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Star Wars: Ancient Lost Architects Built An Original Movie Reference

Warning: contains spoilers for Doctor Aphra #4

Ancient lost architects built an original movie reference in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. The fourth issue of the ongoing series throws directly back to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in a very recognizable way. These architects build impressive things, but this isn’t one of them.

Doctor Aphra is a rogue archaeologist who travels the galaxy looking for ancient artifacts and relics while backstabbing people she knows along the way. She has worked for Darth Vader, but in this series, she’s getting into trouble with a very rich and Imperial-connected family. The Star Wars galaxy features a plethora of locations and architectural styles for her – and other fan-favorite characters – to explore. However, even ancient, brilliant architects provide exits that aren’t nearly as surprising – or cool – as one would expect.

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In Doctor Aphra #4 by Alyssa Wong, Marika Cresta, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna, Doctor Aphra is in the lost city of Vaale. This ancient city was built by the lost architects of Vaale, who built some rather peculiar things. She is seeking two rings with mystical abilities, but she’s up against people hired by Ronen Tagge. After an altercation with them, Aphra and her companions need an escape – which comes in a very familiar form: a garbage chute.

This escape route definitely isn’t what anyone would have been expecting. Star Wars and garbage chutes have been a perfect match since Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, but this is a bit much. That iconic chute was a modern architectural construct at the time of the Empire’s reign. It was built into a very functional – and intimidating – design. The lost city of Vaale is hundreds of years old and has intricate – and creepy – elements of architecture built into it. With the ability to craft mystical rings in as big of a galaxy as Star Wars has, it would be easy to assume that these architects could come up with some creative, secret escape routes. Especially since the city is riddled with booby traps and the architects were capable of building living matter stone that literally drives people mad. This issue just proves that garbage – and ways of removing it – are universal at all times and locations in the Star Wars galaxy.

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However, this is a bit of a fun throwback to the original series. Doctor Aphra is not nearly as heroic as the original trio of Luke, Leia, and Han, but she’s still a fan-favorite rogue. She’s reminiscent of Indiana Jones, but fans never saw him escape with ancient garbage disposal methods. The one big difference about this chute aside from its location is that it doesn’t end in a trash compactor. Despite using a classic, unorthodox getaway route, Aphra and her companions are not forced to rely on help from droid companions, fight any sewer monsters, or deal with trash pick-up day. Sure, sewers don’t tend to smell very nice, but this garbage chute doesn’t have any resident dianogas waiting at the end of it either. Star Wars has some major wonders throughout the galaxy, but Doctor Aphra proves that the galaxy also has a lot of waste to dispose of.

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