The extended universe is a place where Star Wars gets to introduce countless exciting heroes and diverse characters to films that simply don’t have space for them all. But it’s also a place where the unsung supporting staff of the movies can get their due. The latter is the case in the recent Star Wars #55, which sends off one of the last loose ends from the original film in style.
In Star Wars, Luke needed to blow up the Death Star. How’d he do it? Some plans that Bothans died for and some Force-confidence that his mentor died for. But he also had the help of a military expert that planned the assault in the first place.
General Jan Dodonna, played by Alex McCrindle in the first film and Ian McElhinney in Rogue One, helped Jyn Erso’s crew figure out how to steal the plans and put the schematics to practical use. He also didn’t appear after A New Hope (though he did show up in a few episodes of Star Wars Rebels voiced by Michael Bell) and official reference material noted that he’d survived past Hoth.
Well, not anymore. In Star Wars #55, Dodonna gets the end that any grizzled old general would want: a hero’s death.
As the rebels evade Darth Vader’s murder-happy death squad, Han and Luke go back to save those evacuating. When Vader puts them in his sights, Dodonna and his engine-damaged cruiser, “Republic,” stay behind to guard the rear. In a move not unlike Vice Admiral Holdo’s sacrifice in The Last Jedi, Dodonna acts as a human shield for the rest of his force, allowing them to escape while his ship explodes.
Another side character brought closure by the extended universe, even if he didn’t get a moment quite as heroic and GIF-able as Holdo. Still awesome, and it explains why fans didn’t get to appreciate that incredible beard for more than two movies.
Star Wars #55 is out now.