Fear as a Motivator in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 12

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

Fear is a powerful motivator, especially in the Star Wars universe. After all, Anakin Skywalker’s (misguided) fear of losing his wife transformed him into Darth Vader. In Doctor Aphra 12, the “good” doctor makes a lot of desperate moves in order to avoid one of her great fears: Darth Vader himself.

The sneaky and homicidal protocol droid Triple-Zero has maneuvered Aphra into a corner by threatening to expose her to Vader. His actions are out of both wickedness and self-preservation. Trip believes that Aphra is preparing to dispose of him and BT-1, so he demands their freedom in exchange for his silence. Oddly enough, the droid is also motivated by fear.

As if he wasn’t a menacing figure to begin with, Trip now has full autonomy to kill whomever he wants. After Aphra “frees” him, Kev Walker draws a nightmare image of Triple-Zero releasing his newly-freed weapons. Silhouetted by a burning sun behind him, this looks like the birth of a new and terrible monster god.

I think that this book will be less interesting without its resident murder-bots, but Kieron Gillen doesn’t seem to be done with him just yet. Trip makes a threatening promise to Aphra that they will indeed meet again.

As the title of this arc “The Enormous Profit” suggests, Aphra is very much an opportunist. She deceived her former buyers and orchestrated their death via angry Wookiee. And though she might not technically be a doctor anymore, she still has a reverence for archaeological artifacts. Instead of saving her hide, she decides to risk Darth Vader’s wrath on behalf of one her fallen comrades (buyers.)

Reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s siege and destruction of priceless works of art, Aphra doesn’t want the Shadow University’s history to fall under the boot of the Empire. Art over Fear.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?


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