David, Casey and Russell talk more about The Last Jedi trailer and the poster. Then they review the season 4 premiere of Star Wars Rebels, Captain Phasma #3 and #4 and the Leia novel. They finish up with their thoughts on the revealed title for the Han Solo film.
STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #13
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Kev Walker
Doctor Aphra’s had a plan to auction off an artificial Jedi intelligence in order to make some major credits. Unfortunately, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… Darth Vader is back, and our rogue archaeologist is less dead than he thought he had left her. less
I have loved the Doctor Aphra series and it’s well worth reading. But as much as I have loved it I have to say that issue #13 doesn’t quite fall into that category. I like the issue, I just didn’t love it. It certainly is a good issue and writer Kieron Gillen continues to maintain the level of quality of the story. Vader is back and his battle with the ancient Jedi consciousness Rur is the standout moment of the issue. Artist Kev Walker also continues the high-quality art and again especially during the Vader/Rur fight.
The reason this issue didn’t earn the highest marks from me is that the book is a wrap-up issue. It concludes everyone’s storylines, sends them on their way and gives the reader a glimpse of what is next. While that’s all fine and good it just doesn’t elicit the excitement and action of what came before it. There’s a perfectly good reason to do this and honestly outside of a mini-series most books don’t go to this level to tidy up the house before moving on is such a definitive manner.
On the plus side, it is nice to see a conclusion to the many different plot lines Gillen has been juggling since Aphra first acquired the Rur crystal, running through the crossover The Screaming Citadel and wrapping up with a semi-confrontation with Vader. “Semi” meaning to simply hide from Vader. This is where the one single disappointment lies in the final two issues with Vader. With Vader distracted by Rur and then becoming a goal for Vader, it left no time for a final face-to-face with Aphra. Vader only senses her presence and ultimately abandons any confrontation chalking it up to being able to “losing some of the smaller fish” in light of a bigger prize. With all the storylines being wrapped up nicely this is the one that’s left unfulfilled and it would have been nice to see a final moment between the two.
But seeing the final punctuations on the stories of Black Krrsantan, Triple Zero and BeeTee, Vader and the Emperor was a nice touch. Gillen tops off the stories with Aphra on a vacation but not before we see her, mirroring Han Solo, by doing the right thing with all the artifacts she has been collecting. She may be a “scoundrel” of sorts but still maintains a sense of right and wrong at the appropriate times. Gillen sets-up Aphra with a clean slate moving forward but quickly reminds us of Aphra’s self-preserving side by shooting first and asking questions later, just like Han.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #13 is not a bust and for some will satisfy the curiosity of how the smaller players are moving on. But a final Vader/Aphra scene would have gone a long way to elevating this book to a higher level that the majority of this series has been on from the beginning.
David and Casey celebrate their 200th episode by dedicating the entire show to breaking down the full trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And they’re not alone. The guys are joined by guests Chad, Jeb, Anthony, Cody and newcomer Samantha Luse.
Casey Cooley (@Kryptonian1138) returns to the show with guest Cody Guiler (@CodyGuiler) to give their initial thoughts on the stories featured in “From a Certain Point of View,” and speculate on the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer.
David and guest Chad Perkins discuss the possible release date of the next trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. They also talk more about J.J. Abrams directing Episode IX and David reviews the novel Star Wars: Lost Stars.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciler: Marco Checchetto
Official Description from Marvel:
As the excitement ramps up for this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, come back with us to the final moments of The Force Awakens and the destruction of Starkiller Base to learn the fate of Captain Phasma! Captured by the Resistance and thrown into a garbage masher, we follow the chrome-adorned warrior from the site of the First Order’s biggest defeat to the doorstep of this holiday season’s biggest blockbuster!
What The Force Awakens lacked for Captain Phasma, Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #2 more than makes up for and leaves you wanting more. In just two issues writer Kelly Thompson has made Captain Phasma and her escape from Starkiller Base one of the standout characters that we knew very little about after her debut in Episode VII. With little to go on Thompson does some very skilled writing in making Phasma stand out on her own. In issue two we understand her duplicitous nature and while her mission to stop Lieutenant Rivas is tinged with villainy Thompson has found a way to make us root for Phasma to get to Rivas and protect her secret.
The issue also does something unexpected and takes Phasma’s out of her stand out chrome armor and into a wildly different outfit all while still maintaining the mystery behind the mask. While there is a slight tease that we will finally see who’s under the helmet the choice to keep her concealed was spot on. Phasma has chased Rivas with First Order pilot TN-3465 to the planet Luprora. Rivas is missing from his TIE and finding a village nearby Phasma decides they need to blend in to get the information on Rivas. Not wanting to use a trooper call sign, similar to when Poe gave Finn his name, Phamsa does the same but with far less creativity by naming TN-3465 “Pilot” and while not creative it’s a perfect fit for Phasma’s character. From here the issue stands on its own as a richly designed action adventure for Phasma with plenty of action, monsters, and mystery.
Marco Checchetto art is absolutely fantastic and enriches a story that is already fully engaging. His attention to detail and form is crucial to making Phasma more than just cool costumes. Because we don’t ever see Phasma’s face Checchetto must do more with Phasma’s actions and body language so that the audience connects with her and he does with great skill. The action sequences are so complex and detailed you want to review more than once so you get the whole experience. It’s a perfect for this title. Andres Mossa’s colors add the final stunning touch. The colors are so varied and rich that they are crucial to making all the elements of Checchetto’s work feel even more alive than they already do.
Captain Phasma is now the character I was hoping to see and this series does such a good job making all the characters more personable and likable even when they do bad things. It deepens the mystery of Phasma while at the same time enriching her by expanding her beyond just being the chrome trooper. She’s still strongly a by the book military soldier but now we get to see more layers and complexity that the movies might not be able to provide. Captain Phasma #2 and many of the Star Wars titles shouldn’t be missed or undervalued if you love the universe building that books like this accomplish and you want more from seemingly one-dimensional characters. This title gives you all that and more. Captain Phasma #2 is a must read!
David and guests Cody and Anthony discuss the new release date for Episode IX. They also talk about the writers and actors involved with the upcoming ‘From a Certain Point of View’ novel. Then, they finish up by talking about the return of J.J. Abrams to direct Episode IX and what that means to the future of Star Wars.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Official Description from Marvel:
The Empire has held Threepio captive for far too long. There’s no way they are prepared to deal with this rescue. That’s right – Artoo is ready to take action!
Star Wars #36 continues the character-centric storylines. Writer Jason Arron focuses on R2-D2 and his solo adventure to rescue C3PO. Arron uses an awesome narrative device to walk us through R2-D2’s rescue attempt by using, what we can only assume, is the owner’s manual one would get with an R2 unit. We read the limitations and general working functions of an R2 unit that fall in direct contradiction of what R2 is doing on the page. The juxtaposition of the two is unique and entertaining.
R2-D2 is a one droid wrecking crew all the while the Empire and it’s overmatched Stormtroopers only recognize R2 as a droid strictly designed for starship maintenance and navigational assistance. It’s a brilliant tactic by Aaron and it creates a fun atmosphere of misdirection and underestimated ideals of what a droid is capable of doing. C3PO remains held by the Empire and when we finally see him on the page Aaron does a great job with the bickering banter between the two droids amidst the chaos of trying to escape the ultimate clutches of Darth Vader.
While this issue could easily be looked at as a one off, by the end of the issue we finally get some more players on the board and ramp up to a bigger story. We haven’t seen Vader’s elite Scar Squadron in a while so throwing them back in to the mix along with Vader is an welcome touch. It’ll be interesting to see where the story heads now that we are back with a full cast of characters.
I have had my issues with Salvador Larroca’s art in the past and the photo realistic faces on some panels still throw me off a bit. But I can see their value and interest for others. Just not my cup of tea in this format. I will say the close-up panel of Luke in his cockpit is all around exceptional. That said, I really do like the rest of the issues artwork. The action sequences are great, the droids look spot on and working in such a drab environment of a Star Destroyer, Edgar Delgado’s color work really pops between the gray tones of the Empire and the bold colors of the droids and rebellion.
Star Wars #36 mixes plenty of action with a very comical rescue by deception, sprinkled with plenty of pedestrian language about the R2 series Astromech’s “true” operations to accentuate the narrative. Very well laid out and creative use to tell the overall story. Aaron has done a great job with what has been essentially one-shot stories but now that we have all the details I’m very interested with what the bigger picture holds!
David, Casey and guest Russell Johnson discuss several topics while watching Star Wars: A New Hope. Do we feel the visual effects hold up? What are our thoughts on Han not shooting first? Is the Empire really that bad? Does knowing Galen Erso’s flaw hurt the film now? We discuss these topics and more.
We’re making new fan-made trailers in the style of The Last Jedi teaser and in-depth commentaries of all the Star Wars films. This is Our Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
This trailer for Star Wars: A New Hope focuses on Luke’s destiny to become a Jedi.