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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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

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 Marriage of Star Wars and Horror in Star Wars 32

by Michael DeLaney

Star Wars 32

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

Star Wars 32 is the penultimate issue of “The Screaming Citadel”: a curious chemistry experiment of blending elements of classic horror with those of a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars traditionally deals in the fairly broad notions of “light vs dark” and “good vs evil.” Here Jason Aaron decides to take George Lucas’s space fable of willpower and determination and put it in the face of darker sci-fi concepts of alien parasites, mind control, and vampirism. Continue reading

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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Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 4/5/17

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 Captain Kid 5, Extremity 2, Faith 10, Star Wars 30 and Woods 31. Also, we discussed Black Cloud 1 on Thursday, Rock Candy Mountain 1 on Friday and Jughead 14 today. Also we’re discussing Eleanor and the Egret 1 on Tuesday and Paper Girls 13 on Wednesday, so check those out! As always, this article contains SPOILERS. Continue reading

Star Wars 27

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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

Darth Vader 25

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Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Darth Vader 25, originally released October 12th, 2016As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Taylor: Darth Vader stands alone in pop culture. He is at once terrifying and relatable, a killer and a loving father, a villain and a hero. Perhaps the reason for his enduring popularity is that Vader cannot be defined by one singular trait. Like every human, he changes over time, is sometime good and sometimes evil, and is all too fallible. Ultimately this is what makes him a character that is uniquely memorable. Despite controlling an ancient mystical power, using a sword made of pure energy, and conquering the known universe, what makes him an essential character is the simple fact that he changes. In the final issue of this amazing run, Darth Vader explains once and for all why there is such a big change in the Lord of the Sith between Episode IV and Episode V in wonderful fashion.

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Darth Vader 21

darth vader 21

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Darth Vader 21, originally released June 8th, 2015.

Taylor: One of the things film geeks have come to appreciate about Episode IV is the way George Lucas incorporated techniques pioneered by Japanese director and genius Akira Kurosawa into his movie. In particular, Lucas draws from Kurosawa’s most famous film, the Seven Samurai, which was eventually remade for American audiences as the Magnificent Seven. That Star Wars would be so closely related to a film about cowboys shouldn’t come as a surprise. In many ways, Luke and Han are heroic space cowboys fighting the their way across the open plains of the universe, battling against those who would oppress their freedom. Darth Vader 21 returns Star Wars to this western and in so doing cleverly inverts my assumptions about the motif in fun and new ways.

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Darth Vader 20

darth vader 20

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Darth Vader 20, originally released May 11th, 2015.

Taylor: The old adage goes that silence golden. If nothing else, being a middle school teacher has taught me that this is true. Don’t get me wrong: I love it when kids talk and discuss in class, but the only time I’m not with a room full of kids during the day is my 20 minute lunch break. More than even my lunch, what I treasure about the my break is the beautiful silence. No kids yelling, no scuffing shoes, and no one to interrupt me. Point is, silence is golden. In monthlies, it’s clear that authors often feel the need to pack in as much information as possible. Reasons abound for this and the place to discuss that isn’t here. However, I quiet moment in a monthly is such rare thing. Darth Vader 20, on the other hand, has mastered the use of the pregnant pause, to great effect.

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