|Cover for Star Wars #21|
By: Dominic Jones
Lucasfilm released a special preview of Marvel's Star Wars #21 on StarWars.com today, which will kick off a new story arc in the ongoing comic book series. The new story arc will feature our heroes going up against an elite squad of stormtroopers, led by Sergeant Kreel, a.k.a. Agent 524. The series is written by Jason Aaron, with art by Jorge Molina.
Sergeant Kreel, a.k.a. Agent 5241, was last seen working in Grakkus the Hutt’s arena. He crossed paths with Luke there and even helped him prepare for a fight with a little lightsaber coaching, but that wasn’t the last of Kreel’s story. Aaron says, “When we last saw him, he was talking to Darth Vader, and it was hopefully clear this was a guy you were going to see again, a guy who was going to get back in the game in terms of being an Imperial agent.”
Kreel will lead the squad and we’ll spend time getting to know why they’ve all chosen Team Empire instead of Team Rebellion. The motivation of the troopers was an important aspect Aaron wanted to explore. “The main thing I wanted to do was give more of a face to some of the stormtroopers. We’ve seen lots of them in the series, but they’ve all been pretty interchangeable, faceless bad guys. We haven’t gotten to know them. That was one of my favorite parts of The Force Awakens, getting to see and getting to know a real character who was a stormtrooper and somebody who, of course, has a conscience and changed his ways and joined up with the good guys. This is the opposite of that. It’s us peering inside the heads of somebody who is very gung-ho for the Empire and then the question, of course, is ‘Why? Why would you sign up to fight for the Empire?’ That’s something we’ll answer over the course of the story. We wanted to put a face on those enemies and also create a formidable group of bad guys because they’re up against our heroes,” Aaron says.
Aaron also revealed that the design for Kreel's squad was inspired by the look of the Bad Batch from the unfinished Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode arc that was released on StarWars.com last year. Check out some concept art of the stormtrooper squad below,
The squad will be introduced at the end of Star Wars #20 in June, which will wrap up the current stroyline and Star Wars #22 will hit shelves in Jul. Aaron tells StarWars.com, “Issue #21 is about setting the stormtroopers up, issue #22 is about setting up what our Rebels are up to. I would expect after that you’d see those groups and those two storylines collide.”
Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.