Salvador Larroca
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras
The Mouse: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the Morlock Tunnels, Dazzler & Exodus discover the remains of Nanny, but no sign of Magneto's son, Charles. Later, Apocalypse interrogates Rictor, who tells him of how he chased Gambit & Lila through the Morlock Tunnels upon their return to Earth, hoping to destroy the X-Ternals in Apocalypse's name. Unknownst to him, however, Gambit was leading Rictor away from Jubilee, who possessed both the M'Kraan crystal shard and Charles. But when she runs into Strong Guy, he reveals that he's working for Apocalypse, and takes both from her. Later, Gambit & Lila run into Strong Guy, and Gambit realizes Strong Guy is running in the wrong direction. Just then, Rictor catches up to them, and reveals that Strong Guy is working for him, During the ensuing fight, the tunnel collapses, and Gambit is forced to choose between saving Lila, and taking Charles & the shard from Strong Guy, who is supporting one of the columns. At Strong Guy's urging, Gambit saves Lila, trusting that Strong Guy will be able protect Charles from the collapsing tunnel. Rictor finishes his story, believing Gambit died in the collapse, and expecting a reward from Apocalypse. Instead, Apocalypse kills him for failing to realize the importance of the shard & Charles, both of which Apocalypse now possesses, thanks to Strong Guy. Back in the tunnels, Dazzler & Exodus discover Gambit & Lila, and proceed to take them back to the X-Mansion as Gambit hopes his choice hasn't come at the cost of the entire universe.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

X-amining Amazing X-Men #4

"On Consecrated Ground"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
Quicksilver & Storm rescue Bishop as the rest of the X-Men complete their various missions.

Plot: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Matt Ryan
Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Color Art: Richard Somers & Digitial Chameleon
Confessional: Bob Harras

Plot
The Madri prepare to execute Bishop, but are interrupted by Storm, who arrives to rescue him. Meanwhile, Banshee & Quicksilver break into the chamber containing the source of all the Madri, the original Jamie Madrox who, abused & addled, begs them to kill him. Meanwhile, Rogue's team of X-Men arrives back at the mansion to find Colossus & Shadowcat waiting. When they learn Charles fled into the tunnels with Nanny, Rogue leads a group down into them, only to run into Dazzler & Exodus, returning with Gambit, Lila & Jubilee. But no M'Kraan crystal or Charles, prompting Rogue to attack Gambit for abandoning her son. Back at the Madri's tabernacle, Quicksilver & Banshee are debating whether or not to kill Madrox when Abyss attacks them. Banshee sacrifices himself by flying inside Abyss and destroying him from the inside. As Storm & Bishop are about to be overwhelmed by the Madri, Madrox kills himself to shut down the Madri once and for all. Back at the X-Mansion, Nightcrawler teleports in with Destiny. After Quicksilver, Storm & Bishop return, and with Magneto's various plans coming to fruition, Quicksilver declares they're now going to retrieve the piece of the M'Kraan crystal Gambit stole, rescue his father & brother, and ensure that this is the day Apocalypse falls.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

X-amining X-Nation 2099 #1 - Patreon First!


"Sixth or Seventh Genesis"
March 1996

In a Nutshell
X-Nation sneaks out to a milk bar.

Writer: Tom Peyer
Penciler: Humberto Ramos
Inker: Jimm Palmiotti
Letterer: Jon Babcock
Colorist: James Brown
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Editor-in-Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
Wulff, trying to leave the Wild Boys gang, is rescued by Morphine Somers and brought to the Xavier Shelter for Indigent Children, where he joins X-Nation just as they're preparing to sneak out for a night on the town. Meanwhile, Avian is tasked with assembling the mutant messiah candidates for Herod, including Willow. X-Nation ends up at the Negative Zone milk bar, where Wulff, unimpressed by his new companions, leaves, only to run into the Wild Boys, looking to kill him for abandoning them. Thankfully, X-Nation comes to his rescue, and defeat the Wild Boys. After seeing the gang members arrested, X-Nation decides to head home, where an irate Sister Nicholas is waiting for them.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #101

"Far, Far Away"
November 1985

In a Nutshell
Han is transported across the galaxy and helps save a star-crossed romance.

Writer: Jo Duffy
Penciler: Cynthia Martin
Inker: Art Nichols
Coloring: Glynis Oliver
Lettering: Rick Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Leia tries to convince Han to fly a mission for the Alliance, something he's reluctant to do, sparking an argument that's broken up by the newly-arrived Fenn Shysa, who is accompanied by Han's childhood friend, Bey. As Fenn & Leia catch up, Bey advises Han that if he cares about Leia, he should tell her. Later, Han, joined by Threepio, Artoo and Plif aboard the Falcon, investigates a series of strange energy bursts appearing in the skies over Endor. One of the bursts hits the Falcon, sending it careening across space to crash land on a strange planet. There, Han helps rescue a young couple from bandits. They are Risa & Gil, the princess & prince of two kingdoms, which each rule one side of the planet. Their upcoming wedding is intended to solidify the truce between the two sides. As Artoo & the Hoojibs work on repairing the Falcon, Han returns with Risa to her father's palace, where he helps expose Marius, Risa's uncle and the court vizier, as the person responsible for the attack on Risa & Gil. With his ship repaired, Han flies back to the Alliance, and to Leia, his feelings for her having inspired him to ensure Risa received a happy ending.

Friday, August 16, 2019

X-amining Weapon X #4

"Into the Maelstrom"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
Weapon X defeats Pierce using his stump claws, allowing Gateway to send the Human Council's armada to Apocalypse.

Script: Larry Hama
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Dan Green
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Colors: Joe Rosas
Seps: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
With the help of the Human Council, Weapon X convinces Gateway to navigate the nuclear armada across the ocean to attack Apocalypse. Meanwhile, Rex brings word of the armada and its potential threat to Apocalypse, but he is less than concerned. The armada departs from Paris, but as it nears Apocalypse's sea wall defenses, a storm kicks up, prompting Gateway to climb atop the lead airship to better navigate the storm. Just then,  Pierce and another enhanced human use the storm as cover to attack. Pierce sends his ally after Weapon X & Gateway while he radios the Infinites at the nearby defense platform to shoot down the armada. As Weapon X & Gateway realize Pierce's ally is their old friend Carol Danvers, Emma Frost tries to attack Pierce but is stopped by Brian Braddock, who reveals himself to be reluctantly working for Apocalypse. Braddock manages to briefly overcome his programming long enough to knock Pierce out the window, where he proceeds to climb on top of the ship and execute Carol Danvers for failing to kill Weapon X or Gateway. As Pierce turns on Gateway, Weapon X is forced to extend the claws from his missing hand to kill Pierce & save Gateway, who then uses his bullroarer to open a massive portal, allowing the armada to travel directly to Apocalypse.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

X-amining Factor X #4

"Reckonings"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
Cyclops & Jean liberate the Pens & battle Havok.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Pencilers: Steve Epting w/Terry Dodson
Inker: Al Milgrom
Lettering: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Kelly Corvese
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Havok gives the order to kill everyone in the Pens, a directive that doesn't sit right with both Beast, who considers their deaths a waste of good genetic material, and the Bedlam Brothers, who feel like the slaughter of the prisoners in cold-blood is beneath their status as alpha mutants. Bu when Havok receives word that his brother is still alive, he tasks the EMF with tracking him down instead. Elsewhere, Cyclops & Jean Grey are preparing to take out the Brain Trust so as to remove its stifling effect on the prisoners. They run into the Bedlam Brothers, who agree to help them hold off the Guthries, then cut the power. Meanwhile, Apocalypse's forces enter Haven to arrest Angel, who abandons his neutrality to fight them off and flee. Back at the Pens, Jean is able to destroy the Brain Trust, while Havok learns the captive Scarlett is pregnant. When the room goes dark, he knows it's his brother's doing. As Cyclops & Jean lead the newly-freed prisoners out of their cells, the animalistic mutants of the Kennel attack Beast, prompting him to flee. Havok tracks down Cyclops and attacks him, but Cyclops manages to knock out his brother. He then addresses the former prisoners, telling them they need to get off the island, promising them that somewhere out there is a better world. Later, Havok wakes up, and vows to find and kill his brother once and for all.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

X-amining Astonishing X-Men #4

"Holocaust"
June 1995

In a Nutshell
The X-Men defeat Holocaust.

Plot/Dialogue: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Joe Madureira
Inks: Townsend/Milgrom
Letters: Starkings/Comicraft
Colors: Steve Buccellato
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras

Plot
Enraged, Blink attacks Holocaust, chipping away at his armor with teleportation micro-strikes before dropping him into a vat of chemicals. Meanwhile, Apocalypse taunts a captive Magneto. Back at the Infinite Processing Plant, the X-Men stop the execution of Holocaust's human prisoners just as Holocaust emerges from the vat. Posing as Morph, Rogue is able to absorb a portion of his power, weakening him, before fighting him to a standstill. Holocaust positions himself and Rogue over a teleportation platform, hoping to bring her with him to Apocalypse's citadel, but as he teleports out, Iceman arrives and pulls Rogue away. He tells her he was sent by Quicksilver to bring back her team, and Rogue declares that tonight, one way or another, the age of Apocalypse is over.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #30 - Patreon First!

"Prophecies of Doom"
March 1996

In a Nutshell
Cerebra quits the X-Men in order to guide the kids of X-Nation.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Doomsayer: Bobbie Chase
Special Thanks: Tom Peyer & Warren Ellis

Plot
After checking on her comatose father, Cerebra runs into Billy the Kid, who tosses her a coin that teleports her away. Meanwhile, Clarion & Nostromo arrive in Halo City, and are rescued from a mugger by Meanstreak. In the bowels of the city, Cerebra appears before Doom, who tells her that a mutant with the power to change the world is in the city, and needs her guidance. Later, Clarion & Nostromo are rescued from the Wild Boys by Cerebra, who directs them to the Xavier Shelter for Indigent Children, a shelter run by the Sisterhood of the Howling Commandments. She then meets with the X-Men, and tells them she's leaving the Protectorate in order to guide the young mutants in the city. Elsewhere, Doom expresses his disappointment in Morphine, earning Morphine's ire, who declares he's going to find the mutant messiah for himself. Cerebra then arrives at the Xavier Shelter to find the mutants of X-Nation waiting for her.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Force in Focus: The Power of the Force Action Figures

Roll Call
R2-D2 w/Pop-Lightsaber
A-wing Pilot
Han Solo in Carbonite Chamber
Imperial Dignitary
Imperial Gunner
Luke Skywalker (Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit)
Amanaman
Anakin Skywalker
Barada
EV-9D9
Lando Calrissian (General Pilot)
Luke Skywalker in Battle Poncho
Romba
Warok
Yak-Face

Firsts and Other Notables
With Return of the Jedi gone from theaters and no new Star Wars films on the horizon, "The Power of the Force" represents Kenner's attempt to keep their line of Star Wars action figures going in the absence of a specific film tie-in. In practice, this line is mostly composed of Return of the Jedi holdovers; there is no new Princess Leia figure, but Han, Luke & Lando are represented in their remaining Jedi costume changes not already be adapted in action figure form.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

X-amining X-Man #3

"Turning Point"
May 1995

In a Nutshell
Domino & her assassins battle X-Man and his rebel group.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Pencils: Steve Skroce
Inks: Bud LaRosa & Mike Sellers
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Mike Thomas
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Lisa Patrick
Chief: Bob Harras

Plot
Forge uses a flash grenade to escape from Domino and her assassins. As Nate & Theresa rush to help out, Mastermind uses his power to make it appear as though Apocalypse has arrived. But Domino sees through the ruse and kills Mastermind. Just then, Nate flies in and angrily flings Domino into the nearby woods, following close behind her. As they fight, Toad & Caliban duel, with Toad emerging victorious only to be killed by Grizzly, who, in turn, is killed by Forge. Elsewhere, Nate uses his telepathy to make Domino relive all of her kills, before killing her himself. He returns to Forge's side and apologizes for not listening to him, telling him that Forge was right and his powers need to be deployed carefully. As Nate, Theresa & Sauron bury the dead, Forge discovers the body of Brute. Essex claims Grizzly killed him, but Forge has had enough, telling Essex that whatever he wants Nate for, Forge will fight him until his dying breath to protect the boy, something Essex is all too happy to oblige. Moments later, Nate feels Forge dying, and rushes to his side. With his last words, Forge tells Nate to find Magneto. After he's gone, Nate turns on Essex, blasting him with his power, but all it does is strip away the facade of Essex to reveal Sinister.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

X-amining Generation Next #3

"It Only Hurts When I Sing"
May 1995

In a Nutshell

Creators: Lobdell & Bachalo
Inks: Buckingham
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
Colors: Buccellato & Electric Crayon
Edits: Bob Harras

Plot
Inside the Core, Chamber & Skin almost blow their cover when a guard carelessly murders a young girl & Chamber tries to intervene. Elsewhere, Husk & Vincente, posing as Quietus, pore through his office, hoping to find information on Illyana's location. They are visited by Sugar Man, but seemingly manage to maintain their ruse. Outside, Shadowcat & Colossus arrive at the gate to the Core. Shadowcat is doubting their mission, but Colossus remain determined to find his sister. Inside, Mondo locates Illyana and attempts to escape with her, but having used his power for so long, there's a risk he may accidentally digest her. Meanwhile, Husk & Vincente meet with Chamber & Skin, attracting the suspicions of Sugar Man, who demands that "Quietus" kill Chamber & Skin in order to prove he is who he says he is.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

X-amining X-Men 2099 #29 - Patreon First!

"Undead Zone - City of the Dead: Conclusion"
February 1996

In a Nutshell
Morphine Somers defeats Graverobber an the Undead.

Writer: John Francis Moore
Penciler: Ron Lim
Inker: Harry Candelario
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Tom Smith
Separations: Malibu
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Chief: Bobbie Chase

Plot
As Fitz absorbs all of Halo City's power, plunging the city into darkness, Gunnar Heywood contacts the X-Men. When they arrive on the scene, a fight breaks out between the Undead and the X-Men. The X-Men are once again on the verge of defeat when Morphine Somers arrives with a captive Zail Haddad. He agrees to give Zail to Graverobber, but when Graverobber claims his prize, Morphine triggers a neuro-bomb in Zail's restraints, disrupting the bio-electric energy of Graverobber animating the Undead. They all collapse, dead again, including Tina, but Fitz is visited once more by Reiko, who tells him he is not dying, merely transforming, before he regains consciousness. Elsewhere, Victor Ten Eagles arrives in Halo City to warn Xi'an that someone is targeting the Lawless. Later, the X-Men hold another funeral for Tina, while Morphine meets with representatives of Herod. Per their bargain, he hands over Graverobber and the Undead to Herod's agent, and is told the contract on his head has been lifted. Giving the Undead to Herod doesn't sit right with Cerebra, but Morphine doesn't much care. However, as Herod's craft flies away from the city, it's shot down, allowing a returned Doom to claim the Undead for himself. He then turns his attention to Halo City, the city he built whose future, he believes, belongs to him.

What to read the rest before everyone else? Become a patron via Patreon!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Force in Focus: Star Wars #100

"First Strike"
October 1985

In a Nutshell
The Nagai attack the Alliance, triggering the Second Battle of Endor.

Story: Jo Duffy
Penciler: Cynthia Martin
Inks: Art Nichols & Sam De La Rosa
Coloring: Petra Scotese
Letterer: Rick Parker
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Admiral Ackbar administers a computer-based piloting exam to a group of pilots, including Han & Fenn Shysa, a test Han takes less than seriously. Later, Mon Mothma announces that a fleet of Nagai ships have been spotted near Endor. In order to spare the Ewoks from getting caught in the middle, she orders the evacuation of the base, with Lando to lead the aerial defense against the Nagai while Leia monitors the evacuation from Endor. Han & Luke, however, are grounded, having failed their exams due to the computer being unable to understand their unorthodox flying styles. Outraged, Han storms off, and learns from Tippet of strange activity the Ewoks have noticed. He & Luke investigate and discover a Nagai force already on the moon, led by Knife. They learn the aerial assault is being coordinate with information on Alliance tactics given to the Nagai by someone inside the Alliance, and race back to warn Leia and the others. However, Han falls behind and is confronted by Bey, who reveals he's the traitor in the Alliance. He gets the better of Han but is unable to kill him. Just then, Knife emerges, and attempts to kill Han himself, but Bey intervenes, seemingly killing Knife. In space, the battle is going poorly until Admiral Ackbar relays Luke's message to Lando. Abandoning all their plans, Lando leads the fleet using Han's piloting techniques, which is enough to force the Nagai ships into retreat. On the ground, Luke declares he and Han's grounding to be over; those were peace time orders. As of now, the Alliance is at war once again.