A New and Exciting Adventure for R2-D2 in Star Wars 36

by Mark Mitchell

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

One of the reasons The Simpsons has endured for so many years is its deep bench of characters that can be called up to shoulder the heavy lifting of any particular episode. The Star Wars universe has a similarly diverse and beloved cast, and the Star Wars comic is at its best when it sloughs off any need to be connected to a larger continuity and just concerns itself with featuring the characters we love in new and exciting adventures. Continue reading

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Fear as a Motivator in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 12

by Michael DeLaney

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

Fear is a powerful motivator, especially in the Star Wars universe. After all, Anakin Skywalker’s (misguided) fear of losing his wife transformed him into Darth Vader. In Doctor Aphra 12, the “good” doctor makes a lot of desperate moves in order to avoid one of her great fears: Darth Vader himself. Continue reading

Vader Abandons Emotion in Darth Vader 4

by Patrick Ehlers

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

We’re told that the strength of the Dark Side comes from tapping into one’s emotions. Basically, the more Anakin hates, the more strength he has. Jedi are trained to stomp out their emotions, which makes their control of the force more measured, but also markedly more dispassionate. That’s what makes Luke such an expectedly effective Force user — while he sorta learns from ancient Jedi masters, he’s too old and emotional to keep his feelings in check. He’s like 80% Light Side, with some Dark Side mixed in, just for extra oomph. But why wouldn’t the reverse be true? Darth Vader frequently draws on his rage, his grief and is isolation to make him powerful beyond measure, but it’s ultimately his dispassionate moves that make him most intimidating. Choking an officer to death to make a point? That shit’s calculated, not emotional. In Darth Vader 4, we see where the Sith Lord learns the power of not giving a fuck. Continue reading

Is the Lead Enough in Doctor Aphra 9?

by Ryan Desaulniers

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

When Doctor Chelli Aphra came onto the pages of Star Wars comics, the character intrigued me. Anyone who can be Vader’s servant and still walk out alive must be a worthwhile addition to the universe, and her rivalry with Leia in the “Rebel Jail” storyline cemented her for me as one to watch. But as we move through her solo title, I’m beginning to wonder how much faith is being placed in her character to carry this series without other big name-stays in the SW canon. Continue reading

Unknowability is a Strength in Star Wars: Darth Vader 3

by Mark Mitchell

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

Last month when discussing Darth Vader 2, I counted the fact that Darth Vader largely remains a cipher in his own series as a core weakness in Charles Soule’s story, but with Darth Vader 3 I think I have it all wrong. It’s still true that readers looking for a deep, complex shading of Darth Vader won’t find it here, but really, who wants that in the first place? The Prequels were predicated on the audiences’ interest in “understanding” Darth Vader, and those were terrible. The world already has enough context for Vader’s actions thanks to years and years of pop culture indoctrination. Darth Vader as a mostly silent, imposing villain is optimal Darth Vader. It’s the difference between original Halloween Michael Meyers and reinvented Rob Zombie-era Halloween Michael Meyers. Continue reading

A Post-Order 66 Universe is Fleshed Out in Star Wars: Darth Vader 2

by Mark Mitchell

Darth Vader 2

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

I’m not quite sure what to make of this new Darth Vader series yet, especially after an issue like Star Wars: Darth Vader 2, which indicates very little interest in the titular character himself. Like the first issue and its reveal of some previously un-seen optical lens settings in Vader’s helmet, it’s the details around the main Vader story that make reading worthwhile — albeit heavily dependent on your interest in the minutia of the Star Wars universe. Continue reading

Star Wars 19 & Obi-Wan and Anakin 5

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Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Star Wars 19 and Obi-Wan & Anakin 5, originally released May 25th, 2016.

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Star Wars 19

Star Wars 19Michael: In past write-ups, I’ve argued that nothing truly significant can happen to our band of Rebels in the pages of Star Wars, since they are bound to the canon of both the preceding and following films. What the Star Wars comics can do, however, is serve as a study of any given character from the original Star Wars film. Leia isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress in the original trilogy, but she does often play second fiddle to the likes of Luke or Han. Star Wars 19 is the finale of the “Rebel Jail” arc, which has highlighted Leia’s strength and resolve as both a hero and leader.

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Star Wars Round-Up: Issues Released 1/6/16

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Vader Down is comes to an explosive conclusion! If they can publish two at once, we can discuss two at once… or, you know, one immediately after the other. Today, Taylor and Patrick discuss Star Wars 14 and Darth Vader 15.
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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

Star Wars 4

star wars 4

Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Star Wars 4, originally released April 22nd, 2015.

Taylor: There’s a been a lot of Star Wars news lately thanks to the release of the second trailer for the upcoming The Force Awakens. Aiding the hype of this trailer has been a number of costumes and props that recently went on display at the “Star Wars Celebration. Additionally, there’s a new Star Wars Battlefront game that’s about to be released, the first in a number of years, which has gamers truly excited. Lost among all of this fanfare has been the teaser trailer for the spin-off Star Wars movie, Rogue One. Like the Star Wars comic, this movie takes place between famous episodes of the primary trilogies and like the the comics it offers a behind the scenes, gritty look at the rebellion. This aspect, more than anything else, is what makes the comic interesting and what makes issue four of the series so fun to read. Continue reading