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

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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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

Darth Vader 17

darth vader 17

Today, Taylor and Michael are describing Darth Vader 17, originally released March 2nd, 2016.

Taylor: Part of Darth Vader’s mystique is that he’s a loner. He’s solitary, unknowable, and ultimately dangerous to those who both know and don’t know him. This penchant for solitude is part of what makes Vader fearsome. There are few people in the universe who can take on entire platoons of soldiers alone and emerge victorious, but Vader is one of them. Pair this with his basic distrust of just about everyone and everything and it’s no wonder the galaxy fears him. He is ultimately unknowable and what people can’t know they necessarily fear. In his black robes, Vader is essentially the embodiment of black hole: he can’t be known, he destroys all that come close to him, and ultimately he is misunderstood. Issue 17 of Darth Vader explores its titular character’s isolation and shows us how that is both the source of his downfall and ultimate redemption. Continue reading

Darth Vader 16

darth vader 16

Today, Michael and Taylor are describing Darth Vader 16, originally released February 10th, 2016.

Michael: I think that Darth Vader is the favorite among the other Star Wars titles (at least at Retcon Punch) because it is chock-full of dramatic moments and nuanced characters. The power struggles and political battles of Darth Vader are somewhat reminiscent to a show like House of Cards. Darth Vader 16 is kind of a lull in the ongoing narrative that focuses on the particulars of the power struggles that Vader encounters.

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