He hasn’t gotten any less busy since the last time we chatted but Charles Soule was kind enough to sit down with me after the big Marvel panel at Star Wars Celebration last week. We talked about his relatively recently announced Darth Vader book and his continuing work on Poe Dameron including a very in depth look at today’s issue.
Warning! This interview contains spoilers for Poe Dameron #13 and I mean major spoilers. They are all in the back half of the interview so you can safely read until the first mention of the Poe book. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bria for Tosche Station: So you still haven’t talked them into giving you a Palpatine book then? Just a Vader one?
Charles Soule: Yeah but a Vader book is by definition almost a Palpatine book at the same time. They’re still very, very intertwined. The story that I’m telling in the Vader book has Palpatine as the only point of connection that Vader has left anymore. He’s the only person he can turn to for any sort of advice or guidance. His physicality is completely different and completely changed. He has no anchor point except Palpatine, which Palpatine of course knows and realizes and uses to manipulate Vader further in the great tragedy that is Darth Vader’s life. Continue reading →
Thirteen might be an unlucky number for some but it’s definitely a lucky one as far as the Poe Dameron comic is concerned. In fact, this just might be one of the best issues of the comics thus far. There’s action, there’s humor, there’s comradeship, and droids get stuff done. In short, it’s never been clearer that this comic book is one of the spiritual successors to the X-Wing books from Legends and around here? That’s a very high compliment.
Listen. I know that usually I strive to keep reviews as spoiler free as possible but in this particular situation, I am not going to bury the lead because Marvel has finally confirmed what we all strongly suspected back in Star Wars #19: Chelli Aphra is totally gay. First we came for your former Imperial Loyalty Officers and then we came for your Rogue Archaeologists and we are so very not sorry. I’m incredibly pleased that this is something Kieron Gillen and company have confirmed within the text. The more representation within Star Wars, the better.
Oh. I suppose that you want me to discuss the issue aside from Aphra’s sexuality. Doctor Aphra #6 is a great conclusion to the first arc of the book. Gillen and Walker gave us a cool mystical archaeology story mixed with Imperial conflict while also making sure to not neglect what made this book so appealing: the characters. It has a feel to it that’s distinctly its own and Aphra’s proved that she can carry a fascinating book on her own merits without the Dark Lord of the Sith. Hopefully this book is here to stay for a good long while. Who knows what other sorts of trouble Aphra could get up to in the galaxy?
The only thing that’s been bothering me on the art front is that Aphra looks way younger than she should sometimes but that could be because of Kev Walker’s art style. On the other hand, Walker’s also giving Aphra some cool new outfits, which is always a plus.
If you haven’t been picking up Doctor Aphra, I cannot recommend it enough. This book is far too much fun and delightfully Star Wars while also getting to explore other genres. Honestly, there’s no time like the present to get caught up on this book especially with the Screaming Citadel crossover with the main book coming next month. What are you doing still reading this review? Go read Doctor Aphra!
Doctor Aphra #6: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Pencils, Marc Deering/Inks, Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
It’s likely that no book in the new canon thus far has been as highly anticipated as Thrawn. The announcement at Celebration London last year rocked both the ExCel Center and the Star Wars fandom watching around the world. Not only was Grand Admiral Thrawn making his return to canon but he’d also be starring in a book written by his creator, Timothy Zahn. In short… a beloved character written once more by a beloved author. What could go wrong? Continue reading →
Adaptations from films are always a really weird beast. They tend to fall into two categories: forgettable or excellent with very little in between. In all honesty, I didn’t even bother picking up The Force Awakens Marvel adaptation because the art wasn’t my cup of tea. However, when the Rogue One comic adaptation was announced, we were told that it would include bits not in the film and I was instantly intrigued. Is it worth a read though? (Especially given the already stellar novelization by Alexander Freed.)
So far, I’m inclined to say yes. The prologue feels a little rushed but otherwise, Jody Houser does a great job of taking us through the story (up through departing Yavin) and seamlessly weaving in brand new scenes and bits we’ve already seen in the novelization into the film’s narrative. Without a doubt, Bodhi and Galen have benefitted the most from this and Houser’s Bodhi voice is actually spot on. It’s also nice to get a little more of Jyn’s point of view and feel like we’re inside her head, especially during the Yavin scenes.
Where I suspect people will have problems with this book is in regards to the art. Emilio Laiso and Oscar Bazaldua had an unenviable task before them as readers tend to be far harsher when it comes to adaptations than other comics. I wouldn’t call any of the likenesses uncanny but I didn’t find it to be an issue. The only one I wasn’t fond of was Cassian. There’s something off about his moustache. Mostly, the art made me draw favorable comparisons between this issue and Jorge Molina’s work on the main Star Wars book with the SCAR troopers.
Rogue One #1 is definitely worth picking up if you’re even a little bit interested. Time (and the next few issues) will tell whether this adaptation reaches the heights of the novelization.
Rogue One #1: Writer/Jody Houser, Artists/Emilio Laiso & Oscar Bazaldua, Colorist/Rachelle Rosenberg, Letterer/Clayton Cowles, Editor/Heather Antos, Supervising Editor/Jordan D. White.
It’s hardly a secret that this Yoda story arc hasn’t really been doing it for me but after finally reaching the end with this issue? I think it’s safe to call it. I did not like this story arc and find it to be very skippable. I did not care for it and honestly, it’s nice that it doesn’t really tie into the main story too much. If this sort of story was your cup of tea? That’s great and I’m very glad that you enjoyed this arc. I did not.
As I’ve said in a past issue review, the journal framing device felt clunky especially when you realize that Obi-Wan never identifies Yoda by name so we can just barely cling to Luke’s confused ‘Yoda?’ line when he’s freezing to death. I also didn’t care for how Larroca drew Luke in this issue. It felt off.
And so there you have it, folks. A Star Wars comic from Marvel’s new run that I just did not like. It was bound to happen eventually, I guess?
Star Wars #30: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
Holy crap, I finally made it! We’ve saved the galaxy from the horrible Sith and especially from Darth Squiggleypants. (Side note: I’m sorry, JJM. I know his ridiculous last name was never supposed to stay canon but it’s funny and it’s Malak. I can’t help it.)
Now that we finally have all the map pieces, we can go to the Star Forge and figure out what the heck it is. Turns out that it’s a crazy efficient factory that’s been making all of the Sith ships and droids. (Hence why they’ve been able to be such a threat to the Republic.) Before we can make it to the Star Forge itself, a disruptor field knocks the Ebon Hawk down to the only planet in the system where there are a lot of other disabled ships and that really weird Rakata race who made the Star Forge ages ago. They are a weird looking species and I am terrible because watching them walk is kind of hilarious.
And now I get to kill a lot of rancors. Why? Because why not! It’s a great way to get some more XP as I have to fight my way through different parts of the beach and grasslands to go rescue a prisoner from the bad tribe so the good tribe will trust me because apparently Revan betrayed them last time and we really need to get into that temple. I also managed to stumble upon another new-to-me mini plot line! The not cool part of this is that the good Rakata tribe is looking into eugenics to try and solve their lack of Force sensitivity. The game lets you call them out but it’s still totally unnerving. Continue reading →
As suspected, Darth Maul #2 is where the fun begins. Even though Maul is supposed to go nowhere near the Jedi, he heads off after the Xrexus Cartel who’ve captured a Jedi Padawan and are auctioning her off to the highest bidder. Since he has to be stealthy about it, he hires a team of bounty hunters (including Cad Bane and Aurra Sing) to assist him on his mission. What could possibly go wrong?
One thing that I really like about this book is how Maul feels more like the Maul we met in The Phantom Menace as opposed to the Maul we see in The Clone Wars. In other words… he doesn’t talk a whole lot. Internally monologue? Sure. Verbally chatter? Nah. The addition of the bounty hunters definitely helps the book out so we can get out of Maul’s head a little bit more. Heck, I’m actually even really enjoying Cad Bane in the book so far and I was never terribly fond of him during The Clone Wars.
It’s worth reiterating that Luke Ross and Nolan Woodward on art are a great combination for this book. I’m particularly fond of their larger crowd scenes since it looks like Ross had a ton of fun picking a plethora of aliens to include. It’s little things like that which help a book feel very Star Wars.
The verdict? Darth Maul’s not just a book for fans of the Sith Lord but definitely also a good book for fans of bounty hunters.
Darth Maul #2: Cullen Bunn/Writer, Luke Ross/Artist, Nolan Woodard/Colorist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor
We know no news but Celebration news and that news is about more guests! No seriously: that’s just about all we’ve got this week. Over the last week, Star Wars Celebration announced some new autographing guests and, well, let’s just cover these from the least to the most surprising, shall we?
Do not adjust your monitors. You read those last two right. We’re Club Wedge around here but we also acknowledge that Denis Lawson is probably the only person less into the whole Star Wars thing than Harrison Ford hence our complete and utter states of shock. On the other hand, Hayden hasn’t been to a Celebration since 2002. (Hey Fandom: Please be nice and polite to him. He is a human being and does not deserve to be treated poorly.)
You can catch both Mark and Hayden on the 40th Anniversary Panel on Thursday morning and Mark will also be hosting a Tribute to Carrie Fisher panel on Friday and have his own panel on Sunday. The full panel schedule is also now available.
Speaking of available things, you can now get yourself a Tosche Station t-shirt! They are the hot new fashion choice for Celebration and you can trust me on that because I am also a geek fashion blogger.
And that’s it for this week. Celebration is almost here!
Every time I’ve played this game, I’ve told myself that I’ll do the planets in a different order and every time, I always go to Korriban last because I just can’t help myself. When you do Korriban last, you get all these hilarious new dialogue options where you can tell people that you’re Revan and they just do not believe you. The other really fun part about Korriban depends on who you take with you. For maximum hilarity, I usually go with Canderous and Jolee because their commentary on everything is THE BEST. (Although I’m not sure now whether Jolee’s snarky remarks when you have to tell the Sith that your companions are slaves are cringe worthy or amusing.)
In a way, Korriban is kind of like a darker Telos. You briefly encounter people you’ll encounter again later as you make your way through the city and then—okay so I’m not entirely clearly as to why (aside from video game laws) we couldn’t just go around the Sith Academy but we don’t. Instead you have to get accepted as a student there. This couldn’t possibly go wrong. Once accepted, Master Uthar makes you and the other new students (yeah those people you met before) compete to be America’s Next Top Sith Apprentice and this, my friends, is where the funs begins. Continue reading →