Star Wars 45: Discussion

By Taylor Anderson and Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Taylor: Being a Star Wars fan who grew up with, and only with, the original trilogy, I would consider myself fairly protective of the movies which have spawned a pop-culture empire. This being the case, you might expect that I would hold the new movies to a high standard of excellence since I wouldn’t want their history besmirched. It turns out that the opposite is true. I’ve come to accept that nothing’s going to replicate my love of the original trilogy and that’s OK. That being said, as long as a Star Wars story is decent, I’m pretty happy just to get to spend more time in a galaxy far, far away. Sadly, this can’t be said for all Star Wars stories, which is the case in Star Wars 45.

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Chewie Gives Good Hugs in Star Wars 42

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Very little has been leaked about the new Han Solo movie, and depending on who you talk to, that may or may not be a very bad thing. Even though its release is only a few months away, details about it are sparse with the exception of a few tidbits, such as explaining how Han and Chewie first met. Unless Disney has changed the lore drastically, this will probably take the form of Han saving Chewie’s life so the former owes the latter a life debt. While that might be the basis of their relationship, in Star Wars 42, we see that there’s so much more to it than just that. Continue reading

Star Wars: Storms of Crait 1 Is More Than Just Trivia

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Thanks to decades of supplemental material, there’s almost nothing that’s gone unexplained in the Star Wars universe — even the most minor, insignificant of characters tend to end up with extensive backstories. This can be fun trivia, but I often find myself rolling my eyes whenever I see another story that exists just to explain something that didn’t really need explaining. At first, Star Wars: Storms of Crait appears to be just that kind of story, but thankfully, it transcends those origins to become something far more entertaining. Continue reading

Hutt Temptations in Star Wars 35

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

After a series of long arcs and crossovers, Star Wars is switching formats to give us single issue stories that are mostly self-contained. Star Wars 35 is a lighter chapter where Han Solo and Chewbacca get back to their smuggler roots as they haul Grakkus the Hutt to a Rebel base. Continue reading

Star Wars 23

star-wars-23

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Star Wars 23, originally released September 28, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on the subject of the predictable nature of the structure of the Star Wars films. Whether we’re talking about the Campbellian Hero’s Journey or some kind of impossibly orchestrated ring-based super structure, or just the fact that Force Awakens hits all the same beats as A New Hope, everyone likes to image that they know how a Star Wars story is going to go. Hell, even the interquel nature of the Star Wars comic book series forces the reader to apply all kinds of knowledge about how they already know the story ends. There are — presumably — no surprises to be found between the 4th and 5th episodes of a ubiquitous series based on the culturally omnipresent mono-myth. But writer Jason Aaron is aggressively mucking with structure in this story arc, “The Last Flight of the Harbinger,” and issue 23 finally starts to marry disparate story threads and character beats into genuinely harrowing conflict.

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Han Solo 3

han solo 3

Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Han Solo 3, originally released August 31st, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Leia: I thought you decided to stay.
Han: Well the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed by mind.

Patrick: For all of the galaxy-wide history implied in the original Star Wars trilogy, there’s not much personal history being suggested. Luke led an aggressively boring life before meeting up with the droids, and even the characters that should  have interesting lives — like Obi-Wan and Leia — have their histories trumped by the political movements that sprung up around them. Obi-Wan’s history isn’t really his own, it’s the history of the Jedi Knights; Leia’s history is that of the Rebellion. Only Han Solo has an implied history that seems driven by his own actions and desires. Even in A New Hope, we know that he has personal beef with a local gangster, and also appears to have a relationship with a bounty hunter who’s tracked him to the Cantina. Writer Marjorie Liu brings that same spirit of cause-and-effect personal history to Han Solo 3, doubling down on the importance of Han’s relationships whether we’ve already seen them on the page or not. Continue reading

Star Wars: Han Solo 1

han solo 1

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Star Wars: Han Solo 1, originally released June 15th, 2016.

Taylor: Towards the end of A New Hope, it seems like Han is going to abandon the rebels in their time of need, choosing instead to take his money and run. We all know how the rest of the movie plays out, but what we don’t know is how and why he endears himself to the rebels thereafter. By the time we see Han again in the Empire Strikes Back, he’s a general, and it’s clear he has both the admiration and trust of everyone in the rebellion. But how did this happen? How does Han go from a gallant rogue to a respected general? Why does he join the rebellion instead of paying off the price on his head? Issue one of the Han Solo miniseries has the answers.

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Chewbacca 5

chewbacca 5

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Chewbacca 5, originally released December 30th, 2015.

Taylor: In the new Star Wars movie, it’s apparent that director J.J. Abrams wanted to make Chewbacca a more rounded character. The need for doing this is plain – Chewbacca is one of the main characters in the Star Wars movies, but he’s little more than Han Solo’s charismatic shadow. Abrams rounds out Chewbacca by having him interact with more characters than just Han and by also giving him more heroic things to do like blasting stormtroopers. For the most part I find this to be a fairly successful venture into Chewbacca’s character. He’s portrayed as being important but not to the point that his language barrier interferes with things at all. The Chewbacca comic series similarly attempts to flesh out this character, but as issue 5 highlights, it is not nearly as successful as Episode 7.

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Chewbacca 4

chewbacca 4

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Chewbacca 4, originally released November 25 2015.

Michael: Remember in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin Skywalker was arguing that from his point of view the Jedi were evil and we all laughed?  Flawed storytelling aside I think comic book fans can agree that the big difference between heroes and villains is their perspective. “History is written by the victors” is probably an overused statement but nonetheless true. Simple Star Wars logic dictates: Rebel Alliance = good, Galactic Empire = bad. I’m not sympathizing with The Empire here, but Chewbacca 4 had me examining the actions of our “heroes.”

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Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire 1

Shattered empire 1

Today, Patrick and Andy are discussing Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire 1, originally released September 9th, 2015

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“Star Wars is the saga of good vs. evil, divided into nine parts.”

-George Lucas, 1994

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

-George Lucas, 2012

Patrick: George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy is heavily influenced by just about every archetype-establishing institution in the book: westerns, serials, samurai stories, myths. They are clear stories of good vs. evil, strictly adhering to tenants of Joseph Campbell’s Hero With A Thousand Faces. In 1977, that made those films the sum total of popular fiction to that point – a perfect distillation of the hero triumphing over forces of darkness. That’s an over simplification, of course: Taxi Driver came out the year before A New Hope, after all. But what Lucas did so well in his original film was channeling the simple, clear morality of popular fiction. Almost 40 years later and morality in popular fiction isn’t so clear – neither is the morality of war. Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, two different Gulf Wars – today’s storytellers have a different responsibility to their audience than Lucas did. Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s Shattered Empire embraces this shift, focusing more on the insane fog of war surrounding the bit-players that supported the main heroes of the original trilogy. Continue reading