Review: Star Wars #36

Revenge of the Astromech is a really good title. That should be said right off the bat.

Star Wars #36 is the sort of issue that really leans into what Attack of the Clones did with Artoo and shows him in a very heroic, get things done light and I love it. Does it perhaps involve a little suspension of disbelief? Sure but does that detract from my enjoyment? Nope. In a way, this felt like the best sort of payment possible for having to wait so gosh darn long to find out what happened to poor Threepio. Give me the absurd and ridiculous in Star Wars for reasons like this and I shall happily embrace it!

I think I finally figured out what’s been driving me insane about Salvador Larroca’s art since he joined the main Star Wars book. I (for the most part) enjoyed his art of Darth Vader but it hasn’t felt the same here. What I can’t stand is the contrast between his usual art (as seen in Darth Vader and in much of this issue) and the photorealistic faces. They clash when they’re used together and honestly, I’m not a fan of the photorealistic faces to start with. The book looks way nicer when it’s just Artoo rolling through the Star Destroyer causing mayhem than when it also involved some random officer’s strangely detailed face.

Star Wars #36 feels like a return to the norm after two one-off issues but given that it features Artoo Detoo the Hero and the return to a dangling plot line? I’m 100% okay with that.

Star Wars #36: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Clayton Cowles/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Go/No-Go: Leia: Princess of Alderaan

nasa-mission-control-3Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Leia: Princess of Alderaan. This is author Claudia Gray’s third trip to a galaxy far, far away and her second with Leia Organa. What did we think of her take on a teenage princess? To mission control for the verdict! Continue reading

Go/No-Go: Phasma

nasa-mission-control-3Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Phasma. It may be Delilah S. Dawson’s first Star Wars novel but we’ve definitely enjoyed her stories about other Star Wars ladies. What did we think about her take on the shiny and chrome captain? To mission control for the verdict! Continue reading

Holonet Blast #26

Ever so foolishly, we took last week off because it was Labor Day weekend and it was Force Friday II and what could possibly happen while we were all supposed to be busy reading our new books and playing with our new toys? Oh what sweet summer children we were… Things happened. Oh dear did things happen.

Colin Trevorrow is no longer directing Episode IX and honestly, not many people are wiping away tears of sorrow. Moral of the story: do not mess with Kathleen Kennedy.

Disney’s being the worst and putting their Marvel and Star Wars films on their exclusive streaming service which is fine and whatever because that’s why I own DVDs.

Paul Bettany is apparently in the Han Solo film though according to Ron Howard’s Twitter. I don’t have anything snarky here.

In ‘things you can get’ news, there will be a very pretty convention exclusive edition of From A Certain Point of View available at NYCC that will come presigned by some of the authors. The soundtrack for The Last Jedi will be out on December 15th and there will probably be a track titled “Luke’s Noble End” on it. (Sorry, Nanci. I’ll start running now.)

To round out the week on a high note, go watch the new Star Wars Rebels Season 4 trailer again and sob over the Space Married perfection with us. The new season kicks off on October 16th.

Review: Darth Vader (2017) #5

Listen… it’s been a while since we’ve had a gif review and I had honestly retired the format but sometimes you get a comic issue where words don’t really do it.

 

Darth Vader #5 was just so good that I had to reread it immediately. That doesn’t happen often at all. Just… go read this issue. Even if (and I NEVER say this) you haven’t read the previous four issues. Please. You can thank me later.

Darth Vader #5: Charles Soule/Writer, Giuseppe Camuncoli/Pencils, Cam Smith/Inks, David Curiel/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor, Jordan D. White/Editor

Review: Rogue One #6

At this point I think it’s very safe to say that both the novelization and comic adaptation of Rogue One were a step above their The Force Awakens counterparts due in great part to their ability to add to the story instead of just regurgitate it.

There’s not much else new to say about this final issue. It’s not a bad thing but, well, we all know how this story ends and there aren’t really many new twists they could throw at us. (Unless Jyn and Cassian magically survived at the end and wouldn’t that throw a certain section of fandom for a loop.) Jody Houser has a knack distilling a story down to its essence without losing any of the emotional impact, which bodes well for her future work on Thrawn. Personally, I’d love to see her take on a non-adaptation Star Wars story at some point.

What was a pleasant surprise was how Emilio Laiso handled the epic battle scenes. The Battle of Scarif was something special to watch on the big screen and something I wasn’t particularly looking forward to in the comic. Instead of trying to recreate the magic of that battle, Laiso opts for dynamic panel layouts that, when paired with Houser’s fast-paced script, keep the reader engaged.

So what’s the final verdict? Yes, the Rogue One comic adaptation is worth your time if it’s something that peaks your interest. It will undoubtedly read even better in trade format. This is another win in Marvel’s book.

Rogue One #6: Writer/Jody Houser, Artist/Emilio Laiso, Colorist/Rachelle Rosenberg, Letterer/Clayton Cowles, Editor/Heather Antos, Supervising Editor/Jordan D. White.

Review: Phasma

If someone were to explain Phasma as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road but in Star Wars,’ it would simultaneously be correct but also not quite encompass everything that this book is.

Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson tells two stories: the plight of a captured Resistance agent and also Phasma’s origin story from before she joined the First Order as the aforementioned Resistance fighter recounts it to someone who would see Phasma struck down from her lofty position within the First Order. In neither is Phasma someone to be underestimated. Continue reading

Review: Leia: Princess of Alderaan

Rebellions are built on lies.

These are words that ring opposite what Cassian told Jyn in Rogue One but are no less true. Rebellions are built on hope and on lies but perhaps not in the way that you might expect.

Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray takes us back to the princess’s earlier years on Alderaan before there was ever a Death Star in its orbit, poised to destroy the lives of millions of people. At age sixteen, Leia Organa must, by Alderaan custom, have her Day of Demand and then complete her Challenges of Body, Mind, and Heart before she is officially recognized as heir to the crown of Alderaan. While the challenges are worthy ones, they lead Leia down a path she didn’t entirely expect as she discovers the truth about her parents. (No, not that truth.) Continue reading

Review: Mace Windu #1

I’m not entirely sure what I expected for the Mace Windu comic but I’m not sure this was it.

Maybe my brain’s not playing entirely fair. For me, the definitive Mace Windu story comes from Legends: Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. It’s an early Clone Wars era book that puts the Jedi Master through hell and back and tells one hell of a story along the way. It seems like this miniseries may be covering a similar era and so far? It’s just okay. And I actually really like Mace Windu as a character so I’m a little bummed that I don’t love it yet. In the first half of the issue, the Trade Federation droids were the highlight with one gag even make me giggle out loud. Towards the end, it got a little grating. However, I consistently had the droid voice in my head while reading the lines which is a check in the plus column. Master Windu, however, feels very stilted and I definitely don’t hear SLJ’s voice in my head while reading his lines.
The mission itself doesn’t particularly seem to be something worthy of a Jedi Master who sits on the council but the Jedi go where they need to go. This particular team (including Kit Fisto) seems to be not particularly good at the whole stealth thing… which what this mission requires. At least they got  cool outfits? I do, however, appreciate the inclusion of a Miraluka and his apparent infinite source of eye-related humor jokes.
With all of the variety of life in Star Wars, I could certainly see how getting all of the species’ likenesses could be a challenge but there is something just… not right about how some of the aliens are drawn and it’s not because of the artist’s style. Shaak Ti and Yoda raised eyebrows in particular. Otherwise, the art is fine.
While I’m willing to give the book the benefit of the doubt and see where it goes from here, Mace Windu #1 hasn’t impressed me quite yet. We’ll see how the rest of the book goes. Check back with us once the last issue is released for our take on the entire Mace Windu story as we try out a new format for these comic reviews.
Mace Windu #1: 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