Don’t Sweat the Name in Star Wars Han Solo Imperial Cadet 1

by Patrick Ehlers

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

Let the record show: I really liked Solo: A Star Wars Story. It’s a fun, well-shot flick with some charming performances and cool character designs. Plus, I absolutely love that the revolutionary L7 becomes the brain of the Millennium Falcon – that’s a bit of mythology that feels genuinely additive to every other move that the Falcon has appeared in. But there is one place where the movie gets rightfully slagged, and that’s in the prequel’s need to label every thing. It answers questions no one would ever need to ask, like “Why is Han Solo’s last name Solo?” or “Why does Han call Chewbacca ‘Chewie?”” or “Why doesn’t Lando pronounce Han’s name incorrectly?” I actually find that last one kind of charming, but it is weird how much that flick seems focused on explaining why people use the names they use. Robbie Thompson and Leonard Kirk’s Star Wars Han Solo Imperial Cadet 1 revisits some of these naming moments and ultimately convinces the reader that what we call him doesn’t matter: Han Solo is always gonna Han Solo. Continue reading

Star Wars 52: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Patrick Ehlers

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

Michael: In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader has a score to settle with Luke Skywalker — solely for the reason that he is the rebel who blew up the Death Star. But Luke was only able to take that final shot because Han Solo intervened and blasted Vader’s Tie-Fighter out of the way. It is the dogfight of A New Hope. In Star Wars 52 we get the rematch we never knew we wanted: Han vs. Vader. Continue reading

Star Wars 50: Discussion

By Patrick Ehlers and Taylor Anderson

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

Patrick: With the conclusion of the “Mutiny on Mon Cala” story arc, things are looking up for our heroes. And why wouldn’t they? One of the features of Marvel’s interquel Star Wars series is that we know an awful lot about both the past and future of these characters. There’s a dramatic irony baked into the entire concept of this series. Any time Luke, Han, and Leia are in mortal danger, we can override our fears for their safety by simply remembering that they all live to fight another day. But that’s only half of it, right? We also know that the Rebels are on the run by The Empire Strikes Back. Writer Kieron Gillen and artists Salvador Larroca and Giuseppe Camuncoli use the oversized issue 50 to pivot from inevitable safety to inevitable danger. Continue reading

Star Wars 49: Discussion

By Patrick Ehlers and Taylor Anderson

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

Patrick: If there’s one part of the Star Wars formula I’ve had the hardest time connecting to on a personal level, it’d have to be the huge battles between spaceships.  Don’t get me wrong: I think the ships look cool, and the Millennium Falcon is so near and dear to my heart that I almost cried during its reveal in The Force Awakens. But there’s something about two factions of cold, gray, lifeless ships zipping through space and shooting blasters at each other that feels remarkably impersonal. With Star Wars 49, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca set out to stage the mother of all space battles at the birth of the Rebel Armada. By linking the ships to the characters, the creators create a sense of emotional continuity that makes this one of the best space ship battles I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

Oh, Thank God, C-3PO Still Sucks in Star Wars 47

by Patrick Ehlers

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

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When I was a kid, I hated C-3PO. Hated him. I thought his bumbling antics severely hurt the movies I loved. But something strange happened on my first viewing of The Phantom Menace: I was relieved to see him. Hell, I was excited to see proto-Threepio in Anakin’s bedroom. He was an island of familiarity in a sea of characters that were significantly more annoying. That’s largely how the newest Star Wars movies have been treating Threepio — as a sort of elder statesman of the franchise, commanding respect. Sure, he’s still annoying, but that all stems from his hoity toity affectations. Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 47 reminds us that C-3PO sucks, not just superficially, but deep down to his core. Continue reading

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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Tomorrow May Be Too Late in Star Wars 44

by Michael DeLaney 

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

“There’s no time to lose!” is a line you’ve probably heard in more movies than you can count. I can’t recall a situation in recent memory that applies this idea better than Star Wars 44.

The Rebels are as desperate as ever so they enlist everyone’s favorite trap enthusiast Admiral Ackbar to negotiate a new alliance with his people, the Mon Calamari. An Imperial garrison interrupts the secret meeting, but Leia refuses to let mortal danger postpone this very important rendezvous. Continue reading

Bridging the Gap Between the Old and the New in Star Wars 43

by Mark Mitchell

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

I’ve always considered Marvel’s Star Wars comic to be an extension of the Original Trilogy — a way to continue telling stories with the characters and within the framework that most fans are familiar with — but Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 43 surprises by also acting as a satisfying coda to 2016’s Rogue One. From closing the book (for now) on Jedha to calling back to Princess Leia’s final line in the film, Star Wars 43 neatly bridges the gap between “old” Star Wars and “new” Star Wars in way that fulfills the promise of post-George Lucas single canon Star Wars cross-media world-building.

And as sterile and filled with corporate buzzwords as that all sounds, it’s effective when it works.

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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