galaxy oppressed by the cruelty of
Imperial forces, there is little hope
for the future. But for those used to
operating on the fringes, there
is much potential for profit.
Having successfully faked her own death at
Darth Vader's hands, rogue archaeologist
DOCTOR APHRA is back to doing what she does best:
locating and liberating rare artifacts. By
her side are a pair of homicidal droids and
Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan,
looking to collect on Aphra's debts.
A valuable find has Aphra feeling pretty good.
With her archaeology accreditation, she'll be
able to sell the relic for its true value — but soon
finds that her doctorate has been temporarily
revoked. Even worse, the man behind Aphra's
suspension is her own father....
Safely away from the clutches of Darth Vader, Doctor Aphra is ready to resume her life of adventure and archaeology, but that won't be so easy with a pair of homicidal droids and the evillest Wookiee in the Galaxy as her traveling companions. Not to mention all the people after her for the money she owes them, including said Wookiee. And the cherry to top it all off, our good Doctor is no longer, in fact, a doctor.
Doctor Aphra is a spin-off comic based on the popular character from Darth Vader. The first issue hit shelves December 7th, 2016. After a 40 issue run that concluded in December 2019, the issue count was reset to #1, with the second run beginning in May 2020 (after being delayed from April due to the COVID-19 Pandemic).
It also received a full-cast "audiobook" expanding her first appearance from the Darth Vader comic, released in July 2020.
The series has crossed over with the main comics in Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel event in its first run. It crossed over with the main comics again for both of their second runs as well as the third Darth Vader run and the Bounty Hunters series in the Star Wars War Of The Bounty Hunters event.
Tropes in this comic book series include:
- Academy of Evil: Aphra ultimately sells the Rur crystal to the "Shadow University". Though they are not shown doing anything particularly evil, the fact that they were included in Aphra's Auction of Evil and the fact that Aphra says she admires them imply that they are this. They also threaten to expose Aphra's cheating and get her doctorate revoked again if she does not sell the Rur crystal to them.
- Action Bomb: Aphra uses a tooka that's been genetically engineered to explode when it hears a certain Trigger Phrase. Issue #16 reveals that she has at least sixty.
- Admiring the Abomination: Issue #18 has Aphra practically drooling over the collection of decommissioned Tarkin Initiative weapons the crew comes across. These include a Wookiee with a railgun for a head, a rathtar crossed with an interrogation droid, and Hutt clone troopers.
- The Alcatraz: The Prison Ship that Aphra ends up in during the Catastrophe Con arc. There's no cells, no bars, just no way to escape except into space and implants that'll blow you up if you get too far from your assigned hubdroid. And when Aphra does find a way to escape, she finds that that's just the cherry on top to the actual security system, a Force spirit haunting the halls sabotaging any and all escape attempts.
- All for Nothing:
- Triple Zero blackmails Aphra into working for him and stealing his old memories, and then orders for her to be executed. Not only does Aphra escape alive, but it turns out the memories are encrypted.
- The entire Catastrophe Con arc turns into this for Aphra. The lightsaber she was so determined to get literally falls apart from age, her plan to convince Vader she's dead leads to Tolvan being memory-altered into believing so as well, and while she escapes prison, she's now stuck attached to Triple-Zero by Explosive Leash.
- Artifact of Doom: The Rur crystal from the first couple of arcs, which contains the mind of an insane ancient Jedi with technopathic abilities.
- Artifact Title: Aphra's doctorate is revoked in the first issue, so she can't actually call herself "Doctor Aphra" anymore. Ultimately subverted, as it's restored at the end of the first arc.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What Aphra's father believes happened to the Ordu Aspectu. He hopes that if he can find them, it will lead to a new religious awakening across the galaxy.
- Ascended Extra:
- Assassination Attempt: The goal of General Cracken's renegade Rebel band in the Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon arc is to kill Palpatine by means of a miniaturized Death Star. Except not really; the Rebels were actually counting on Aphra stealing the primary component to this nonexistent weapon when she learned of it and giving it to the Empire to buy their protection, and thus have boobytrapped it to go off in Palpatine's face when it's delivered.
- Auction of Evil: The And the Enormous Profit arc centers on Aphra assembling representatives of most of the galaxy's criminal organizations to sell the Rur crystal off to the highest bidder. Though things get complicated when her droids sabotage things in an attempt to kill her.
- Back from the Dead:
- Tam Posla. After he's killed by Triple-Zero, the hookspores from the demolished Accresker Jail revive his intact body, and due to the energy contained in that fungus, it had a side effect of making him Force-sensitive.
- Beetee is destroyed by Vader on Accresker, only for the revived Posla to rebuild him. Later, he gets deactivated by an ion attack from Winloss and Nokk, only for Aphra to reactivate him again.
- Bait-and-Switch: The ending of Issue #20 makes it seem like Aphra is calling Sana to help her escape prison. In fact, she was calling Tolvan; Sana was being contacted by Hera to bring Aphra in for questioning by the Rebellion.
- Batman Gambit:
- The Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon arc is a series of these. The Rebels were counting on Aphra stealing the primary component to their nonexistent mini Death Star to buy the Empire's favor with, so the device is boobytrapped to explode in Palpatine's face. Voor was counting on the Rebels doing all this when she leaked the necessary information to them and Aphra, so she can leap on the power vacuum following Palpatine's death and take over the Empire. And Aphra, realizing she's being used, counts on Voor's Evil Gloating about it so she can set up an Engineered Public Confession, crushing her plans and earning the Empire's good will.
- Aphra puts one into motion in the third Annual, built mostly around tricking a former associate via some acting on behalf of Krrsantan and Winloss and Nokk, in order to see that Nokk gets her revenge on the guy who ruined her life, Krrsantan gets back into Jabba's good graces, and that associate, who once double-crossed Aphra, gets fed to the Rancor.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In a very twisted way, Triple-Zero and Bee-Tee choosing not to kill Aphra when she's blackmailed into freeing them of their Restraining Bolt, because she wasn't cruel to them and gave them plenty of people to kill.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Triple-Zero spends the entirety of the Remastered, Catastrophe Con, and Worst Among Equals arcs trying to recover his original memory files in order to resolve the mystery of his origins. When he finally does so in Issue #30 he discovers to his horror that his killer personality programming was an accident that his creator never wanted him to have.
- Berserk Button: Tam Posla will refuse to harm anyone who hasn't broken a law, including an Eldritch Abomination. However, all his rules go out the window if they've hurt his boyfriend, Caysin Bog.
- Big Damn Kiss: Aphra and Tolvan share one when they think they're about to die.
- Bilingual Bonus: When Aphra auctions off an artifact, the bidders receive electronic devices that signal whether they were successful, with a red word that obviously signifies no or a blue one that's clearly a yes. And then there's the device of the party that previously superbly annoyed Aphra, signaling two red words. People who either know Aurebesh or have a little experience in cyphers can piece together that Aphra sent them a "hell no".
- Bio-Augmentation: Was done to Krrsantan when he was training as a gladiator.
- Bittersweet Ending: The epilogue to the original 40 comic run sees all the main protagonists alive, with Aphra having bought the Rebel base on Hoth time to finalize their plans for evacuation, which ensures the survival of her father, Tolvan and Vulaada in the fateful battle in The Empire Strikes Back. This is juxtaposed by Aphra leaving them a farewell message explaining that she knows she's a horrible person and that leaving them all behind to save her own neck was the only way their relationship was ever going to end, escaping into space with nothing but a barely-alive Triple-Zero and Beetee for company.
- Blackmail: Triple-Zero uses Aphra's need to let Vader think she's dead to control her.
- Book-Ends: In the first arc. In the first issue, Aphra submits Abersyn symbiotes she stole as her discovery for her school project, leading to her graduating but at the cost of tricking someone close to her into believing they are contributing to research and history — something that would make them happy. In the last issue, Aphra submits a duplicate of Rur's crystal to the Kalissdahn artifact storage as an entry in the history records, intending to sell the real crystal to pay for her debts at the cost of tricking another person close to her that they have contributed to research and history, because it's the happiest thing he could take out from the entire ordeal.
- Boxed Crook: In the Rogue's End arc, Aphra is press-ganged back into the Empire's service, helping them track down archaeological sites that the Imperials think the Rebellion is going to be using as bases.
- Brain Uploading: Eternal Rur, the leader of the Ordu Aspectu, figured out how to transfer his consciousness into a crystal container, in order to live forever. Actually, he just copied his mind, and the copy (thinking it's the real thing) killed him and everyone else present.
- Breaking Speech: Triple-Zero to Aphra in Issue #19, telling her they're ultimately Not So Different and for all she claims shock and disgust at his actions, she also uses and hurts people, especially those who helped her, because she likes it. Aphra's left stunned and tries to retort it, but in the end admits the only difference is "I don't expect to sleep well.".
- Break the Haughty: The Catastrophe Con arc serves as this for Aphra. Every person she wronged or screwed over in some way comes back to haunt her, her clever attempts at escape or getting rich just land her deeper and deeper in trouble, pretty much everyone she cares about gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for her actions towards them, and when she finally sacrifices Tolvan to save her own skin, she's so devastated by what she's done that she lets Triple-Zero take her away. Then as the finale, Evazan compliments her on her depravity and decides to bind her to Triple-Zero, telling her "you deserve each other". Aphra's tears at this imply that she agrees.
- Breather Episode: Unlike most of the other Expanded Universe comic series, Doctor Aphra explores little of any connections to the films and mostly seems to serve as worldbuilding & misadventures.
- Buddy Picture: Aphra and Triple-Zero become one in-universe. When Dr. Evazan hijacks planet Milvayne's airwaves and starts broadcasting their antics, the population becomes glued to their sets, urging them on and cheering their escapes.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Tolvan, after being last seen left behind on a backwater world by Aphra at the end of the first arc, returns in the third arc as the Villain of the Week, becoming an important recurring character from that point onward.
- Sana, last seen during the Screaming Citadel crossover, reappears at the end of Issue #20.
- Winloss and Nokk, the married monster hunters from the second annual, return in Issue #27.
- Sister Six, who parted ways with Aphra to join the Rebellion in Issue #19, reappears in Issue #32.
- Black Krrsantan parts ways with Aphra in Issue #13 after she settles her debt with him. He reappears in Issue #34, tracking her down after the Imperials put a bounty on her, in order to force her to pay him more in exchange for his protection. He only sticks around for a couple of issues, however, before going back on the bus and not returning again until the start of the second run, where he's back in Aphra's employ full time.
- After not being seen since Issue #6, Aphra's father reappears in Issue #37.
- Triple-Zero and Beetee part ways with Aphra in Issue #31, and reappear in Issue #38, now in Imperial service.
- By-the-Book Cop: Tam Posla. He refuses to kill a stormtrooper and even an Eldritch Abomination because they have broken no laws.
- Toob-Nix mentions that he was responsible for getting Korin Pers fired and ruining her reputation, and then Aphra calls Sana for help in stealing Toob-Nix's Abersyn symbioses.
- General Hera Syndulla appears in Issue #17 as the new rebel leader of a secret rebel training center.
- When Rur and Darth Vader fight, Rur attempts to use his technopathy to shut down Vader's life support. This barely stymies Vader, who states that had already been tried and his suit had since been defended, a reference to Doctor Cylo's attempt to kill Vader in his comic.
- Issue #37 opens with Aphra having a dream flashback to when Vader threw her out an airlock at the end of his series' final issue.
- The Cameo:
- When Aphra's group is on Yavin 4, they run into an Imperial droid that is said to be the one that tortured Leia; Triple-Zero claims to be a fan.
- In Issue #38, Vader sees Force apparations of Obi-Wan, Padmé, Qui-Gon, Ahsoka, Yoda, and his mother.
- Cardboard Prison: Averted; it looks like this when Tolvan sends Aphra to Accresker Jail, making sure her probability droid is on the same shipment, but it turns out to be a lot harder than Aphra anticipates. In fact Aphra has to blackmail Tolvan to come and rescue her.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Triple-Zero, to the point that he finds Aphra's sense of guilt and remorse to be limitations.
- Chained Heat: The Worst Among Equals arc has Aphra and Triple-Zero implanted with bombs that'll go off if either dies, tries to remove them or get more than twenty meters from each other, dropped in the middle of a hostile megacity with a price on their head. Dr. Evazan did it to them because he felt it would be nice entertainment while he and Ponda laid low, and even hacked Triple-Zero's eyes to watch it happen.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Aphra. If she has to choose betrayal and survival, she will always choose to betray, even if it's someone she genuinely cares about. However, that doesn't stop her from feeling guilty about it. Which all plays into Voor and the Rebels' plans in the sixth arc, as they're counting on her betraying the Rebels when she learns of their supposed plans.
- Class Clown: Aphra hacks Toob-Nix's holoprojector during class, causing it to show a romantic holovid.
- Continuity Nod: Thanks to the artstyle of the comic, the RA-7 droid accompanying Tolvan looks like AP-5.
- Covers Always Lie: Issue #9 shows Aphra in a white gown with her hair up. She actually wears a black dress and gives her hair blue highlights & a bob haircut (both of which Issue 11 later reveal as being part of a wig).
- The Coup: Minister Voor is revealed to be planning one against the Emperor, enabling a Rebel assassination of him so that she can then swoop in, crush the Rebels when they show up afterwards, and take over the Empire in the resulting power vacuum.
- Crossover: Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel is one with the main comic.
- Crossover Finale: The epilogue for the original volume of the series is part of the oneshot special Empire Ascendant, which also contain material from several other Star Wars comic series.
- Dating Catwoman: The relationship between Aphra and Tolvan.
- Dean Bitterman: The Sava, or teacher, who accepted Aphra into his doctoral program. He says he did it merely to give her hope and take it away — all because he hates her.
- Death by Origin Story: Aphra's mother was killed by raiders during the Clone Wars. She blames her father for driving her mother away, which led to her going to the planet where she was killed.
- Depending on the Artist: Aphra's appearance varies a lot.
- Doomed Predecessor: In the second Annual, Aphra hires a pair of monster hunters to enter an ancient tomb and capture the beast which serves as its MacGuffin Guardian, as her mob boss employer wants it as a pet. As they proceed, they find several of their professional rivals, who have all been taken out by the numerous death traps filling the place. Confronted on this, Aphra admits to hiring them all in turn, pointing out that the current pair were very far down the list.
- Double Meaning: The third arc is titled Remastered, as in Aphra working with a new team this time (i.e. a brand new slate) and Triple Zero and Beetee have forced her into serving them.
- Dramatic Irony:
- In the Remastered arc, Aphra has been forced into serving Triple-Zero and Beetee because otherwise they'll tell Vader she's still alive. Vader found out the issue before the arc that Aphra was alive and decided not to pursue her, so she's essentially serving them for nothing.
- Aphra has Lopset disguise himself as Dr. Evazan in order to trick Tam Polsa as part of a plan to escape prison. Lopset is Evazan in disguise. After the reveal, he lampshades this, finding great humor in it.
- Driven to Suicide: When Triple-Zero discovers that his killer programming was an accident that his creator never wanted him to have, he decides to trigger his and Aphra's Explosive Leashes.
- The Ending Changes Everything: The Catastrophe Con arc. Lopset, the Token Good Teammate that Aphra makes a bit of a friend out of? The end of the arc reveals that he's Dr. Cornelius freaking Evazan, and he has plans for Aphra.
- Engineered Public Confession: A particularly ironic one in Issue #36, as Aphra hacks Voor's own propaganda cameras to keep broadcasting live to the whole galaxy as she indulges in what she thinks is private Evil Gloating.
- Everyone Has Standards: Nokk was exiled from her clan because she refused to kill a baby Wookie as part of her coming of age ritual.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Aphra may be for the most part a terrible person but she has moments where she shows she has her limits:
- She draws the line at actually torturing her father, even if she doesn't like him.
- She expresses indignation over the Death Star destroying Alderaan and Jedha City, Triple Zero being surprised that she's disgusted by the Empire's genocide despite working directly with Darth Vader for so long.
- In Issue #14, she's horrified and disgusted when her new associates blow up a whole Imperial settlement, when she was told they were just there to steal information.
- Evolving Title Screen: Aphra's name in the opening crawl changes from "Doctor Aphra" in the first issue, to "Aphra" for the rest of the first arc until the last issue of the arc, where it changes to "Chelli Aphra".
- Exact Words: In Issue #9, Triple-Zero happily exploits a loophole in Aphra's orders to him. While he agrees to not kill anyone unless his master tells him to, Aphra fails to tell him he can't contact his other registered master, Vader, for instructions.Triple-Zero: Loophole, loophole, loooop-hole!
- Explosive Leash: The Prison Ship Aphra ends up on in the Catastrophe Con arc employs these, so that prisoners can't stray too far from their guard droids. After escaping, Evazan transplants his into Triple-Zero and links it to Aphra's, sticking them with each other.
- Face Death with Dignity:
- When Tolvan is about to be executed by firing squad for her repeated failures, her only response is to criticize her executioner's slouch and his dirtied uniform.
- When it looks like they're about to blow up, Triple-Zero holds the wounded Aphra's hand to quietly await the end.
- Aphra spends what she thinks are their last moments before Vader finally kills them both trying to comfort Vulaada.
- False Flag Operation: The Coalition for Progress apparently has a habit of staging rebel or pirate attacks so that their Stormtroopers can then swoop in and "save" the victims. It turns out that the attack that killed Aphra's mother was one such example.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: In-Universe example. Aphra's "electro-tattoos" are said to be unfashionable for someone her age.
- In the Darth Vader comic, Inspector Thanoth expresses doubts over the legitimacy of Aphra's doctorate. This becomes a major plot point for the first arc of this series.
- In the prison arc, Aphra and Lopset get scanned for life signals. It detects three life signals, which causes confusion and they assume its a glitch. The third life signal is the creature that Evazan is using the mask his face.
- At the end of Issue #31, Voor is seen recording an entry in a secret journal, where she mentions being near some goal she's working towards. Issue #36 reveals that she's planning on staging a coup against the Emperor.
- Freedom from Choice: Aphra accuses Tolvan of this, saying that she'll follow any master as long as she doesn't have to make her own decisions.
- Gambit Pileup: Comes with each story arc. Aphra is out to get something, others want to get it too and/or get Aphra herself, so she needs to outsmart everyone to get whatever-it-is-today and/or just get the heck away.
- Godzilla Threshold: At the end of Issue #24, Aphra comes to the conclusion that the only way to save herself from the various people chasing her for the things she knows is to have Tolvan use a Bor to wipe her mind. Issue #25 takes it in a different direction, with Tolvan volunteering to have her memories of Aphra wiped (Aphra instead alters them so she thinks she killed Aphra) so that Vader will stop hunting her and have no reason to kill Tolvan too.
- Goggles Do Nothing:
- Aphra is rarely, if ever, seen using her goggles.
- Finally subverted in issue #7 when she uses them to casually counter the effects of the hypnotic gaze of the Queen of Ktath'atn.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Hera can see that the rest of the heist crew might be decent people, but she calls Aphra a "terrible woman". Probably because Tam Posla and Caysin Boggs are in for a good cause (they're trying to catch a Mad Scientist) and Sister Six calls herself the Only Sane Man.
- Hack Your Enemy: In issue #32, Aphra slices a guard droid to make it turn on its fellows.
- Head Desk: Aphra's reaction to her doctorate being suspended in Issue #1. Against a wall, that is. She's more upset that she can't use her degree to sell artifacts than because she isn't a doctor anymore, though.
- Heel Realization: By the time of the Worst Among Equals arc, Aphra has come to fully acknowledge just how truly awful she is.
- Hypocrite: Used to illustrate Aphra Took a Level in Jerkass during the Remastered arc. In Issue #14, Aphra acts appalled when Rexa Go blows up an Imperial base, saying they were only there to retrieve data. In Issue #19, she cheerfully hums as she blows up Hivebase-1 after she got the information she came for.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Triple Zero tries it on a resurrected BT-1. It doesn't work.
- Instantly Proven Wrong: Often happens to Aphra during situations; for instance, "Yes" moments turning into "No" after a quick beat.
- Internal Reveal: In Issue #13, Vader learns that Aphra is still alive, but decides - out of pragmatism and / or respect - not to pursue her.
- It's All About Me: Aphra has a nasty habit of putting her own wants and desires ahead of everyone else around her.
- It Amused Me: Evazan admits that this is the primary reason he set up Aphra and Triple-Zero's Chained Heat scenario.
- Kill Sat: Aphra encounters a band of Rebels who are secretly building a miniaturized Death Star that could be used as an interstellar sniper rifle. The weapon could be used to kill Emperor Palpatine without alerting his Force senses but would result in collateral damage of about a thousand people.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Triple-Zero and Beetee are press-ganged back into Imperial service, their memories are wiped to make them more controllable.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Aphra spends the Catastrophe Con arc manipulating and using a hapless, innocent shapeshifter despite his kindness towards her, even admitting to him that "it's used or get used" when he tries to protest her treatment of him. Turns out he wasn't an innocent shapeshifter after all, but Dr. Evazan, and Aphra's actions gave him an idea to use her for a little entertainment.
- Last-Name Basis: Everyone but her own father calls Chelli Lona Aphra by her last name, "Aphra."
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: At the conclusion of Issue #13, Vader delivers the Rur Crystal to Palpatine and is instructed to add it to the Emperor's special collection of spoils. Among the other objects already there are a glowing cube, a gauntlet, and a goblet.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The first bit of dialogue from the last issue.Aphra: So this is it. The end.
- Legend Fades to Myth: Aphra's father is interested in the Ordu Aspectu who, depending on who you ask, were either a benevolent Martial Pacifist order or an evil cult willing to use Human Sacrifice. However, in both versions, they are a sect of Jedi seeking eternal life.
- Let's You and Him Fight:
- When the Imperials raid Aphra's auction, she leads a group of Stormtroopers into a room with several of her guests, who would happily kill her themselves, leaving the two groups distracted enough for her to escape. Later, she leads the Rur droid into the room as well, leading to him fighting Vader.
- When Aphra and Triple-Zero are facing execution by Tam Polsa and a group of Milvayne's law forces, she points out that Polsa is a vigilante. This is enough to turn the others on him, creating a distraction that lets the villainous pair escape.
- Life's Work Ruined: After a college-age Aphra "discovers" several hibernating Abersyn symbiotes on Boothi XII, her friend Susina devotes her whole career to studying them, not realizing that Aphra's discovery was a fake. Issue #1 ends with the revelation that Aphra's deception has been revealed, rendering all Susina's years of work useless. Issue #2 reveals that there were hundreds of academics on the planet studying the same thing.
- Line-of-Sight Alias: When ambushing Tolvan in a ship and needing to give an alias, Aphra notes the ship's joystick and calls herself "Joystick Chevron".
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Aphra secures the Rur crystal (which has technopathic powers) by surrounding it with automated blasters.
- Losing Your Head: Caysin Bog, a headless man reanimated as a cyborg.
- Lost in Translation: One of Aphra's theories about the Ordu Aspectu was that they weren't a sect of warriors but a group of "Jedi grammarians" arguing over the translation of ancient texts.
- Lovable Rogue: A Deconstruction. She is a charming, adventurous criminal who frequently outsmarts her enemies. However, the comic doesn't gloss over how her constant lawbreaking and backstabbing torments her conscience and ruins her personal relationships.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Played for Black Comedy when Aphra discovers that the Imperial officer she has a crush on has been ordered to make a Heroic Sacrifice for the Empire to blow up a rebel base.Aphra: This is monstrous! This is murder!
Tolvan: (surrounded by dead rebels) You mean—the thousands of rookies who'll die?
Aphra: No, idiot! I mean you! You'll die!
- Mind Rape: Aphra is subjected to a Bor by Imperial interrogators. The Bor preys on guilt and self-hatred so the infected will be driven to madness by their own demons until they confess, and it can edit memories, rewriting a person's entire identity. She later uses this power to rewrite Tolvan's memory so that Tolvan thinks she killed Aphra. This protects Tolvan by concealing her connection to Aphra but also leaves her heartbroken and traumatized.
- The Missus and the Ex: Sana and Tolvan eventually meet up. Unusually for the trope, there's no tension over Aphra's affections... instead, they bond over how much Aphra sucks. Sana even sticks around and saves Tolvan after she's captured by Vader.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Aphra is willing to lie, steal, and kill to get artifacts to sell. At the end of the first issue, her doctorate is suspended as it was discovered that she cheated in school. This leaves her unable to sell any archaeological artifacts she discovers until the end of the first arc, when her doctorate is restored.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In issue #25, Tolvan volunteers to have her mind wiped to save Aphra. Aphra, terrified by Darth Vader and knowing that he will never stop pursuing her, instead alters her memories to make her believe she killed Aphra, traumatizing and possibly dooming Tolvan to save herself. After this, she's curled up in a ball and sobbing apologies while pleading for Tolvan's life, and doesn't even resist when Tam, then Triple-Zero come to drag her away.
- Mythology Gag
- In The Enormous Profit, after inadvertently coming near Aphra, Darth Vader senses a presence that he has not felt for some time. An infuriating presence!
- In Catastrophe Con, Aphra takes part in a Boarding Party of a rebel ship and comes across an R2 unit and a protocol droid hiding in an escape pod. She sticks out her tongue and shoots them.
- Negated Moment of Awesome:
- One of Aphra's exploding tookas looks like it's about to go off on a rebel ship (whether or not that would've been awesome is YMMV)... only for the next panel to show a smoking corpse after Hera shoots it dead.
- Aphra powers up a thousand year-old lightsaber...which immediately fizzles out.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In Issue #31, the Coalition for Progress' attempt to neutralize Aphra and Tripe-Zero (who have become local folk heroes due to the transmission of their exploits) just infuriate the local population enough that they cause a full-scale uprising.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: At the end of Issue #13, not only do Triple-Zero and Beetee go off on their own to become the bosses of their new gang, but Krrsantan and Aphra also part ways now that they both have what they want.
- Not Quite Dead: Issue #26 reveals that the Force-Sensitive sentient fungus survived the destruction of Accresker Jail.
- Not So Different: As she says to Darth Vader, "I know a guilty freakin' disaster when I see one."
- Not Worth Killing: In Issue #30, Winloss and Noxx finally catch up with Aphra, and seem ready to kill her in revenge. But having seen what a lonely, self-hating mess she is at this point, they decide there's nothing they can do to her worse than what she's doing to herself.
- Now or Never Kiss: Aphra and Tolvan share one in Issue #16 as an Eldritch Abomination bares down on them.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Aphra has several in Issue #11 first when Rur goes on a rampage, and then when Vader shows up.
- In Issue #25, when Aphra thinks she was rescued by Lopset Yas only to learn he was Dr. Cornelius Evazan in disguise the whole time.
- In Issue #34, Aphra is defiantly willing to stand up to the bounty hunters coming after her... until she realizes that Krrsantan is among them. Then she runs like hell.
- In Issue #36, Aphra and Vulaada hear Minister Voor being killed with a lightsaber. Without looking, Aphra knows that means only one man, so both of them shut their eyes and wait for the inevitable. Instead, Aphra gets a reprieve, from him again.
- One-Man Army: Krrsantan takes on a number of Imperial troops in the jungles of Yavin 4. The heavy casualties, combined with never actually glimpsing him, leads the Imperials to believe there's an actual army out there.
- Orbital Bombardment: In Issue #29, the Coalition for Progress ship in orbit around Milvayne decides they can't let someone other than Imperial or planetary law enforcement catch Aphra and Triple-Zero, so they instead use a railgun to fire at the bounty hunter ship currently carrying them.
- Origins Episode:
- The epilogue of Issue #1 shows how Aphra got her doctorate. She discovered that Toob-Nix, her Sava, was illegally keeping Abersyn symbiotes to study. After realizing that Toob-Nix hated her and planned to never give her a doctorate, she steals the symbiotes, passes them off as her own discovery on Boothi XII, and hands them over to the Empire for incineration.
- The first Annual is all about Krrsantan's backstory, with a Framing Device of him telling the story to a pair of reporters.
- Out-Gambitted: Aphra realizes that the Rebels are using her (and Voor is using them both), so arranges for an Engineered Public Confession that ruins their plans and gets Voor killed.
- Penal Colony: Aphra is sent to one, Accresker Prison, in Issue #20. It's a series of ship hulks held together magnetically and towed around by a Star Destroyer, with the prisoners press-ganged as soldiers whenever a new ship is boarded, forced to fight otherwise their Explosive Leashes detonate.
- Persecution Flip:
- At the end of Issue #13, Krrsantan gets revenge on the slavers who trained him as a gladiator by enslaving them and putting them through the same training.
- The Wham Shot and accompanying Wham Line at the end of Issue #14 reveal that Aphra has been enslaved by Triple-Zero and Bee-Tee. Issue #15 clarifies that this is by means of blackmail.
- Phony Degree: Aphra's doctorate was from a legitimate school but she cheated to get it. Though to be fair to her, her Sava had made it very clear that he was never going to give her a doctorate simply because he didn't like her.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Aphra's father is so focused on his work to the exclusion of all else that he didn't hear about the destruction of Jedha (beyond the cover story) or Alderaan, or the Battle of Yavin. Judging from Aphra's reaction, she feels he's Too Dumb to Live.
- Preacher's Kid: Aphra's father is devoutly spiritual and determined to lead his daughter down a more moral path. He exposed her cheating and got her doctorate suspended, hoping it would force her to change her ways.
- Propaganda Machine: The Coalition for Progress is officially designed to help convince everyone that joining the Empire is a good thing. They're also a branch of Imperial State Sec, spying on everyone and ready to eliminate anyone who threatens the Empire's image.
- Poisonous Friend:
- Triple-Zero and BT-1 murder a gangster who was after Aphra without her knowledge.
- Aphra is captured by a band of Rebels who are trying to create a superweapon based on Death Star technology behind Mon Mothma's back.
- Police State: The planet Milvayne is this even more so than the rest of the Empire — neighbors are encouraged to spy on each other, and even the smallest of infractions are punished by having the offenders thrown down into the undercity, where they either die or are forced to scavenge among the garbage in order to survive. Oh, and there's a State Sec warship in orbit spying on everyone at all times.
- Pyromaniac: In a flashback, a young Aphra sets fire to one of her father's artifacts.
- The Psycho Rangers: Her crew is made up of evil versions of the main Star Wars characters. She's Han, Black Krrsantan is Chewbacca, Triple Zero is C-3PO, and BT-1 is R2-D2.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Triple Zero gives one to Aphra unintentionally after she complains about how judgmental Luke is at the end of the Screaming Citadel arc.Aphra: Judgmental piece of blonde Tatooine Bantha dung. He annoys me so much.
Triple-Zero: I can imagine. he went through an experience just as traumatic as yours and remains a positive, delightful person, devoted to a better existence for all sentient life. And you realize how special he is too late to retain his respect. That must be an awful reminder of your own failings of character. To be honest Master, I'm not sure if I'd be able to live with myself.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: General Cracken, Chief of Rebel Intelligence, and his operatives decide that building a miniaturized Death Star and using it to assassinate Palpatine is worth the thousands of lives in collateral damage, and are willing to do so without Mon Mothma's knowledge or consent. Except this is just a facade that the Rebels are using to manipulate Aphra.
- Retirony: Of course the issue where Caysin Bog and Tam Posla talk about their future after catching Dr. Evazan is the one where Caysin is killed.
- Robbing the Dead: Aphra thinks of archaeology as "grave robbing with paperwork."
- Sacrificial Lion: One member of Aphra's crew is an Alderaanian nobleman who takes out several stormtroopers with only a sword. She abandons him soon afterwards.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- Black Krrsantan, Beetee, and Triple Zero abandon the Aphras at the Ordu Aspectu temple when they run into Imperials. Chelli Aphra doesn't hold a grudge as she probably would have done the same thing and takes them back as her crewmates later.
- Several attendees of Aphra's auction run for the hills when Rur takes control of a droid body and goes on a rampage.
- Sequel Hook: The "Screaming Citadel" arc ends with the Queen still alive, in a new host, seemingly intent on taking revenge on Luke.
- Series Fauxnale: Issue #13 could easily be the final issue, given how it wraps everything up — Aphra settles her debts and goes on vacation/into retirement, BT and Triple-Zero go their own way and take over a criminal organization, Krrsantan finally gets the revenge Aphra's been promising him since he first appeared in Darth Vader, and the Rur crystal that's been causing problems all series long gets locked away for good. Then the final pages have Aphra being attacked by people with a grudge against her, and there's an ad for the next issue.
- Shadow Archetype: Aphra realizes during the Screaming Citadel crossover arc that she and Luke are this to each other — they both grew up on desolate Outer Rim worlds and lost beloved family members to vicious attacks, but while Aphra became The Cynic and self-centered, Luke kept his optimism and good heart.
- Shock Collar: Aphra is fitted with a shock implant when press-ganged by the Empire in the Rogue's End arc.
- Shoot the Dog: Aphra hijacks Caysin Bog's cyborg body and sends him running into blaster fire to provoke his lover Tam Posla into a grief-stricken rage against the Hivebase-1 projects.
- Shoot the Messenger: Happens off-page in Issue #23 when Vader kills the officer who brings him Tolvan's message where she reveals she knows about his coup plans against Palpatine.
- Since Aphra has already been set up as an Indiana Jones Expy, it's probably not a coincidence that the first story arc involves her partnering with her estranged father to locate his driving obsession, a treasure left behind by ancient questing knights- and having to race against villainous fascist troops and get through booby traps that require a leap of faith. The Last Crusade, isn't it?
- The Foe Romance Subtext between Aphra and Tolvan in the third arc is inspired by Out of Sight, which was also a movie about a charming criminal being pursued by a law enforcement officer but end up having chemistry after spending time together.
- The Remastered arc being about a group trying to commit a heist is one to The Dirty Dozen.
- Stupid Evil: Triple-Zero always jumps right to torture and murder, even in situations where more subtle means of getting things done would suffice. This has a tendency to complicate things for him and/or Aphra.
- Tagalong Kid: Vulaada Klam basically blackmails Aphra into taking her as an apprentice by stowing away on her ship and threatening to activate the self-destruct.
- Taking the Bullet: In a surprising move, at the climax of Issue #31 Aphra shoves Vulaada out of the way of a stray energy blast, getting hit with it instead.
- Tattooed Crook: Aphra has "electro-tattoos" on her right arm.
- Technopath: One of Eternal Rur's powers.
- Tempting Fate: Krrsantan growls at Aphra's father for doing this when he claims the first part of his plan will be "easy." Sure enough, his plan takes them to the former Rebel base on Yavin 4, which is crawling with Imperial soldiers.
- Twofer Token Minority: Aphra is Asian and lesbian.
- Villainous Friendship:
- Triple Zero and BT-1. Also Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba.
- During the climax of the Worst Among Equals arc, Aphra has come to accept that for as toxic and perverse as their relationship is, Triple Zero is her only real friend, the two being practically made for each other. When they appear to be seconds away from being blown up, Triple Zero holds the wounded Aphra's hand to await the end. And when the bombs are deactivated in time, he lets her live and calls her his friend as he leaves.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon arc has the titular device, a miniaturized Death Star mixed with ancient Jedi technology capable of hitting a target from far enough away that even a powerful Force user won't see it coming. Except it doesn't really exist, it's a lie that the Rebels are using to manipulate Aphra.
- We Will Meet Again: When parting ways with Aphra in Issue #12, Triple-Zero says "Until we meet again". When Aphra asks to make it a "Goodbye", he ominously repeats what he said.
- You Know Too Much: Invoked Trope when Aphra is being mind-probed on a Prison Ship and has the chance to make just one transmission to the outside. She makes the call to Tolvan and tells her the big secret that Vader wanted her killed for, so Tolvan is forced to come and rescue her before she cracks under interrogation and is asked Have You Told Anyone Else?
- You're Not My Father: Inverted. Vulaada suggests that she is Aphra's "ward", or adoptive daughter. Aphra angrily refuses to characterize their relationship like that.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
- Inverted in a sort of "Your Request For Approval Fills Me With Shame" in Issue # 7 — when Leia expresses disgust and terror at Triple Zero's brutality, he says she should be pleased by the efficiency and obedience he's displaying, qualities she had earlier complained that Luke and Han lack. She's shown to be disquieted by this.
- At the end of Issue #25, Dr. Evazan states his admiration for Aphra, saying she's worse than he is. On top of everything else happening to her in that issue, Aphra is left in tears.
- "You!" Exclamation: Tolvan, upon reencountering Aphra in Issue #14.
- You Killed My Father: The reason that Aphra brings down Voor — she realizes that the "raider" attack that killed her mother was one of Voor's False Flag Operations.
- Academy of Evil: When the Shadow University shows up again, they're shown operating very much like a normal university, even having students present dissertations. But again, they happily accept Aphra's stolen artifacts despite knowing her reputation.
- Arch-Enemy: The Tagge family as a whole seems set to become this to Aphra.
- Artifact of Doom: The Fortune and Fate arc has Aphra's new team going after the Rings of Vaale, a pair of rings said to possess great power, but at a cost (one grants eternal life but drives the wearer insane, while the other grants great wealth but hastens the wearer's eventual demise). And it's said that proximity to them will drive anyone insane eventually, even if not actually wearing them.
- Batman Gambit: Aphra tricks Ronen into believing that the Rings of Vaale really do grant immortality and ultimate power by rigging his Disintegration Chamber so that Eustacia isn't killed while wearing them. When Ronen goes to retrieve them, Aphra locks him in and sets the chamber to explode, nearly killing him and allowing her team to escape in the chaos.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Many readers interpreted a quote from Ronen Tagge as a Take That! to The Rise of Skywalker.Ronen: Do you know what makes a storyteller great? Knowing how to bring a saga to an end.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Black Krrsantan sat out the last arc of the first run, but is now back in Aphra's employ.
- Aphra goes to Sana for help in Issue #7.
- Call-Back: The first issue has Aphra briefly recount the events of the first run's first arc.
- Continuity Nod:
- Early-Bird Cameo: The first arc has two references to the then-upcoming Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia project.
- Eustacia is seen reading a book about old tales from the time of the High Republic.
- Vaale dates back to the age of the High Republic.
- Eldritch Location: The lost city of Vaale. It's a Ghost City with walls seemingly carved out of bone, shaped into screaming faces, and people who go there tend to vividly hallucinate. It turns out that the bone walls were designed to produce an harmonic signal that slowly drives people insane, a security measure that went horribly right.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the first issue, Aphra states that Ronen Tagge is so unsavory that even she won't do business with him, then lampshades the fact that that really says something. In the following issue, she clarifies that while she has no problem stealing and selling artifacts, as an archaeologist she can't tolerate Ronen's habit of destroying artifacts just so that he's the last person to ever possess them.
- How We Got Here: Issue #6 opens with Aphra in the custody of bounty hunters taking her to Domina Tagge. The next few pages explain how this happened.
- It's All About Me: Ronen Tagge is so obsessed with the idea of being the last person to ever touch priceless artifacts that he'll destroy them as soon as he gets them, regardless of the cultural loss.
- The Mole: Just Lucky is this on Aphra's crew for the Tagges in the Fortune and Fate arc.
- Not Quite Dead: Ronen somehow just barely survives his disintegration chamber exploding with him in it.
- Not So Different: Aphra notes a lot of similarities between herself and Shadow University student Detta Yao which is how she sees Detta's double-cross coming.
- Old Flame: Professor Eustacia Okka, one of Aphra's teammates in the first arc, was her girlfriend back in their university days. Given how bitter she is in the present, we can probably assume it didn't end well.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The Tagge family are so rich they own planets and have their own private fleets, which altogether makes them believe that they can get away with anything.
- Shame If Something Happened: This is how Ronen Tagge is controlling Just Lucky — his brother has a serious gambling problem, and if not for Ronen rigging things for him he'd be in heavy debt, with him saying that this would be bad for his "health".
- The Unfavorite: Aphra notes that Ronen is the one member of the Tagge family with no real glory to his name.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: One of Domina's bounty hunters threatens Aphra with this. She wonders why people keep wanting to do this to her.
- War for Fun and Profit: Domina specifically states that an end to the war would be financially bad for the Tagges.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The last we saw of Triple-Zero and Bee-Tee in the original run, the former had been reduced to a head, and the latter to his processing unit. Despite Aphra taking them with her, they've yet to show up since. This is partially addressed in Issue #8, when Sana inquires into their whereabouts and Aphra states that she thinks they're freelancing.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Detta Yao acts like a starry-eyed student, but turns out to be as ruthless as Aphra.