Star Wars: Republic #49
January 2003
"Sacrifice", 22ppg, $2.99

Script: John Ostrander
Artist: Jan Duursema
Colorist, Letterer: Joe Wayne
Cover Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Book Design: Dave Nestelle
Assistant Editor: Jeremy Barlow
Editor: Randy Stradley

CHARACTER
Featured
Aayla Secura (as Jaayza), Quinlan Vos (as Korto Vos)

Supporting
Tookarti, Neimoidian contact, Khaleen Hentz, Grakko (dies), Klatooinian hitman (dies)

Guest
Tholme

Villain
Zenex (dies)

Other
Shistavanen hitman (dies), T'ra Saa

Cameo
Count Dooku, Darth Sidious, Yoda, Mace Windu, Nute Gunray (as hologram)

CREATURE
dianoga

LOCATION
The Wheel, Coruscant

COMMENTS
The Republic series returns to the Quinlan Vos storyline about 7 years ahead in the timeline from his last appearance in Star Wars #45. He has been working undercover the last two years trying to infiltrate the Separatists according to Master Tholme.

Master Tholme appears with a large scar over and below his left eye, an obvious Clone Wars injury, which is not to be explained until issue #73. He did not have this in his last appearance in issue #45.

This issue marks the first Clone Wars comic, taking place 1 month or so after the Battle of Geonosis, and will continue in the Republic series up until the release of Episode III. The front cover lists the events taking place approximately 22 years prior to Star Wars: A New Hope.

Mace Windu mentions the Battle for Raxus Prime (mispelled as Raxis), an event depicted in The Clone Wars console video game, and the Scholastic books Boba Fett: Crossfire and Star Wars Adventures: Bonus Adventure #9: Attack On Raxus Prime.

The setting of this issue, The Wheel, was a location derived from the Marvel Star Wars series, issues #18-23.
SYNOPSIS
On board the Wheel, after the Battle of Geonosis, Khaleen is running from a Quarren named Grakko that's pursuing her. He corners her and they bump into each other. Grakko draws his gun. Khaleen shows him a pin from a grenade on his vest! She descends down an elevator as he explodes in a burst of flame.

Hiding in a ventilation shaft, Khaleen observes Zenex, the Falleen leader of the band searching for her. He orders his two mercenary workers to find her alive and retrieve the item she has stolen. He demands results or else he, and his henchmen will all die.

In Yoda's chamber on Coruscant, Yoda and Mace Windu discuss their promise to the Chancellor to continue leading the clone army, even though they will be stretched thin. Mace agrees to look into Jedi not reporting back to Coruscant in protest. Via hologram, Master Tholme informs the Jedi masters that Quinlan Vos has disappeared again. He does not believe that his memory has faded again. According to Tholme, Vos has built up quite a network of spies in the two years since the Separatists have declared themselves and that has helped the Jedi follow their movements.

Aayla Secura has been sent on an undercover mission to see if a gun-for-hire on the Wheel is indeed Quinlan Vos. She meets with a chadra-fan named Tookarti who takes her to a quiet part of the station in search for 'boss Vos'. Tookarti tells her that he must ensure that he and his associates must ask her some questions to judge her motives. Aayla quickly disarms and defeats Tookarti's two associates. He just as quickly offers to take her to see Vos.

Vos arrives, slightly upset that Tookarti does not appear to be doing his job or looking for his missing friend Khaleen. As Tookarti leaves Vos tells Aayla to return to Tholme and tell him he's okay. Aayla doesn't believe him and gets him to admit that he's actually upset at being undercover for two years and wasn't able to discover anything about the attack at Geonosis. Tookarti returns with news of the missing thief.

Khaleen has managed to get herself trapped in a garbage pit with a dianoga that grabs her and pulls her under. Quin and Aayla get there in time to rescue her. She hands 'Korto' Vos the disc she managed to acquire from Zenex.

Khaleen explains to Korto what happened when she picked the disc from Zenex. She believes he must have been hypersensitive, because she's a good thief and he knew right away. Vos asks Tookarti to get more info on this Zenex character, when Aayla tells him she has activated the disc. A hologram of Nute Gunray appears letting the Jedi know of an impending attack on the cloning facility on Kamino. Vos makes a decision to copy the disc and make sure Zenex recovers it. Having overheard, Khaleen volunteers to deliver the disc, understanding that it may cost her her life.

Zenex and two of his assistants meet Khaleen in a deserted, steamy area of The Wheel. She hands over the disc nervously and asks if she can go. Zenex blasts his associates and hands the gun to Khaleen; while his Falleen pheromones begin doing their work. He uses his control over her to get her to place the gun up to her head. Aayla wants to step in, but Quin tells her not to interfere. Zenex continues feeding suggestions to Khaleen about the sacrifices they must make for the Republic.

Suddenly the gun flies from her hand into Vos's. Zenex grabs Khaleen offering her life for the disc, and then throws her off the narrow walkway and the disc the other direction. Vos manages to save her by hanging off the edge of the walkway as Aayla, lightsaber lit, comes up behind Zenex, disc in hand. Zenex begins releasing his pheromones, urging Aayla to shut off her saber, and surrender her will. Let go.

She manages to break the trance and reignite her saber, right through Zenex. Vos retrieves the disc and plans on keeping Zenex's rendezvous. He delivers the disc to a Neimoidian and uses a little Jedi mind trick to make him believe everything went as planned.

Aayla informs Quin she will be returning to Coruscant with their copy of the disc. She urges Vos not to be swallowed in the shadows that he chooses to hide in. Aayla also reminds Quin that Khaleen is in love with him and he needs to tread carefully. They depart into the bowels of The Wheel.

Elsewhere, Tookarti is reporting to Count Dooku that the Republic has successfully retrieved the Separatists plans without the Separatists knowing it. Dooku and Lord Sidious revel in their plans to displace some Separatist upstarts, while preserving the cloning facility for use by the Sith once the conflict is complete. Sidious is most pleased at the fact that Jedi will die.


Related Issues
Republic #54


Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars – The Republic Goes to War #1 Clone Wars Trade Paperback #1 Clone Wars Trade Paperback (Spanish Edition) #1



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