Review: Doctor Aphra #17

Doctor Aphra: Still gay
Tolvan: Still doesn’t know her name. Still pretty into her

I dig it.

“Remastered” has no intent of confining itself to just one location and in Doctor Aphra #17, our favorite archaeologist and her team make their way to a rebel pilot training base where the general in charge is a very familiar green face. Yup, it’s the face you’re thinking of because who else could train a batch of recruits to fly x-wings quite as well as Hera Syndulla?

One thing I really like about this comic is that it never tries to hide that Aphra’s not a great person but at the same time, it makes it clear that she’s not exactly a really bad person either. This arc in particular has emphasized this with Triple Zero forcing her to do things she otherwise wouldn’t and Tolvan skinning another being as part of her disguise which Aphra’s not okay with. It gives Aphra more depth than your standard “bad gal” and honestly, it’s part of what makes me love her. It’s also a part of what makes her feel real. She makes a lot of bad decisions and then has to deal with the consequences. If anything, Jango’s line about being a simple man trying to make his way in the universe probably really applies a lot to her too.

This issue also does lovingly poke fun at how trusting some of the Rebels can be. (Or maybe that’s just Flight Control; Hera at least knows what’s up. Actually Hera is by far the most competent person in this issue.) In a way, it’s almost sweet how he so easily believes that these mercenaries are there to join up without any ulterior motive.

I think it’s been a little while since I’ve mentioned it but I am really digging the Laiso/Rosenberg combination for the artwork on this book. There was something about their work on this issue that particularly clicked into place. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there was something about it that took my feelings on the art from like to love.

There’s a heck of a lot going on in both “Remastered” and Doctor Aphra #17 and I’m definitely still on board with all of it and can’t wait to see how both Hera and Aphra handle things in the next issue.

Doctor Aphra #17: Kieron Gillen and Si Spurrier/Writers, Emilio Laiso/Artist, Rachelle Rosenberg/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White/Editor

Book Wars Pod, Episode 38: Brendol the Weird Step-dad


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We’re continuing our journey through Delilah S. Dawson’s PHASMA this week! Join us as we discuss how this book shows us a side of the galaxy we’ve never seen before, the “humanity” of droids, and how much we understand so far of who Phasma really is.

This podcast covers chapters 14-22 of PHASMA and is NOT spoiler-free!

Book Wars Pod explores the Star Wars universe through the franchise’s non-screen media: the canon novels, comics, and video games. Check out our guide to past episodes, and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you cast your pods. You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed on iTunes or Google Play for more great shows from our podcast network.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr for episode updates! Hosted by Kristen Sereci, Chris Sedor, and Kate Sedor. Art by Joe Butera. Music by Podington Bear.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by your support on Patreon!

Holonet Blast #46

Welcome back to the Holonet Blast: our weekly look at the news from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Solo Toys debut– and they are glorious!

Hasbro debuted the 6” Black series figures featuring the characters from Solo: A Star Wars Story this week at New York Toy Fair. Figures of Han Solo featuring Alden Ehrenreich’s likeness, the Imperial Range Trooper, and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra have all been met with enthusiasm, but it’s Donald Glover’s likeness as Lando Calrissian—complete with billowing cape and raised eyebrow—that seems to be stealing the show. The toys are set to hit the market in advance of the film’s May 25th release date.

Ron Howard once again tweets hints to Solo

Once again, news from the making of Solo: A Star Wars Story comes to us in the form of a tweet from director Ron Howard. This week it was the news that Jon Favreau is joining the cast as the voice of “a very cool & important alien character”. It remains to be seen who the character is and what they add to the story, but Favreau’s addition to the cast is surely an exciting development.

More new Star Wars toys to include comic book and animated favorites

In additional news from New York Toy Fair, the Star Wars toy line is getting more than just the few Solo: A Star Wars Story figures previously unveiled.  Other characters from Solo, including Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett and the Mimban Stormtrooper, are coming to the Black Series line as well as Princess Leia in her Hoth kit from The Empire Strikes Back, Admiral Holdo from The Last Jedi, and other familiar characters including Commander Wolffe from both The Clone Wars and Rebels.

The 3.75” Vintage Collection is getting additions from Solo, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rogue One, as well as a figure of Dr. Aphra from Marvel’s Star Wars Comic Books (a favorite of ours here at Tosche Station!).

A “lights and sound” Millennium Falcon (in its Solo: a Star Wars Story trim), new blasters, the “Ultimate Co-Pilot” interactive plush Chewbacca, and several toys compatible with Force Link 2.0 were also announced.

Solo tie-in books announced

For those of us who enjoy the added lore and fleshed-out backstories provided by Star Wars books, this week’s Solo: A Star Wars Story announcements were nothing short of giddy-making. In addition to the usual offerings of creative non-fiction, this week’s announcements included some buzz-worthy novels and comics. D.J. Older’s adult fiction novel Last Shot will take readers on an adventure spanning decades and will take us adventuring with Han and Lando both as the young scoundrels we will see in Solo and the old friends we know from  The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Rae Carson’s YA novel Most Wanted will take us deeper into Han Solo’s youth, his relationship with shadowy Qi’ra, and his hardscrabble life on the streets of Corellia. Joining the novels is the Lando: Double or Nothing comic mini series, a middle reader book featuring Chewbacca, a series of stories in the Star Wars Adventures comics, and the Little Golden Book I am a Wookiee.

Keep your eyes on Tosche Station for release dates and reviews of all the Solo tie-in reading.

Western Reaches #36

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On this episode Saf and Megan review the Bone Universe fantasy trilogy by Fran Wilde, discussing its unique world-building and character development. In the grab-bag of video games and books the Western Reaches crew also talk about Halo novels (as usual), Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
You can find Megan on Twitter with the handle @blogfullofwords and you can find Saf with @Wanderlustin. Be sure to subscribe to Western Reaches on iTunes/Google Play and subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed for more great shows, discussion, and commentary. This podcast has been brought to you by your support on Patreon!

Book Wars Pod, Episode 37: One-Sleeved Crop Top


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This week, we’re starting PHASMA by Delilah S. Dawson, the origin story of the First Order’s most feared — and most mysterious — soldier. Join us as we discuss Parnassos, a world unlike any other in the current Star Wars canon; hope and the First Order; and how, right off the bat, the writing itself is different from the canon novels we’ve discussed before.

Also, Kate mixed up Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in this episode; she meant the latter. Bronte sisters confusion.

This podcast covers chapters 1-13 of PHASMA and is NOT spoiler-free!

Book Wars Pod explores the Star Wars universe through the franchise’s non-screen media: the canon novels, comics, and video games. Check out our guide to past episodes, and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you cast your pods. You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed on iTunes or Google Play for more great shows from our podcast network.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr for episode updates! Hosted by Kristen Sereci, Chris Sedor, and Kate Sedor. Art by Joe Butera. Music by Podington Bear.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by your support on Patreon!

Holonet Blast #45

SOLO WHAT A MAN SOLO. Yeah. That’s basically everything in our Holonet Blast this week. Well… almost everything.

Let’s just get this first one over with: David Benioff and DB Weiss of Game of Thrones fame are going to be making a series of Star Wars films. We don’t know what they’re about yet but we do know that yes, this is yet another film(s) being written by white guys. Give us a little diversity behind the camera, please.

In better news, Iger says that there are several TV series currently in development. Star Wars is launching a new Force For Change campaign which gives you for first shot at Solo merch.

Disney also gave us some more insight into Galaxy’s Edge. You can buy toys from a Toydarian and I don’t know why this delights me so much.

And now… Solo. So much Solo. EW unleashed an onslaught of articles: Emilia Clarke talks Qi’ra, why Ron Howard, jumped on board, the rogues gallery, an elite droid, LANDO!!!, and some Han Solo. And with that, go watch the trailer again. Because you can.

Review: DJ: Most Wanted

DJ: Most Wanted: It’s fine.

Oh wait. You want more of a review than that? Fine.

(Did you see what I did there?)

Set right before the events of The Last Jedi, DJ: Most Wanted gives us a little more insight into what it’s like to be DJ. Unsurprisingly, it’s basically what you think: a scoundrel who finds trouble and looks out for himself. This isn’t even necessarily a slight against Ben Acker and Ben Blacker because there’s really only so much they could do with a character prequel comic like this and we have seen them do far more captivating work with their Storms of Crait one-shot where it feels like they had more freedom. It’s not a bad comic. It’s just… a comic in which DJ certainly gets into trouble and tossed into jail. If nothing else, the story helps further flesh out Canto Bight. If you want more of these things, it’s worth picking up this issue. Otherwise… it’s fine.

The one delightful thing about this book is that we get to see Kev Walker drawing Star Wars again! There’s no one else I could imagine being the one to draw an incredibly buff Rodian. (No really: look at the size of his biceps!) If nothing else, you can always count on Walker to keep his cast of characters diverse and his backgrounds interesting.

Bottom line? DJ: Most Wanted is fine but not worth going out of your way for.

DJ: Most Wanted: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker/Writers, Kevin Walker/Penciler, Marc Deering/Inker, Java Tartaglia/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White, Editor

Review: Mace Windu

Mace Windu just might be the first of the Marvel comics that I recommend you skip entirely and that’s a bummer. Mace Windu has been one of my favorite Prequel Era Jedi ever since I read Shatterpoint and I was hoping for so much more from this. In fact… go pick up a copy of that book instead. It may be Legends now but it’s a better use of your time than this bland comic.

Bland may sound harsh but it’s the best way to describe the book. You could have subbed in almost any other Jedi without the story changing too much. That’s not a good thing. If you’re going to put Mace Windu on the cover then you expect a little of his grim and badass personality to come through on the pages. It never does. That’s not to say that Matt Owens doesn’t try and come up with an interesting story and you can see places where it might really take off but unfortunately, it just never works out.

And then there’s the art… It’s difficult to move past the gremlin Yoda and struggling depictions of some of the more familiar aliens. Most of the time, the art is serviceable but it’s difficult to get that image of Yoda out of your head.

In the interest of not being entirely negative about the comic, I was happy to see the miraluka brought back into canon. They’ve always been a species that’s fascinated me and the eye-related humor did get a laugh or two from me. The absolute best part of the book were the battle droids. Owens got their voices and The Clone Wars feel down pat. They were the highlight of the book.

I genuinely hate to sound so down on a Star Wars comic. I honestly do. Mace Windu isn’t necessarily bad: it’s just not up to the level of the other Star Wars comics that Marvel’s been publishing. You can feel comfortable in skipping this one.

Mace Windu #1-5: Matt Owens/Writer, Denys Cowan/Penciller, Roberto Poggi/Inks, Guru-eFX/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Heather Antos & Charles Beacham/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White/Editor

Vongcast Episode #1

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The Vongcast begins in earnest as Megan, Rocky, and Bria discuss the book that started it all: Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore.

You can find Megan on Twitter with the handle @blogfullofwords,  Rocky with @ladydarthcaedus, and Bria with @chaosbria. This podcast has been brought to you in part by your support on Patreon!  If you like what you hear, you can subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Megafeed for more episodes and all of our network’s great Star Wars and geek culture content. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.