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

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Young Readers Will Love Star Wars Adventures 1

by Spencer Irwin

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

One of the most valuable lessons anyone can keep in mind when consuming media is that not everything is for you. Different works have different target audiences, and just because a particular work doesn’t appeal to you specifically doesn’t mean it doesn’t have worth. I’ve always felt like this has been a problem especially in mainstream comics, where attempts at books for all ages or younger readers are met with derision from some of the more entitled fans. We need younger readers to keep this medium alive, and kids deserve stories created especially for them — it makes no sense to judge those books by the same standards we would titles aimed at adults. That’s something I had to keep in mind while reading Star Wars Adventures 1 — I am decidedly not the target audience for this book, but I’m glad it exists nonetheless. Continue reading

Black Krrsantan’s Past Is Finally Revealed in Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual 1

by Mark Mitchell

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

Doctor Aphra is a book built around taking familiar characters from the Star Wars universe and remixing them by removing their moral compasses. Chelli Aphra is the Han Solo who would have taken his reward at the end of A New Hope and never looked back as the Rebels attacked the Death Star. Her robot compatriots, BeeTee and Triple-Zero, are the lovable C-3PO and R2D2, but also they’re always looking for opportunities to murder. And Black Krrsantan? He’s always been a bit of a mystery, but Doctor Aphra Annual 1 revels in finally letting the audience in on his past. Continue reading

The Joy of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 10 is the Supporting Cast

by Mark Mitchell

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

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker’s Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 10 once again illustrates that the joys of these Star Wars comics are frequently not in their ostensible stars. Chelli Aphra as a character is interesting enough to do no harm, but the real highlights of the issue are the supporting cast; Toov and his Iron Lung of The Future, the Ezaraa and their delusions of grandeur, BeeTee and Triple-Zero’s turning their boredom into dangerous tinkering, each is much more interesting than the mechanizations of the plot. Continue reading

Stiff Acting Stilts Star Wars: Poe Dameron 17

by Mark Mitchell

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

A resistance movement concerned with growing apathy among the people, dangerous and corrupt leadership in power propped up by a legislative body too power-hungry to care, journalists as heroes despite being considered untrustworthy by many — the many  parallels between the current political situation in the United States and the state of the galaxy are the driving forces of Charles Soule and Angel Unzueta’s Star Wars: Poe Dameron 17. Continue reading

Is the Lead Enough in Doctor Aphra 9?

by Ryan Desaulniers

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

When Doctor Chelli Aphra came onto the pages of Star Wars comics, the character intrigued me. Anyone who can be Vader’s servant and still walk out alive must be a worthwhile addition to the universe, and her rivalry with Leia in the “Rebel Jail” storyline cemented her for me as one to watch. But as we move through her solo title, I’m beginning to wonder how much faith is being placed in her character to carry this series without other big name-stays in the SW canon. Continue reading

Unknowability is a Strength in Star Wars: Darth Vader 3

by Mark Mitchell

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

Last month when discussing Darth Vader 2, I counted the fact that Darth Vader largely remains a cipher in his own series as a core weakness in Charles Soule’s story, but with Darth Vader 3 I think I have it all wrong. It’s still true that readers looking for a deep, complex shading of Darth Vader won’t find it here, but really, who wants that in the first place? The Prequels were predicated on the audiences’ interest in “understanding” Darth Vader, and those were terrible. The world already has enough context for Vader’s actions thanks to years and years of pop culture indoctrination. Darth Vader as a mostly silent, imposing villain is optimal Darth Vader. It’s the difference between original Halloween Michael Meyers and reinvented Rob Zombie-era Halloween Michael Meyers. Continue reading

Action is Let Down by Low Stakes in Star Wars: Poe Dameron 16

by Michael DeLaney

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

The Phantom Menace probably had more lightsaber action than any of the original Star Wars entries, but it was all predicated on the titillating minutia of trade disputes. Unfortunately,Star Wars: Poe Dameron 16 has more in common with The Phantom Menace than it does with other successful Charles Soule Star Wars outings. Instead of trade disputes, the impetus behind the latest arc of Poe Dameron is…a fuel shipment. 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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A Post-Order 66 Universe is Fleshed Out in Star Wars: Darth Vader 2

by Mark Mitchell

Darth Vader 2

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

I’m not quite sure what to make of this new Darth Vader series yet, especially after an issue like Star Wars: Darth Vader 2, which indicates very little interest in the titular character himself. Like the first issue and its reveal of some previously un-seen optical lens settings in Vader’s helmet, it’s the details around the main Vader story that make reading worthwhile — albeit heavily dependent on your interest in the minutia of the Star Wars universe. Continue reading