You know him…you love him…now, join him for his biggest caper as master of charm Lando Calrissian gets his very own book! Before he joined the rebellion, before he ran Cloud City, Lando made his way in the galaxy getting by on some swindles, some swagger, and a smile. Lobot at his side, Lando has a plan to steal a very valuable ship…but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Writer Charles Soule (DEATH OF WOLVERINE, INHUMAN, SHE-HULK) and artist Alex Maleev (DAREDEVIL, SPIDER-WOMAN, MOON KNIGHT) bring us the tale of a scoundrel in his natural element–trouble!
Prior to becoming the administrator of Cloud City, Calrissian was an entrepreneur; a self-described opportunist trying to “make his way” through an uncaring universe. Calrissian was able to make a living by illegally acquiring and redistributing rare or valuable goods. However, due to Calrissian’s penchant for gambling, he and his business partner Lobot were in deep with the wrong people. After convincing Moff Ssaria, also known as the “fiend of Castell”, into parting with a valuable and expensive trinket, Calrissian rendezvoused with Lobot at an unnamed cantina. After having had a few drinks, Calrissian was informed that Papa Toren, the individual who had loaned him money, was ready to see him. Calrissian sought to square away his debt by handing over the trinket to Toren, but the loan shark rejected to honor their prior arrangement. Instead of clearing the smuggler’s debt, Toren offered to lower Calrissian’s debt by ten percent.
Outraged by the offer, Calrissian claimed this was not the deal they had agreed upon. Toren argued that if Calrissian had any qualms about the deal, he should take it up with the Imperials, who had taken his property from him in the first place. Toren argued that had Calrissian used the time he had been given to pay off the debt, Calrissian would not be in his current predicament of owing a vast sum of credits, with little-to-no time to pay it off. The loan shark suggested that if the smuggler was sincere and adamant about clearing his debt, he would do so, provided Calrissian agreed to do a job for him. After leaving the cantina, Calrissian and Lobot got into a heated exchange. Angry at the fact that Calrissian had accepted the deal, as well as Toren’s gall, Lobot argued that Calrissian should have stood up to Toren. Calrissian countered by explaining that only people with no imagination use blasters. If they tried to harm Toren, a bounty would be placed on their heads, adding to their current troubles.
Instead of using violence to accept the deal, Calrissian insisted that the job would be quick. It would not only clear their debt but would also put them ahead. Although Lobot was concerned about their chosen dangerous lifestyle, Calrissian promised his friend that they would no longer accept high stakes work after completing the job. Having acquired the services of Alexsin and Pavol, in case the plan required the use of force, Calrissian and Lobot went to speak to Sava Korin Pers, a former antiques dealer and professor. Calrissian attempted to make good on a promise to Korin, to pay her back for the lose of the woman’s eye. Korin argued that she could not think of a reason why she would ever work with Calrissian again, until she saw Toren’s plan and what they were going to steal. According to the plan, Calrissian and company were to steal a pleasure craft being refitted at Sienar Fleet Systems Orbital Shipyard CC-24.
Adhering to Toren’s plan, Calrissian and his crew would don stealth suits in order to get in close to the pleasure craft. Meanwhile, Lobot would use his implants to deactivate the shipyards security in order to slip past the Imperials. Due to a well executed and timed plan, as well as the fact that the shipyards defense systems were built to defend against Rebels instead of thieves, Calrissian and his company were able to enter the shipyard without being detected. However, during their escape, the commander of the shipyard witnessed the departure of the ship. Calrissian and Lobot discussed the fact that the ship that they had stolen seemed to be fairly advanced, specially modified. Lobot questioned whether his friend could activate the Hyperdrive. Calrissian, however, assured Lobot that he could do so only after the ship escaped the shipyard’s gravity well projectors. Meanwhile, the commander of the Sienar shipyard was forced to report to Coruscant that the craft had been stolen. Grand Vizier Mas Amedda informed the commander that the pleasure craft had better be recovered, since he had already prevented the ship from being stolen. While Amedda threatened the commander, Lobot questioned Calrissian as to why Toren did not inform them of the identity of the previous owner of the ship. Lando responded that the name is of little importance, since they now owned the craft and the name was no longer of importance.In tandem with this discussion, Mas Amedda, having walked into the Emperor’s chamber, informed him that someone had broken into the Sienar shipyards and had stolen his ship.
Back on the pleasure craft, three Imperial-class Star Destroyers emerged from hypersapce near the Imperialis. Lobot grew frustrated as the “easy score” that Calrissian had promised began to disappear. Calrissian argued that it was a good thing that the Star Destroyers arrived; it meant the ship was incredibly valuable to its owner—who, unknown to Lobot and his fellows, was none other than Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine. The Star Destroyers dropped gravity-based mines to prevent the Imperialis from entering hyperspace, but the yacht’s automated defenses destroyed the mines. When the Star Destroyers captained by Shan and Conro activated tractor beams to reclaim the vessel, Lando had Lobot upload the ships’ coordinates to Lando’s piloting computer. With the coordinates uploaded, Lando piloted the Imperialis between the two Star Destroyers, causing them to lock onto each other. Unable to disengage in time, the capital ships collided, giving the Imperialis the opportunity to jump to hyperspace. Free from the Castell system, Lando and Lobot were approached by Sava Korin, who said the yacht was filled with treasure. Touring the crew around, Korin explained that one area of the ship, the central chamber, was very well secured, so Lobot volunteered to open the sealed door with his implants. When he did, however, he was confronted by a pair of Imperial Guards, one of which immediately impaled him through the chest with their staff.
The Guards were quickly engaged by Pavol and Aleksin, while Lando rushed to Lobot’s side. Lobot, struggling to maintain consciousness, fought against his implants from taking over his mind. Pers, informing Lando of a medical bay one deck from their location, helped Lando rush Lobot to a bacta tank. Not sure if the semi-conscious Lobot reached the bacta tank in time, Lando apologized to his friend. Pers, deducing the Imperialis belonged to Palpatine, told Lando that the entire crew would die. Lando, unable to withstand the recent events, went to check on the twins.
Aleksin and Pavol defeated the Guards, so the crew examined the central chambers artifacts. Pers, attributing the pieces to be works by Lord Momin, an ancient Sith sculptor, estimating the artifacts to each be worth an entire moon or two. While Calrissian and Pers discussed the loot, Aleksin became possessed by a helmet imbued with the dark side of the Force, igniting a double-bladed lightsaber and attacking Pavol. Shocked, Calrissian and Pers fled the chamber, resealing the door behind them. Pers argued to enter the escape pods, but Lando refused to leave Lobot behind. Meanwhile, unknown to Lando and Pers, Chanath Cha, now working for the Emperor, had infiltrated the ship. Preventing the crew’s escape, Cha disabled the pods, and the ship relayed the message over the intercom. Lando realized that someone else must be one the ship, and, soon after, Pers and Lando encountered the bounty hunter at gunpoint. However, Cha recognized Lando and lowered her weapons. Cha explained her presence, saying that she was sent to kill anyone aboard or destroy the vessel.
While Chanath couldn’t reactive the escape pods, she agreed to let Lando and Korin escape aboard her ship, the Scimitar, and destroy the Imperialis. However, when Calrissian told Cha that Lobot was aboard the Imperialis and was injured, Cha succumbed to Calrissian’s plan of stopping Aleksin and Pavol and keeping the ship intact. Immediately after, Aleksin and Pavol confronted the group, saying that Pers was a victim, before killing her. Sealing the door between them and the twins, Cha went to dock the Scimitar while Calrissian went to retrieve Lobot. Despite Lobot needing more time, Calrissian removed him from the bacta as the ship announced it would self-destruct. Helping Lobot out of the medical bay, Calrissian encountered Aleksin, fatally shooting the alien. The two reunited with Cha, and Lobot told her that he’d missed her company. When Lando asked if the Scimitar was prepped, Cha explained that her ship’s droid pilot, O-66, had fled, trapping them on the self-destructing Imperialis. Lobot then requested to be taken to a computer interface, where he attempted to disable the auto-destruct.
Unable to do so, Lobot realized he could turn the escape pods back on, but he couldn’t do so while fighting his implant from taking over. Deciding to save his longtime friends, he enabled the pods, allowing the implants to take over his mind. Moving to the escape pods, Lando invited Cha to come with them, saying that it might bring Lobot back, but Cha declined, saying that he’d made his choice and picked Lando. After Cha said goodbye, Lando and Lobot’s pod ejected. As it departed, Lando told Lobot he’d find a cure to bring him back. Upon hearing the word “cure,” Lobot’s cybernetic construct played a pre-recorded contingency message to his friend, saying that Lobot believed Lando could find a cure, but either way he wouldn’t be upset, as he had lived by his choices. Lobot’s message went on to tell Lando that people trust his leadership, and that he needed to do something good with that power. Lobot’s recording then ended with, “Lando. Old buddy. You’re better than this.”