Knights of the Old Replay: Exalted through Prophet Motive

There is a slight chance that you will be able to tell how tired I was when I wrote this column. Just a slight one. But that should definitely not detract from my unbridled enthusiasm for some of these issues because hot damn, KOTOR! Hot damn!

Exalted
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

Another one bites the dust DUN DUN Another one bites the dust DUN DUN Another one gone and another one gone Another one bites the dust!

See your way out of that one, Feln! Actually, it should have been pretty easy… common sense says that blowing up a giant warehouse full of Sith objects isn’t a great idea if you’re going for a contained explosion.

The crazy busy pages seem to be Bong Dazo’s niche for this book. None of the other artists on this book manage to capture the chaos of a fight quite like he can. It’s starting to feel like his trademark.

I really don’t have much to say about this arc. Maybe it’s because I read it while stuck in a never-ending loop of Christmas hold music and my brain just went numb. That’s probably it. No wait! I do want to point out that letting Lucien on the Council is just Dumb with a capital D no matter what Vrook and Vandar think they’re being oh so clever about.

Okay, now I’m done. Continue reading

On the Importance of Dr. Aphra

dr-aphraThis week? This week is a good week because we get Dr. Aphra #1.

Aphra’s been a lot of firsts since we initially met her in Darth Vader #3 in March 2015. She was the first significant new character we met in the Star Wars comics. She was one of the first (alongside Sabine Wren) Asian characters to have a leading role in the Star Wars universe. And Wednesday? She’s going to be the first female character to get a Star Wars ongoing title and one of the first characters unaffiliated with the films or TV shows to headline her own comic or book.

Short version? She’s a big freaking deal.

(And not just because she survived a Kieron Gillen book which is really admirable on its own.) Continue reading

Rebels Review: An Inside Man

rebels logoThis week it’s a return to Lothal, and yet another return to Ezra, kiddo, why are you like this?  All up, An Inside Man is a pretty classic undercover episode with Kanan and Ezra infiltrating an imperial factory on Ezra’s home world with the assistance of Ryder Azadi. Fulcrum has told the Ghost crew there’s a new weapon being developed and it’s up to them to find out more. Unfortunately for Ezra and Kanan, the malfunctions caused by rebel sympathizers at the factory haven’t gone unnoticed, and Thrawn has come to find out why.

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Review: Star Wars Annual #2

In a shocking turn of events, it’s looking like the Star Wars Annuals might actually be Annual! I hope that they continue to be (and that they continue to be standalone stories with characters who appear in the book later.)

Excitingly, we get to add another woman to the list of female creators for Star Wars as Kelly Thompson takes on writing duties. Marvel fans will know her from A-Force and she’s a great pick for a story that centers around two women. The story centers around Pash Davane (aka Bash) who used to be an underwater engineer but is now stuck lugging around crates. She’s not terribly fond of the Rebellion and yet she still finds herself helping the one and only Princess Leia out of a very tight corner. For some reason.

Thompson tells a fun and engaging story that gives us a better idea of how the normal person might see the war between the Rebellion and the Empire. That’s something that Star Wars in general has been striving to do more of with the new canon and I like it. Pash is likeable and believable. Thompson also rights a pretty darn decent Leia. I’d definitely be interested to see more of her Star Wars work.

Unfortunately, I have mixed thoughts on Emilio Laizo’s artwork. While I love that Pash breaks away from the standard one female body types and that she actually looks like a big, muscular woman, Leia’s tragically subjected to a few too many awkward poses that are clearly intended to be sexy. It stands out just a little too much especially in comparison to the rest of the art on the Star Wars line. On the other hand, it’s wonderful to see Rachelle Rosenberg doing colors on a Star Wars book again though! Her work on Legacy Volume 2 was lovely and continues to be so here.

But hey! There’s a nice little nod to Firefly on the very first page which is always fun and there are even art cameos by the esteemed editors of this book. How can you not appreciate this book just for those?

Star Wars Annual #2: Kelly Thompson/Writer, Emilio Laiso/Artist, Rachelle Rosenberg/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Editor/Jordan White, Assistant Editor: Heather Antos

ThrawnCast 2.3: Luke Is Not In These Chapters

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This week on the ThrawnCast, we discuss Dark Force Rising chapters 9-12!

The ThrawnCast is a part of the Tosche Station Radio network. Be sure to subscribe to the ThrawnCast on iTunes or Google Play. You can also subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed in iTunes or  Google Play for more great shows from our podcast network. 

This podcast was brought to you by Her Universe and your support on Patreon.

Princess Leia: Royal Rebel

royal_rebel_coverToday I spent my morning with Princess Leia: Royal Rebel, part of the Scholastic Star Wars Backstories series. Aimed at fans in grades 3-7, it was a quick read: only 128 pages including a glossary and index, and many of those filled with captioned illustrations. Although imperfect in some aspects, it was a cute book and worth the little time it took to devour it.

The book is presented as an in-universe biography of the famous Princess and General and includes an illustrated section on her most famous “friends, family, and foes.” The in-universe timeline for the book is interesting, in that it mentions the events of The Force Awakens, therefore presuming that the key events of the film (the destruction of Hosnian Prime, the death of Han Solo, the discovery of Rey and her Force-sensitive nature) have already occurred. Knowing what we do about Episode VIII following so quickly on the heels of The Force Awakens, it took a little fudging in the suspension of disbelief department for me to get past that.

The introduction is done in first-person by General Leia Organa herself and dovetails nicely onto events in Moving Target–wherein an archival droid is pestering her for a memoir. “I’d much rather be doing things than talking about things I’ve already done,” Leia bemoans in the opening paragraph. And the General’s reticence on matters of her life comes in handy later in the volume.

The body of the book itself is basically a Leia-centric retelling of everything we know about Star Wars. With an at-a-glance chronology that begins with Padme and Anakin meeting, we get a summary walk through the saga focusing on where Leia was and what she was up to at any given time (including her appearances in Moving Target, the Princess Leia comic books, and Star Wars Rebels). There are notable gaps in information available about the years between events of Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens. “These records,” the imaginary biographer posits, “may have been lost when the First Order destroyed the system of Hosnian Prime.” It is also alluded to that perhaps little is known because after the war the Princess kept her private life…well…private. It’s a useful device for allowing this book to bridge the gap in the saga without giving anything away.

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Knights of the Old Replay: Daze of Hate through Vector

One of the fun things about doing this retrospective is that a creator just might pop his head up with some commentary. Last post, I mentioned that Days of Fear/Nights of Anger felt like one big story. Turns out that they are! Those two arcs plus the first two I’m covering in this post are just all one big story split into bite sized chunks for the retailers. (Thank you to the esteemed John Jackson Miller for this insight!) It’s a shame that the entire story couldn’t be in the same omnibus but that’s the way of comics, I suppose.

Daze of Hate
Script by John Jackson Miller, Art by Bong Dazo, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Lettering by Michael Heisler

I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not ship Alek and Jarael I will not— damnit. Here’s the thing: I’m fairly sure that I didn’t have any strong, ship feelings about these two when I first read this comic. I don’t know what changed now unless JJM has some magical ability to go back in time after making me fall for Hera/Kanan to make me fall for another ship? (I used to live such a happy ship-free life, kids.)

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Review: Catalyst (audiobook)

We’re less than a month out from Rogue One and discovering just what a non-Saga, “anthology” Star Wars film looks like. Lucasfilm seems to be dipping its toe in the non-Saga pool gently, giving us a story — the theft of the plans to the first Death Star — separate from but still intrinsically linked to the original Star Wars film. In the meantime, to whet our appetites and give us some backstory for the characters we’ll meet in the film, Legends and Tarkin alum James Luceno has brought us Catalyst, the story of Galen Erso and Orson Krennic (Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn in the film, respectively) and how their unlikely friendship led to the development of the galaxy’s most powerful weapon.

Random House has consistently released audiobook versions of the novels in the new canon, and Catalyst is no exception. Catalyst is performed by Jonathan Davis — not the lead singer of Korn, but the veteran of more than four hundred(!) audiobook recordings, over of thirty of which were under the Star Wars banner.

So, how does Catalyst work — as a stand-alone novel, as a film prelude, and as an audiobook production? Read on to find out! Continue reading

Rebels Review: The Wynkahthu Job

rebels logoGary Whitta is, without a doubt, living his best life.  He not only wrote the forthcoming Rogue One but now he’s also responsible for two episodes of Star Wars Rebels this season.  Add all of that to how his episodes have featured Wedge Antilles AND Hondo Ohnaka and…well… Four for you Gary Whitta!  You go, Gary Whitta!

The Wynkahthu Job starts as most Hondo episodes do: he has a job for the crew of the Ghost.  It’s a job with the potential to leave him rich and the Rebellion with a lot of bombs.  The only catch is that they’re also going to have to work with Azmorigan.  (Yeah you remember: the squat red alien who tried to buy Hera.)  Needless to say, Hera’s not pleased by this turn of events (which Ezra was aware of) and, for some reason, doesn’t immediately go get another tray but instead puts Zeb in charge of the mission.  It’s not surprising that Ezra’s not happy and that the mission goes far less smoother than expected.  This is Star Wars after all. Continue reading

Review: Star Wars #25

The Last Flight of the Harbinger draws to a close today with the release of Star Wars #25. It’s been an… uneven arc. Perhaps uneven’s not quite the right word but the tone of each issue has felt wildly different. We went from the super serious stormtrooper focused issue to the very flirty Han and Leia one to this serious yet humorous battle one. I’ve enjoyed the ride but admittedly, I’m not sure how I feel about the book as a whole.

By far and away, Sana Starros is establishing herself as one of the best parts of this book. (Apparently November is the month when I fistpump and cheer on awesome ladies.)   Since her introduction many arcs ago, it’s been a delight watching her develop into being so much more than an old compatriot of Han’s. The insanity of the Rebels is start to rub off on her and holy hell SHE IS A BADASS. Everything about her duel with the stormtrooper is just fantastic especially with their banter. She has very quickly become my favorite part of this book and I hope she continues to stick around and maybe even guest stars in the Dr. Aphra book one day?

Jason Aaron definitely does take advantage of getting access to Vader again and I believe he’ll continue to do so. (No spoilers… you’ll just have to read the last page.) I’m also hoping that we get to see more of Sergeant Kreel’s squad… the book certainly seems to hint that we might. They didn’t get to do quite enough this book to fully establish themselves as the badasses that they were in the first issue.

I sound moderately down on this issue but that has more to do with not being quite as satisfied with the arc as a whole. The fight scenes in this one are definitely fun. It just wasn’t my favorite story line thus far. But hey! This issue does also include a short little comic at the end about Artoo by Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire and it’s the CUTEST THING.

Star Wars #25: Jason Aaron/Writer, Jorge Molina/Artist, Matt Milla/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor