Star Wars 38: Discussion

By Mark Mitchell and Spencer Irwin

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

Mark: As a Star Wars fan, the 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was exciting for a lot of reasons, but, in hindsight, perhaps the best thing to come out of the buzz surrounding the franchise’s cultural relaunch was the reemergence of Carrie Fisher into the public consciousness. Look, Mark Hamill seems delightful, and Harrison Ford’s turn into Curmudgeon With a Heart of Gold has become more tolerable with time, but Fisher was uniquely witty and genuine. Even if you’ve seen it before, please take a moment to watch her December 2015 interview on Good Morning America. Has there been a more perfect promotional tour interview? Fisher’s ability to simultaneously fulfill her corporate mandate and lampoon the absurdity of the situation while also being charming and warm illustrates just how much of a pro she was. She’s effortlessly charming in a way that immediately puts the lie to the transparently vacuum-sealed “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” celebrities usually foisted upon viewers in the overenunciating hours of daytime television.

I don’t know how Fisher viewed her return to the role of Leia Organa, but I hope she was pleased. And if her likeness is going to be the property of the Walt Disney Company in perpetuity, than I’m glad she was able to portray General Organa in her later years, and that both versions of the character can continue to exist in the Star Wars comics going forward. Continue reading

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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

The Worthiness of Being Called Canon in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 8

by Taylor Anderson

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

When Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, a decree was sent forth from the Magic Kingdom proclaiming that the extended universe portrayed in various books, comics, and TV shows is no longer canon. The reasoning behind this is clear. Disney will be making Star Wars stories until the end of time and they want the creative (see: commercial) freedom to write their own version of the Star Wars universe without conflicting accounts of what happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Whether this is a good idea or not, it places the impetus on Disney to faithfully convey stories from Star Wars, which can be problematic when issues like Doctor Aphra 8 feel out of joint with their source material.

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Star Wars 23

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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

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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

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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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Star Wars 18

Star Wars 18 - revised 4.27.16

Today, Patrick and Spencer discuss Star Wars 18, originally released April 27th, 2016.

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Patrick: I’d never really considered it before, but the women of the Star Wars universe — even when they’re the heroes — tend to have the most boring and stressful possible existences. Anakin gets to jump around with a magical laser sword while Amidala has to serve in an Orwellian uber-government. And even when they split up the Skywalker twins, little Luke is sent to his ancestral home world, guarded over by a Jedi Knight, practically guaranteeing him a life of swashbuckling adventure, whereas little Leia is handed off to a political ally so she can spend her days pretending to like her Alderaanian vegetables. While The Force Awakens has started to take steps in the right direction by making Rey adventure incarnate, sometimes it’s not enough to simply fix the problem. With Star Wars 18, Jason Aaron and Leinil Francis Yu go out of their way to put this problem in clear view: the boys goof around and fuck up until the very last second, while the girls take charge and eat shit for 20 pages. The result is an oddly empowering book, that highlights just how badass the ladies the ladies of Star Wars are by emphasizing how inconsequential (and how celebrated) Han and Luke’s adventure are.

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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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Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 12/2/15

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Barrier 1, Citizen Jack 2, Miracle Man 5, Plutona 3, Star Wars 13, Unfollow 2, and Woods 18.
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