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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Luke’s in Hell in Star Wars 41

by Mark Mitchell

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

Like pus from an open sore, a dangerous energy seeps into the universe in Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars 41, escaping from the remains of the Jedi temple on Jedha. Luke has come to Jedha and the Cult of the Central Isopter looking for guidance in mastering the Force. Larroca and colorist GURU-eFX paint an evocative portrait of a planet in torment — Luke’s in Hell, basically, but that’s the point.

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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

Sins of George’s Past Arise Once More in Star Wars 40

by Taylor Anderson

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

George Lucas has many sins to atone for. Jar-Jar Binks, Episode II, and of course the “special edition” of the original trilogy. Of this last sin, perhaps what makes it the most grievous is that it has taken that which was perfect and smeared crap all over it. While there’s a lot to complain about with the re-releases, nothing gets me more worked up than the added scene in Episode where Han encounters Jabba outside of the Millennium Falcon. The CGI in this scene is just awful and it’s clear that Harrison Ford is not actually talking to a giant slug, but simply an overweight man, as Jabba appeared in the original scene. With such sins as its burden, I though Star Wars would be careful not to repeat anything of that nature. And so it was, until Star Wars issue 40.

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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

Dramatic Irony in Star Wars 33

by Taylor Anderson

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

There are a lot of upsetting things that happen in The Empire Strikes Back: the Rebellion loses its primary base,Han is frozen in carbonite, and Luke finds out Darth Vader is his father. For all that, the perhaps the most disturbing part of the movie happens early on when Leia kisses Luke on the mouth in an act that borders on incest. That Leia and Luke didn’t know they were siblings when this happens doesn’t make the kiss any less disturbing, but you have to wonder why Leia even thought about it in the first place. 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 31

Today, Taylor and Mark are discussing Star Wars 31, originally released May 17th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: The movie Crimson Peak, directed by the well-known and visually gifted Guillermo del Toro, received lukewarm reviews when it first came out. Its lackluster reception is understandable because the movie never truly reaches the heights of horror everyone was expecting it too. That, paired with a story that never truly paid off, doomed it to mediocrity. However, the movie does look impressive, and it nails the pace of a true Gothic horror story quite well, making it all the more disappointing that it didn’t pan out in the end — del Toro had the hard part complete already. Setting a pace for a Gothic story is difficult because it requires a delicate control to the narrative forward, almost at an achingly slow pace to build tension. If only del Toro had paired with Jason Aaron on writing Star Wars 31, we might have the perfect Gothic inspired issue.

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Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel 1

Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel 1, originally released May 10th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel 1 kicks off Marvel’s latest Star Wars crossover starring Luke Skywalker and Doctor Aphra. The extra-long one-shot issue has an ominous ending that definitely earns its horror genre-inspired title. In short, Kieron Gillen and Marco Checchetto seem to be prepping us for what could arguably be called “The Star Wars Vampire Diaries.” Maybe not — I’ve never watched that show — but it has vampires in it, right?

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Star Wars 27

star-wars-27

Today, Patrick and Mark are discussing Star Wars 27, originally released January 25th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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“I’m very conscious of the environments. I try to have at least three environments in a movie and I try to have them as different as possible. And then from movie to movie I try to have them as different as possible. Y’know, in the first movie, we were on a sand thing — it was all a brown kinda color— and in the second one we were in the snow and it was all kinda white, and a green, swampy kinda thing. And third one… what can you do in terms of environments? You have to shoot it somewhere on this earth. Unfortunately, you can’t go somewhere else. So a forest was really the only thing I had left.”

-George Lucas, on Return of the Jedi

Patrick: George Lucas spends a lot of time, energy and imagination developing the settings for his stories. This is actually one of the qualities that — no matter what else slipped in his filmmaking — never suffered in either of his trilogies. Say what you want about The Phantom Menacethe planet Naboo is stunningly realized and presents two completely separate environments and cultures. He’s a designer with a strong sense of place and history. That quality of passive storytelling doesn’t always trickle down into Star Wars games, comics and TV shows (or arguably, into the newer movies), but it’s interesting to see Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca try to capture that same sense of place in Star Wars 27. Continue reading