Star Wars: Republic #57
August 2003
"Lightning Rods", 22ppg, $2.99

Script: Haden Blackman
Penciller: Brian Ching
Inker: Victor Llamas
Colorist: Joe Wayne
Letterer: Sno Cone Studios
Cover Artist: Tomás Giorello
Book Design: Dave Nestelle
Editor: Randy Stradley
Publisher: Mike Richardson

CHARACTER
Featured
Anakin Skywalker

Supporting
Aubrie Wyn (dies), Tae Diath (dies), Elora Sund (dies), Kass Tod (dies), Zule Xiss (dies), Windo "Warble" Nend (dies), Mak Lotor (dies), Vaabesh (dies), Leska (dies), Captain Gillmunn, Nimbus commando (dies)

Villain
Alto Stratus (dies)

Cameo
Palpatine (as hologram)

DROID
battle droid, hailfire droid, super battle droid (dies), Pollux assassin droids, homing spider droid

ORGANIZATION
Clone troopers, Nimbus commandos

STARSHIP
Trade Federation landing ship

TECHNOLOGY
anti-infantry laser battery, holocron (belonging to Master Sirrus)

VEHICLE
Trade Federation AAT (Armored Assault Tank), Swoop bike, All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT walker) (prototype), Trade Federation MTT (Multi Troop Transport)

COMMENTS
According to the inside cover, the events in this issue takes place 16 months after the Battle of Geonosis.

There is a brief paragraph on the inside cover describing the events of the previous issues. This issue takes place from day 37 to day 43 of the battle.

While the padawans are discussing the lack of rain and the oft seen sun, there must have been some miscommunication between the writer and the artists, as it appears to be raining just as hard as it always had.
SYNOPSIS
Thirty-seven rainy days into the Battle of Jabiim. Jedi General Leska leads her clone troops against the Confederacy droid armies on a muddy battlefield. Suddenly the clouds part and sun comes streaming in. Distracted in this amazing turn of events, General Leska and the clones are gunned down by blaster fire.

Back at Cobalt Station, the padawans stand around enjoying the break in the storm. But change their tune when they realize that the storm that prevented the Republic from landing support ships also prevented the Confederacy from doing the same, just as a half a dozen Confederacy landing craft touchdown.

Out of these spacecraft come squads of assassination droids, sent by Count Dooku with only one purpose: Follow the orders of Commander Stratus. Stratus pledges to set Jabiim free today as they stage their assault on Cobalt Station.

Kass and the other padawans receive a message from Captain Gillmunn. He is planning an evacuation to a mesa south of Cobalt Station, and the padawans and their soldiers will be the only thing standing in Stratus' way. He tells Kass he has no orders for them when his signal suddenly drops away.

As the tanks and commandos approach Cobalt Station, Anakin and the other padawans all make a choice to fight and most likely die. It is most likely suicide as the Republic evac ships won't be able to land until the next break in the storm. Some Jedi ready themselves with strange weapons of war that they have never used before. Others speak longingly to each other. Aubrie informs Anakin that he has a private message coming in for him.

It is Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. He asks Anakin to lead the evacuation efforts off Jabiim. Anakin is hesitant to leave his friends to die, but the Chancellor convinces him otherwise. As he leaves Aubrie gives him Master Glaive's holocron and asks that he returns it to the Temple as she had promised.

And on day thirty-nine, as Anakin hops on a swoop bike, the rockets and bombs begin falling on Cobalt Station. Stratus presses the attack in by foot, claiming to kill them all by sundown.

Well, he doesn't make good on his promise, and on day forty, Tae Diath is cut down by a squad of assassin droids, which also causes Elora to die screaming in pain from the psychic backlash of the bond they shared. Day forty-one has Warble narrowly surviving an explosion, only to have a hailfire droid run him over. The Jedi makes a last ditch sacrifice, by engaging two grenades just before the droid hits him, taking it up in flames as well. Zule begins slipping deeper into the dark side, killing commandos left and right. As she tells another commando he is a bout to die, he tells her the same thing. She looks up to see a walker consumed in flamed topple down onto them.

On day forty-two Mak and Kass take on Alto Stratus, who seems to be getting tired according to Kass. Stratus stabs Mak, so Kass cuts off one of his legs. As he screams in pain one of his Nimbus commandos pulls him to safety. Kass looks up to see a hailfire missle coming straight for her and Mak. She hugs him and they both enter the Force together.

Day forty-three brings the death of Vaabesh whose containment suit has sprung a leak. Aubrie takes the Gand's lightsaber and approaches the last remaining combatants, a couple Nimbus commandos and Alto Stratus. She accuses Stratus of genocide and the deaths of her friends. He reminds her that they are all casualties of war as he shoots her point blank. She dies, falling onto him with both lightsabers puncturing his torso. The last two two die on this bloody battlefield.


Related Issues
Republic #55 Republic #56 Republic #58 Comic Pack #11


Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars – The Enemy on All Sides #2 Clone Wars Trade Paperback #3



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