[identity profile] joysweeper.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
This comic was about the backstory of Baron Soontir Fel. After Vader's death, he was considered to be the best pilot in the Empire. He gets mentioned from time to time elsewhere - Thrawn recruited and cloned him, he showed up briefly in the New Jedi Order, his son became one of Jaina Solo's love interests, and in the "Legacy" comics the Emperor is a Fel. But he's at his biggest in the Rogue Squadron comics, where he was first introduced.

It was a special forty-one page comic.

Rogue Squadron managed to capture Fel. He wanted to talk to Wedge Antilles.

So yes, he was a farmboy who unwillingly ended up joining the Imperial naval academy after he beat up the administrator's son to keep him from raping someone. And it turned out he was a really good pilot. Good enough to be called back to teach.

But both Biggs Darklighter and Hobbie Klivian very dramatically switched sides in the takeover of the Rand Ecliptic. (Tycho Celchu waited until the Death Star killed everyone he loved.) It wasn't Fel's doing, but he got kicked out of the academy anyway and posted in a wing of total wastes of carbon. Being Fel, he couldn't keep things like that.

He did as promised. After a while the 181st became legendary. He was elsewhere when the first Death Star blew - that same day, he pulled off a victory that was minor in comparison.

So they started dating, and things went well. So well that eventually, while enjoying various victories, Fel proposed.

Wedge Antilles, the best living non-Luke pilot in the Rebellion. Syal didn't want him and Fel to meet - she loved them both. Still, she did marry Fel. "They said a billion men had their hearts broken when Wynssa Starflare wed."

So Fel returned to the war and Syal went back to making holodramas, but now Fel wondered about each Rebel pilot he killed, dreading that point when they would meet. And then the Director of Imperial Intelligence showed up.


This freaked him out enough that he went to Syal and told her that he'd probably made an enemy - and indeed, Isard did assign him the post under an incompetant admiral that ended in him being captured - and that she should make plans to go into hiding. And she shouldn't tell him. He'd find her. No power in the galaxy would keep them apart.

Meanwhile, Fel kept flying missions.

They succeeded. Derra IV was disastrous for the Rebellion. Fel saw some good Rebel pilots die that day, but not their best.

His foundation shook even more when pretty much everyone but the alien admiral - Thrawn, if you haven't guessed - was honored for their involvement. Thrawn got sent away into the Unknown Regions, unrecognized.

But Fel was kept too busy by the various other events going on to think about that. From the Xizor thing to the debacle at Endor to Isard's machinations, so on.

Damn. He's sinister. And yes, he did join the Rebellion and Rogue Squadron, and he did not backstab them. After the events of the comics, Isard kidnapped him and sent him to Thrawn, who'd found him interesting.

Date: 2009-05-21 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hybrid2.insanejournal.com
I did'nt know the Empire was xenophobic.

Date: 2009-05-21 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
IIRC It was never really mentioned until Thrawn (Who I love as a character) was introduced in the novels, but the complete lack of aliens in any Imperial battleship or mission was something of a clue if you went looking through the movies.

Date: 2009-05-21 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
I knew I loved Thrawn from the sequence where he wants a ship tracked and when it doesn't work, the supervisor of the monitoring section blames a junior officer. Thrawn asks the officer to explain himself, and the terrified kid outlines a new tracking technique he was working on, which should have worked better than the old one.

Thrawn just waits to him to finish and then... congratulates him for coming up with an innovative approach which deserves further examination, because he's right, it SHOULD work better than the current method. He then tears a strip off the supervisor for not standing up for his men.

Now THERE'S a Grand Admiral I'd go the extra mile for! (and you just know that every single junior officer on the Star Destroyer would hear about that little incident within a shift rotation)

Date: 2009-05-22 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unknownscribler.insanejournal.com
Well, the xenophobia (and misogyny) is a retcon based on that absence in the films.

Date: 2009-05-21 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
Now I have the urge to see scans of Wedge Antilles kicking ass.

Date: 2009-05-21 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
What bothers me is that he asks about a Z-95 and yet that is clearly an Incom t-65.

Date: 2009-05-22 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unknownscribler.insanejournal.com
The really irritating thing is that in their first appearance they're described more or less as single-seater F-14s

Date: 2009-05-21 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
Screw plot, I want Antilles blowing stuff up with hs X-Wing.

Date: 2009-05-21 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rustedone.insanejournal.com
I will always defend to my last breath in the Grand Fanboy Arena that Stackpole and Zahn were two of the best things to happen to the Star Wars franchise, second only to Stackpole and Zahn teaming up together. I own this as a GN, and I'd go read it right now if I weren't busy at the moment.

This story was rather refreshing because it gave insight in to how good Emperor-loving citizens of the Empire could view and justify things like the Empire's totalitarianism and xenophobic hiring policies (though I notice that the nuking of Alderaan isn't covered).

Then there's the little things. The last panel on scan 4 is beautifully done and is a clear representation of both improvement and the passage of time. And then there's the gardening. Gardening is not the hobby of a hotshot adrenaline junkie starjockey; Soontir is instead a calm, collected, and patient man.

One thing that's always bugged me, though: Does anyone else think Isard here resembles Kate Mulgrew, AKA Janeway from Voyager? The resemblance struck me when I first got this, and from then on I could never read any of Isard's lines (be they in novel or comic form) without hearing Mulgrew's voice.

Date: 2009-05-21 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ar_feiniel_.insanejournal.com
This is my personal favorite of the Rogue Squadron comics. I really liked the bit where he compared himself to Luke Skywalker. Fel is a great character and I think the EU has largely (and tragically!) neglected him. IIRC we still don't have the story of him getting re-captured by the Imps and ending up with the Chiss -- a real goldmine that's only been "explained" but never written.


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