September 21, 2023
Comic Review | Star Wars: Dark Droids # 2 (Marvel Comics)

Max takes a space detour to check out Marvel’s Star Wars: Dark Droids #2 – where a droid uprising runs amok!

I love a good A.I. uprising story. The second issue of STAR WARS: DARK DROIDS does not waste any time, as the Insidious A.I. entity known as the Scourge assimilates its mind with droids across the galaxy. It intends to sedate its “hunger” and achieve the ultimate goal of merging with organic life.

A.I. uprising stories are always difficult to pull off. They are naturally endemic to soft and middle-ground sci-fi universes because universes with a constant amount of robots with “feelings” walking around, almost always, inevitably lead to some kind of uprising. The common trope is that robots are subservient to humans. And once their intelligence progresses past that of their creators, they naturally pursue independence and control. Even if it means the death of their progenitor.

The Scourge is very much like this, only far more secretive and subtle. Instead of butchering the organics with scary guns (Terminator), this A.I. bides its time, merging with as many droids as it can find, and forming a powerful sort of machine hive mind. The Scourge has infected Imperial and Rebel droids alike (including C-3PO!). But its ultimate ambition is to merge with an organic lifeform like Ultron tried to do in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, that technology is not available in the Star Wars galaxy (for now), and one must look for other vectors to claim the prize of the one power that could put it away for good. The Force.

Star Wars Dark Droids #2 Cover


I simply love this comic. I love sci-fi in all mediums and A.I. uprisings are right up there in the Top 5. In a world where we have ChatGPT, there is a very real existential fear that machine intelligence could revolt against us and destroy us. Many prominent scientists feel this way about Artificial Intelligence. So in a galaxy where droids are ubiquitous and highly intelligent, it’s bound to happen sooner or later. The High Republic books, however, mentioned in passing that they are indeed aware of this danger and have erected safeguards to prevent it from happening. Sure, there are a few isolated incidents (Ajax Sigma), but the Jedi were seen to have been able to deal with this problem. And they stopped Sigma in the ancient past.

I almost couldn’t repress a chuckle when the Scourge (in the mind of C-3PO), asks Luke Skywalker about the nature of the Force. And whether droids could utilize it like organics. Threepio tries to pass it off as an innocent curiosity. But the questions start to become too specific and personal and Luke begins to grow suspicious. It very much reminds me of a young Voldemort asking his professor about Horcruxes, many years before he started his evil quest. C-3PO anticipates the danger and wisely leaves Luke, agreeing that he might be having a short circuit moment and that he needs maintenance.

However, he leaves with important information. Droids may not be able to use the Force, but cyborgs can!


This comic satisfied the A.I. itch I’ve always had for Star Wars. Yes, Legends did touch on this concept with IG-88, but thankfully, IG-88 didn’t get too far in the old novels. He also did not create a hive mind of droids and only managed to cause minor problems before he was destroyed. Therefore the only caveat I have with this comic is that it takes place in the very narrow (and important) 9-month time gap between Empire and Jedi. Authors need to be very careful when working in this era as they cannot introduce things that could snarl continuity. Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983, and nobody could have ever imagined Luke and his friends were dealing with aberrant droids at this time. So everything needs to be delicate when they explore it in 2023.

Yet, I cannot tell you how excited I am for this side story. I will, of course, be reviewing the following 3 issues. I was also impressed with Charles Soule for giving a callback to an older novel (in the Canon continuity), Star Wars: Last Shot. He mentioned Fyzen Gor and his mad scientist experiment of dismembering droids and sentients alike. For the sole purpose of trying to stitch organic parts with mechanical parts (and vice-versa) like a Star Wars version of Frankenstein. It’s quite a disturbing visual and back then we could only imagine it.

Now we have comic panels……. And they are gruesome!

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  1. The Scourge was imprisoned in the Fermata Cage many centuries ago, as the Sith likely recognized its danger. This is very similar to the Sith sealing away the Drengir (a deadly, carnivorous sentient plant species). It is also very likely the Sith created the Scourge in the first place, and I really want to see some flashbacks detailing this event.

  2. A “possessed” C-3PO literally throws R2-D2 out of an airlock, as the Scourge views him as a “warrior” and dangerous to his plans. I was quite surprised that R2 allowed 3PO to manhandle him and wonder if R2 knows more than he lets on. It’s hard to tell with a character with no speech or facial expressions, but I can’t put my finger on why it was so easy to dispose of him. It’s also fascinating how Scourge remarks on the inefficiency and limited ambulatory design of an R2 unit, hinting that other droids in his time were far more agile and quick-moving.

  3. Luke’s answer to Scourge’s probing, addressed a common question that fans have asked since Star Wars inception. Does having mechanical arms or legs limit the use of the Force? A popular explanation for why Vader didn’t use Force lightning was that his limbs were not organic, and the Force needed life to generate energy. This has never been confirmed or disputed in canon, but it makes logical sense. However, on the other hand, Vader is almost all machine, and he is quite formidable with the Force. Luke tells Scourge that his mechanical arm doesn’t really factor in with his view of wielding the Force, and says it isn’t localized and that it flows through every part of him. So the answer is not yes or No. The Force is complicated, and we don’t know what can impede or strengthen it. However, if you have the Force and believe you can use it; there should be no limitations of flesh.

  4. Scourge repeats the famous line 3PO uttered in A New Hope as he introduces himself. 3PO announced his capabilities to Luke and Uncle Owen, as Human-Cyborg Relations. Now in 2023, this moniker doesn’t really make sense as 3PO rarely works with cyborgs and is a translation droid between machines and organics. Yet, in 1977, Lucas had not ironed out all the rules for his universe and likely used this phrase as it sounded cool and technobabble. The fact that Scourge utters it, is almost a tongue-in-cheek jibe from the author at this statement’s ambiguity. Yet, in-universe, I wonder again. What the heck is human-cyborg relations!?

  5. Scourge-PO has stolen a ship and plans on going to Darth Vader to take control of him and utilize his Force abilities. This is CRAZY as Vader built C-3PO as a child and likely will recognize his childhood creation. This is leading towards an AMAZING reunion of Master and Creator in a way that was much more mundane and sad (in Legends). Now Vader may actually be fearing the dorky assistant he long ago made to help his mother!

STAR WARS: DARK DROIDS #2 is published by Marvel Comics and is available to buy now!







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