David is joined with guests Cody Guiler and Russell Johnson to discuss a ton of Star Wars. They reveal what they got during Force Friday II and review Darth Vader #5 and the latest trailer for Star Wars Rebels. Then they give their opinions on the removal of Colin Trevorrow as director of Episode IX.
Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Official Description from Marvel:
He began his journey as a Jedi with wonder and hope. Now it is time to put away childish things. Vader’s first and most vital test as a Sith concludes.
Since I’ve been reading this Darth Vader series I have always expected that once Vader gets a lightsaber from a Jedi he has defeated then his transformation is completed. Well in Darth Vader #5 writer Charles Soule quickly alters what I thought was coming. In issue #5 Soule delves deep into the mind of Darth Vader as he must now again struggle with the dark and light sides of The Force. As Soule has done throughout the series, giving Vader very little dialogue, he lets the panels on the page lead readers through Vader’s complicated final transformation.
The story is so beautifully laid out that this could be the single best issue of the series and that’s saying something considering how much I have enjoyed the series so far. Soule throws a curveball at readers and for a moment makes you feel like you know nothing about Vader’s path to the dark side. It all quickly becomes crystal clear through another masterful layout of panels that you understand why Vader has to struggle so mightily to complete his journey.
While Soule’s work has been stellar on this book I also can’t say enough good things about Giuseppe Camuncoli’s work either. Since Soule is more than happy to let the images do a lot of the talking Camuncoli shines through. His layouts and attention to detail are spectacular as readers are easily led down Vader’s path. The action is exciting, fluid and easy to follow not to mention the compliment of colors by David Curiel. All the panels just pop with power and precision.
Darth Vader continues to be a must read for Star Wars fans and easily one of the most exciting and top books in the Star Wars lineup. Issues 1-5 gave an impressive look behind Vader’s mask, literally, and fills you in on a lot of information especially if you are not a reader of the novels. All of it was very eye opening for me and can’t wait for what’s next. If the teaser is any indication then things are about to pick-up. Do not miss out on this series!
Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Marco Checchetto
Official Description from Marvel:
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!
There are a lot of new Star Wars characters that once introduced fans go crazy for because they have an awesome look and feel but when it comes to their role in a movie are given not much to do. Captain Phasma is the latest in a series of characters that were teased prior to a movie’s debut and got fans excited for the possibilities that awaited. In Captain Phasma #1 writer Kelly Thompson gets to take a closer look at Phasma’s role in The Force Awakens and does so with the military efficiency and determination of Phasma herself.
This story picks up right where we last saw Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens and continues her story on how she survives the destruction of Starkiller Base. One thing Thompson tackles is not only Phasma’s rigid military mindset but also delves into how Phasma is not above saving her own skin. It’s her mission now to cover-up her role in the destruction of Starkiller Base but also put the blame squarely on someone else. Thompson walks readers through step by step and even uses a time coded narrative to keep things as clear as possible. The story is two-pronged in it’s attack. One through dialogue and another as Phasma documents her mission to the First Order leadership once it is complete.
Thompson crafts a well thought out plot and maintains clever crossover moments that we saw play out on the big screen using Phasma’s point of view. Fans also get the first appearance of a character that I won’t spoil here but if you were engaged on all the new items launched on Force Friday this will be a special treat for you. I thoroughly dug it! The art of Marco Checchetto is just fantastic! He keeps the frenetic feel and pace from the chaos of Starkiller Base’s final moments and the action of Phasma’s mission jump off the page. Andres Mossa’s coloring is on point as well and adds the perfect compliment to Checchetto’s line work.
This miniseries is not a deep dive into Phasma’s origin, for that, I recommend picking up Phasma a novel written by Delilah S. Dawson. This is the closer look at how Phasma escapes Episode VII and moves forward into The Last Jedi and it’s a lot of fun, exciting and dynamic. It fits perfectly within the storyline of The Force Awakens and expands nicely on it as well. I love it when a writer can expand on a story, flesh out an underdeveloped character and make the whole thing feel cohesive. Captain Phasma #1 is a great story and while the narrative structure was a little complex but it doesn’t hurt to go back and read this book a second or third time. It’s well worth the investment for fans of Star Wars and Captain Phasma. This first issue has me anxious and excited for what’s to come. Highly recommended reading!
Writer: Matt Owens
Artist: Denys Cowan
For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have been the peacekeepers of the galaxy… but now, at the dawn of the Clone Wars, they find themselves in a new role: generals in the Army of the Republic. As Mace Windu, one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors, leads a small unit of Jedi into battle shortly after the war begins, the Jedi must make peace with their new role, or be lost to the violence around them!
Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu #1, outside of its overly long title, is one of the few Star Wars titles from Marvel that dips into prequel territory. There have been a few, Obi-Wan and Anakin for example, but this one develops some new characters and some interesting psychology of the Jedi during the Clone Wars. The mindset of Jedi as peacekeepers turned generals was always an underlying theme in the movies but writer Matt Owens tackles the deeper emotional war the Jedi must now face with great skill and guides the reader seamlessly through this rollercoaster ride the Jedi are now on.
Mace Windu is at the center of the story and his opening conversation with Ki-Adi-Mundi really gets to the heart of the Jedi’s struggle. There are some more familiar faces, Yoda and Kit Fisto among them, but we are introduced to new Jedi Prosset Dibs and Rissa Mano. Dibs is sightless but has a strong intuitional connection to the Force and Mano is a new Jedi, but according to Mace, has impressive piloting skills rivaling those of Plo Koon. Windu and his team must head to Hissrich on the outer rim to take out a Separatist foothold that doesn’t really feel like much of a threat.
That’s the crux of the story and while Owens makes sure there’s plenty of action this story is really just setting the stage. Owens also maintains the comedic tone of the B1 battle droids of an army that seems almost bored at times by their assignment. The story is well rounded and entertaining but this is just a small taste of what’s to come, or at least so I hope so. This mission Windu leads isn’t much of a challenge but the ending introduces readers to something, I’m not quite sure how it fits going into issue number two, but it’s definitely intriguing.
Denys Cowan art is a good match for this book. Traditional line work, great flow in the action and Guru-eFX’s coloring is fantastic. Lots of color which brings, even more, character to this book. It feels dynamic and really pops off the page. Cowan really captures the look and feel of the Jedi Council and easily transitions to the jungle covered planet of Hissrich. Great flow and pacing throughout.
Mace Windu is definitely a book with a lot of potential and the team behind the book are obviously just giving us a teaser of what’s next and I’m excited by the possibilities. It’ll be interesting to see how deep a look Owens gives of Windu moving forward. He has started off well and I look forward to learning more about Mace Windu, that I feel, we only got a sampling of in the movies. A definite read for any Star Wars fan but also those who want a different perspective of the Clone Wars from the characters with who we are already familiar and for those who maybe didn’t watch the Clone Wars animated series.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Han and Chewie go back to smuggling… for a Hutt?!
STAR WARS #35 is a Han and Chewie centric story focusing on the transport of Grakkus The Hutt to the outer rim. Writer Jason Aaron starts off strong with the characterization of Han Solo which is spot on for Solo. Han’s wit, snarky remarks, and sarcasm is on full display in his encounter with Mon Motha and the assignment she asks him to take on. The overall story is entertaining but fails to reveal much else outside of a single mission to help the rebellion. Han’s reluctance and eventual acceptance of the mission are typical of the character but I wished there were more self-doubt and hesitation.
The last few issues of the main Star Wars titles have been jumping from team to team. Luke and Leia to Lando and Sana to Han and Chewie. While fun, in and of themselves, I look forward to a series of issues with the same recurring characters and a more elaborate storyline. In this issue, Grakkus and Han have engaging dialogue and a run in with the empire is an exciting, yet all to brief, action sequence within the story. The ending of the issue sets up a potentially interesting character but not revealing too much as to where the story is going.
Now I must address the art of Salvador Larroca in a manner I always cringe at discussing. While the majority of the issue is well illustrated, the image of Han and the few panels of Mon Motha, particularly their faces close-up, is incredibly distracting. While the rest of a panel is drawn using very traditional comic line work, Han’s face is in almost all instances photo-realistic. I don’t know if this is a combination of the pencil work and the coloring of Edgar Delgado or this is simply Larroca’s call but either way every time it appeared immediately took me out of the story. All I could focus on why Han’s face looks like that as opposed to everything else on the page. Especially when it was in direct opposition to Chewie or Grakkus, Mon Motha not so much but, still stuck out like a sore thumb. Outside of that, the art was very good along with the cover, by Mark Mayhew, I just wish it was more traditional throughout.
Star Wars #35 is a good read and could have but I am hoping for bigger and better things in the future. It may be because it’s the year is winding down and annuals are starting to rear their ugly head that we are getting a lot of stand alone issues. Either way, I look forward to a return to a four to six issue run of a deeper long running story arc in the Star Wars universe.
David discusses the latest news and reviews two novels, ‘Lords of the Sith’ and ‘The Perfect Weapon’. Then he brings on guest Jeb Smith to discuss their plans for Force Friday II.
After discussing the news and a review of the novel ‘Rebel Rising’, David and Casey talk about the revealed plan of an Obi-Wan Kenobi film.
Hot off the digital presses! Hollywood Reporter is saying one of Lucasfilm’s next movies could very well be the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off. Rumor has it director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Crown). No word yet on Ewan McGregor’s involvement, but one can only hope!Continue Reading …
David and Casey talk about the slew of images revealed in the upcoming Entertainment Weekly magazine. Then they discuss Saw’s partisans and their significance in the ‘Inferno Squad’ and ‘Rebel Rising’ novels. They also review Darth Vader #4.
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Penciler: Fernando Blanco
Cassian Andor is one of the top intelligence agents in the ranks of the Rebel Alliance, ably assisted by his reprogrammed Imperial security droid, K-2SO. But naturally, the two weren’t always on the same side of the Galactic Civil War. Now, for the first time, read the story of the pair’s first contentious meeting! It is very likely not to go well.
Cassian & K-2SO #1 is a one-shot giving readers essentially an origin story of the pairing of the rebel intelligence officer and Imperial security droid. Writer Duane Swierczynski maintains the tone of Rogue One with plenty of action and lighthearted even funny moments. He also keeps intact the humor and nuances of K-2SO we all fell in love with in the movie. The story itself is about what essentially is a mission to extract Imperial security protocols for the rebellion.
Cassian travels to the backwater world of Wecacoe with two rebel spies, Kertas & Rismor. The pair have a knack sniffing out Imperial intelligence but don’t communicate in a traditional sense. Swierczynski has devised a unique method of how the two speak and Cassian must serve the reader in both dialogue and narration to fully explain what’s happening. Cassian is literally the only voice there is until K-2SO appears and using this narrative device for our main characters is unique but sometimes feels a bit clunky.
Like most Star Wars stories, the mission is laid out as a simple one but things go wrong almost immediately. The most humor in the story is derived by Cassian’s constant struggle to re-program K-2SO but the payoff in the end about the usefulness of K-2 is very satisfying. Once the action gets going it doesn’t stop and it’s well illustrated by Fernando Blanco. It’s got all the feeling of a battle in which our heroes find themselves outnumbered by Imperial troopers with plenty of missteps and close calls along the way. The coloring is great and matches the tone and feel of another desert planet awash in the presence of the Empire.
There aren’t too many surprises here even though we learn more about K-2SO joining the rebellion. I wish we could have gotten a little more backstory on Cassian but that would be better played out if this wasn’t simply a one-shot. It certainly would make for an interesting ongoing series. All in all, CASSIAN & K2SO #1 is a solid read and definitely feels right at home in the Rouge One storyline. It’s got plenty of action, humor and most importantly a definitive conclusion and explanation to K-2SO’s importance to the rebel cause. Any fan of Rouge One will find this a satisfying chapter to that story but this could have been great if it gave readers a deeper dive into the connection to the original Star Wars trilogy.