Galactic Empire remains strong, the Rebel Alliance
continues to fight for freedom, and establishes a secret
outpost deep in the Outer Rim.
Young rebel pilot Luke Skywalker struggles with his
destiny. He can feel the Force, but without training, he
cannot become a Jedi Knight. When rogue archaeologist
Doctor Aphra approaches Luke with an
offer—accompany her to meet a queen who can
reactivate an artifact containing the consciousness of
an ancient Jedi—he cautiously accepts.
Once at the Citadel of Ktath'atn—the Screaming
Citadel—Aphra and Luke attempt to curry favor with the
Queen. They are unsuccessful until Luke accidentally
lashes out with the Force and attracts the Queen's
attention—for better or for worse...
The Screaming Citadel is a five-issue crossover between the Star Wars (Marvel 2015) and Doctor Aphra comics of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as written by its respective authors, Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen. It is illustrated by Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin, Shattered Empire), Salvador Larroca (Star Wars: Darth Vader), and newcomer Andrea Broccardo (Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets).
Rebel pilot and rogue archaeologist wander side by side into the darkest shadows of the galaxy as Luke Skywalker reluctantly teams up with Doctor Aphra! The Doctor makes Luke an offer he can't afford to pass up... one that leads him to a very rare gathering at the heart of the infamous Screaming Citadel of Ktath'atn. Will Luke find what he's looking for? Can Aphra be trusted? Or will they both wind up victims of the Citadel's Queen? Meanwhile, Leia and Han attempt to rescue them from the Citadel, only to find themselves further mixed up in the situation...
The first issue was published on May 10, 2017.
Tropes in this series include:
- Bittersweet Ending: While the Queen is stopped (for now), despite Luke hoping to learn from Rur and possibly even redeem Aphra with the Power of Friendship, he realizes Rur isn't a true Jedi and gives him back to Aphra, but not without giving her "The Reason You Suck" Speech and telling her to stay away from him and his friends (also indirectly declaring their friendship over). While Aphra actually is hurt by this, she does civilly acknowledge with Sana that their relationship could've never worked and Rur pointing out to Aphra that she has sadness in her heart could lead to Aphra working to become a better person in the future.
- The story continues off from the ending of the first arc to Doctor Aphra.
- Abersyn symbiotes return from Doctor Aphra.
- Continuity Nod:
- Triple Zero and Beetee recall how they fought against Luke and co. back in the "Rebel Jail" arc of Marvel Star Wars.
- Did Not Think This Through: Aphra planned to turn over Luke Skywalker, Hero of the Rebellion, to the Queen of Ktath'atn. It never occurs to her that the Queen might be treacherous, Luke's friends might come looking for him, and Luke himself is not that easily disposed of.
- The End... Or Is It?: The ending implies that the Queen may still be alive.
- Enemy Mine: Luke Skywalker and Dr. Aphra. Luke comes to see Aphra as a friend by the third issue, though, and Aphra is genuinely touched, but this only lasts until she completely misunderstands how he learned a lesson from an encounter with Rur.
- Evil Redhead: The Queen of Ktath'atn is beautiful, redheaded, and evil.
- Expy: The Queen of Ktath'atn seems to be one of Dracula, to the point of being an all-but-stated Vampire Monarch. She feeds on the life force of all her populace, is surrounded by bald, pale underlings, is very pale herself, and the populace around her eponymous citadel appear to be undead at least in appearance, complete with Zombie Gait and Prophet Eyes.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: Luke puts on a tuxedo (or the equivalent) for the gathering.
- Hive Mind: Abersyn symbiotes and their hosts retain individual consciousnesses, but are psychically joined together in a network dominated by whichever individual has the most willpower and dominant personality.
- Hive Queen: The abersyn hive mind is dominated by its most psychologically powerful member, with all other individuals dominated by their will.
- No, Mister Bond, I Expect You To Dine: Aphra and Luke are treated to dinner by the queen in the second issue. Unfortunately, it turns out that their "dessert" is Abersyn symbiotes, prompting them to escape.
- Our Vampires Are Different: The Queen of Ktath'atn is heavily based off of horror movie vampires. She's a reclusive figure clad in black and red, living in a brooding clifftop castle towering over a village of cringing human peasants, feeding by absorbing life energy, and using elegance and decadence to beguile victims before either consuming them or turning them into entities like herself but under her control.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Curiously, in this arc Eternal Rur appears to be docile and provides wise advice for Aphra to be selfless, in stark contrast to its behavior in the Doctor Aphra comic where it’s basically the Terminator.
- Puppeteer Parasite: Abersyn symbiotes attach themselves to the nervous system of their hosts, overriding all motor and cerebral activity and taking complete control of their bodies and minds.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Queen of Ktath'atn avoids implanting Luke with a symbiote specifically because of the risk of this. All victims of the symbiotes are joined together in a Hive Mind dominated by its strongest individual; at the start of the comic this is her, and she doesn't want to risk seeing what happens when she tests her dominance against a strong Force-sensitive. Indeed, when Luke is implanted by accident, he proves too strong to dominate and begins challenging her for leadership of the collective.
- Volleying Insults: Luke and Aphra snipe at each other more than once.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Leia has this moment when Triple Zero points out she's willing to sacrifice her friends for victory.