Missing the Forest Moon for the Trees: Star Wars Films Aren’t Just For Us

If there’s one thing we as Star Wars uberfans have in common, it’s myopia.

To a degree this is pretty understandable. I’ve been guilty of it and odds are I’ll be guilty of it again in the future. Folks that are ultra-invested in Star Wars fandom kept the franchise alive during dormant periods between films. During those dormant periods, content that was released tended to be catered more towards invested fandom. Star Wars during these stretches felt like it was For Us rather than more casual fans or people who simply enjoyed the movies. In essence, we often feel like we’re owed something for Star Wars having a pulse through the mid eighties to late nineties and 2005-2012.

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On the Well Actuallying of The Force Awakens

My first thought when it was announced that J.J. Abrams was returning to direct and co-write Episode IX was “Argh, I really wish a woman had gotten this.” And yeah, while I completely understand the production realities that necessitated Lucasfilm asking a familiar face to return to get things back on track, I was bummed. 

My second thought was “We’re about to revisit the Well Actuallying of The Force Awakens, aren’t we?” My Twitter timeline bore that out in about two minutes of me waking up on Tuesday.

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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: 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

Ascent and Acceptance: Family Dynamics in Leia: Princess of Alderaan

Claudia Gray’s newest Star Wars offering: Leia: Princess of Alderaan opens on Leia Organa’s sixteenth Name Day. With the Rhindon Sword in her hand, she approaches the throne and declares her intention to assume the throne. This is the ceremony that has been performed by Alderaan’s monarchs for millennia. She pledges to take on challenges of the body, mind, and heart to prove her fitness as a ruler to the sitting sovereign.

But for teenage Leia Organa, fitness to rule is hardly a concern. For Leia, the ceremony and its attendant challenges are a chance to grow closer to her parents—from whom she never meant to become distant. Her humanitarian work, first term in the Apprentice Legislature, and plans for the ascent of Appenza Peak are much more in the service of her personal agenda than any royal one. Continue reading

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