Knights of the Old Replay: Manaan

I just wanted to make sure you all know how ugly the Republic uniforms are before this retrospective ends.

Manaan and its Fish People (okay fine Selkath) hate fun and don’t want to just let me live my life. Apparently they take their neutrality super seriously and I’m not allowed to just get into fights with random people on the street. What’s the point then? Plus, I end up in their court all the dang time for one stupid reason or another and I hate having to argue my case to them because they always seem to hate me. (Jolee, buddy, you deserve a better side quest than arguing your friend’s court case because he was sleeping with a Sith lady and they think he killed her.)

Most of my surprises from this play through have come about because the game glitched. Not so this time! I stumbled upon a subplot/mission that I’ve never found before. Apparently I talked to the right Selkath and unlocked a whole section of the Sith embassy/base where they’ve been kidnapping Selkath youth and training them in the ways of the dark side. I had to prove to them that the Sith really are evil and take on a Dark Jedi Master or two along the way. Continue reading

Review: Poe Dameron #12

Poe Dameron: Still in a lot of trouble
Poe Dameron: Friend to droids everywhere
Poe Dameron: Making all this madness look gooooood

Those are just three of the taglines I’m considering for this month’s issue of Poe Dameron. Also in the running are “We don’t deserve these droids” and “Why didn’t we get to see BB-8 hanging out with Chopper on the page since that clearly happened at some point?”

Speaking of droids, BB-8 may continue to be the best and a delight but Threepio really comes in with a clutch move this issue. I rag on him a lot but, well, Leia made him her spymaster for a reason. He has his uses for more than just bantering with Artoo and driving those around him insane. Way to go, Goldenrod! On a related note, all of BB-8’s beeps and boops this issue are particularly fun and delightful especially when he’s *ahem* taking a cue from Chopper in terms of being a good droid teammate. Honestly, the droids really are the MVPs this issue. The timing is ironic given the most recent Rebels episode.

The issue has a bit of a chaotic feel to it but that’s a good thing as everything is rapidly coming to its conclusion. Honestly, I’m not sure that Terex is going to make it out alive and I’m a bit worried about Oddy. Heck, I’d be worried about Poe too if we didn’t know he makes it to Jakku. (It’s totally fine if N1-ZX gets disintegrated though.)

I am absolutely looking forward to seeing how this arc ends! It’ll be such a lovely post-Celebration present for those of us attending.

Poe Dameron #12: Charles Soule/Writer, Phil Noto/Artist, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Knights of the Old Replay: Kashyyyk

Back when I was a wee child, one of the first Star Wars books I ever read was Young Jedi Knights: Darkest Knight, which takes place primarily on Kashyyyk. Ever since, I’ve though the planet was super cool. It’s a city in the trees with very natural architecture and also a killer under-forest. Only the bravest can go down to the Shadowlands and return alive. Obviously that includes us.

When you have a wookiee in your party and you go to Kashyyyk, obviously he’s going to have some family drama that you need to deal with because that’s just how this works. Zaalbar is no exception to the rule. It turns out that he was exiled from his home for attacking his brother with his claws, which is apparently super terrible amongst his society. To be fair, he did it because his brother was dealing with Czerka slavers but no one believed him. Now his brother’s in control and holds Zaalbar hostage and sends you down to the Shadowlands to deal with this other crazed wookiee… who happens to be their father. (Family drama: not just limited to Skywalkers!) Continue reading

Review: Doctor Aphra #5

You know a comic’s doing something right when my first reaction as I read the final pages is, “Oh. Oh this is so cool.” And that, my friends, is exactly what I said at the end of this issue of Doctor Aphra because oh wow do they give us what’s going to be a really neat thing to face in the next issue. (You didn’t think I was going to tell you what it was, did you?)

What undoubtedly helps the cool factor are Antonio Fabela’s colors. Much of the issue has a green wash to it as the Aphras explore the citadel of Ordu-Aspectu. The overall effect is that it’s eerie yet awesome. It’s interesting to hear Papa Aphra refer to what we think of as the Jedi Order as being Orthodox Jedi even as we get to learn more about different groups of Force users. After all, it’s a big galaxy.

At the heart of this issue though are Aphra, her father, and all of their family issues. It turns out that being trapped somewhere with Imperials on their way to kill you makes for a great time to get some things off your chest. That sentence may sound sarcastic but for Aphra, it totally works. She also has a point that her father doesn’t really know her or what she may or may not be capable of. Working so closely with Vader has a way of changing people… in ways that others might not like…

I know I said this last time about this issue but… oh man, can we please have Issue #6 already? I need to know more about and what happens with the really cool thing. Like… now please?

Doctor Aphra #4: Kieron Gillen/Writer, Kev Walker/Pencils, Marc Deering/Inks, Antonio Fabela/Colors, Joe Caramagna/Letterer, Jordan D. White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Knights of the Old Replay: Tatooine

Anakin Skywalker was right: I hate sand. It’s rough and it’s coarse and it gets everywhere and the sands of Tatooine LITERALLY NEVER END. That’s what the game tells you if you try and go outside the Czerka boundary markers. You’ll just wander the desert wasteland and die if you keep going. (Note: The game does not let you keep going.)

Every single time I start this game, I tell myself that I’m going to change up the order of the planets and every single time, I go to them in basically the exact same order. Is it because of the story? Nah. (Okay it is for one planet.) It’s because I really want to get the crew members from certain planets as soon as possible. Why on earth would I go to Manaan first when I could maximize my time with HK-47?
Continue reading

Rebels Review: Secret Cargo

rebels logoMon Mothma seems to be everywhere these days: Empire’s End, Rogue One, and now an episode of Rebels. She is the heart of the Rebellion, and her appearance in “Secret Cargo” marks a huge step forward for the burgeoning Rebellion we’ve watched flourish these past seasons.

Rebels seems to finally be getting serious about bringing the story together since Sabine gained the darksaber, and “Secret Cargo” doesn’t stray from the trend. Not only does this episode advance the story of the Rebellion, it also displays the strong bonds between Ezra and Hera, and how much Hera has taught Ezra over the course of the show.

Thrawn, as always, makes a daunting villain. His theme is one of the strongest parts of the score, and it builds an entirely ominous atmosphere around the Admiral as he goes head-to-head with Hera’s smarts. Without such a strong character in Thrawn’s place, this episode—and others—wouldn’t have half as much of the good tension they have. He is almost always one step ahead of the Ghost crew. Even when they win, it never really feels like Thrawn has lost.

Mon Mothma is very Mon Mothma, as she always is. It’s easy to see the woman in this episode become the woman in Rogue One in the not-too-distant future. Her interactions with Hera are an interesting look into both their characters as they’re contrasted against each other. The pilot and the politician, both with the same ideals, but having taken very different paths in life. It’s nice to see two woman have a conversation which says so much about each of them, and about the Rebellion they’ve  both had a hand in creating.

There are some gorgeous shot compositions in this episode, and it’s refreshing to be reminded that the art direction in Rebels can end up with such nice looking episodes. I feel that lately there’s been a lack of good looking scenes in Rebels, but “Secret Cargo” more than makes up for it. This episode is good a reminder that Star Wars can be beautiful, since so many of the other episodes seem to be obsessed with showing us how grey and dull the universe is.

All up, “Secret Cargo” is a good, solid episode that tells the story it wants to tell. It’s quick, filled with spaceship-on-spaceship action and broken up with brief moments of strong characterization. I just wish the side pilots didn’t always feel so disposable.

Holonet Blast #4

Star Wars! Where you think that maybe it’s going to be a light news week and then they throw all the Thrawn at you. Not that we’re complaining.

On Friday, Lucasfilm confirmed that Star Wars Rebels will have a fourth season starting in the fall. We’ll be getting more news about this at Celebration next month at, what I’m assuming, will be a panel on Saturday if they follow the pattern from previous years. Personally, I’m crossing my fingers for a S4 premiere screening.

Speaking of Celebration, more guest announcements keep rolling in. First, Peter Mayhew, Daniel Logan, and Ray Park were all added to the list of attending guests. Expect more of these announcements to keep popping up the closer we get to the con. Celebration also announced that there will be plenty for video game fans to geek out about. EA will be in attendance to show off their latest projects. There will also be a Star Wars: The Old Republic Cantina Community event off-site where fans can interact with the developers and designers of the game which actually sounds really neat if you’re a SWTOR fan.

And finally, everything’s coming up Thrawn! We got our first excerpt from the book along with a bunch of interesting tidbits including another character making the leap back from Legends. Del Rey also announced the three editions of the forthcoming Thrawn book. There are more details at the link but essentially, you’ll be able to choose from the standard version, the B&N version with a black cover and exclusive poster, or the Celebration edition with a different cover and special gift. Now you must decide which book you want or just give in and plan to buy all three. Just think of them like Pokemon… gotta catch ’em all!

Review: Star Wars #29

This is the arc that just will not end and honestly, I’m out of things to say about it. I’ve been out of things to say. Luke continues to read Kenobi’s journal and its story about how Yoda went to this weird planet and now Yoda’s communing with a mountain that’s not actually a mountain. Honestly, I’d be far more interested in this story if it had been a two or three issue arc and even then, I’m anxious to get back to our main story at this point. Five issues is feeling a little much.

I mentioned in my review last time that the Luke reading this Yoda story in Ben’s journal felt a little clunky as a framing device and while that still holds true, the purpose is revealed here as Luke impulsively flies to the planet in question. It’s very Skywalker of him and admitted, I’m mildly interested to see what happens.

Overall though? This arc still gets one giant shrug from me. Maybe I’ll have more to say next issue.

Star Wars #29: Jason Aaron/Writer, Salvador Larroca/Artist, Edgar Delgado/Colorist, Chris Eliopoulos/Letterer, Jordan White/Editor, Heather Antos/Assistant Editor

Knights of the Old Replay: Dantooine

Dantooine… they’re on Dantooine… parts of the Jedi Council are at least. Honestly, I always forget how much I love this planet because it is so completely and utterly ridiculous at times. Take this woman Elisa. She wants you to find her droid because it’s all she has left of her dead husband. One problem: the droid ran away because she was treating him a little too much like her dead husband. Yeah. It’s exactly what your brain went to and it makes me laugh every time.

The real point of Dantooine though is for you to be accepted into the Jedi Order and learn to use the Force because you and Bastila have some sort of connection and some super weird dreams about Darth Revan. (In retrospect, my 14-year-old self should have picked up on this foreshadowing way sooner but more on that later.) This means that you’ve got to study the Jedi way of life, their code, make your lightsaber, and decide what class of Jedi you want to be. I used to go for Sentinel but then I realized that I just want more of those sweet, sweet Force powers so Consular it is! It’ll be a cold day in hell before I go for Guardian.

There’s one final test before they make you an official padawan: you must cleanse the ancient grove of the dark side taint. Or something like that. This is flashing warning sign number one that the Jedi Order is kind of screwed up. You have to redeem a Jedi padawan named Juhani who fell to the dark side after her own master was testing her and made Juhani think that she’d killed her. It’s kinda messed up. Incidentally, that’s a good tagline for the Jedi Order. Continue reading

Holonet Blast #3

Welcome back to Holonet Blast! Less news this week than last but it is news indeed! Let’s get right to it!

First off, the principle photography on the as-yet untitled Han Solo began February 20! The film, set to be released May 25, 2018, follows the pre-A New Hope adventures of Han and Chewie. Presumably, wacky space hi-jinks ensue. A cast picture was released with the announcement, and I’m sure it’s not the last. Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge were also both confirmed as cast members. And aaaahhhhhh, in every photo Donald Glover looks more and more like a young Lando!

via StarWars.com

Speaking of Star Wars stand alone films, we now have information on the Rogue One home releases! The film is coming to Digital HD on March 21, with Blu-Ray, DVD, and On-Demand following on April 4. That’s right, in just a few weeks you’ll be able to cry over [SPOILER], [SPOILER], and [SPOILERING SPOILER] in the comfort of your own home! You can also check out the box art for the physical releases now through the link. You can also see a list of some of the special features for the film, including one discussing Chirrut and Baze’s relationship and one exploring the various Easter Eggs of the film. But wait, there’s more! The Force Awakens had retailer exclusive content in its home releases and it was apparently not an anomaly. The Target, Best Buy, and Walmart versions of Rogue One, all of which are now available for pre-order, are detailed in the announcement post as well. Head over there now to pick which version(s) you’re going to pick up.

Finally, Star Wars Celebration Orlando will start off with a special 40th anniversary panel. The panel will be hosted by the esteemed Warwick Davis and “will feature Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and discussions with some of the saga’s brightest stars, highlighting the impact of the galaxy far, far, away and the fandom that has propelled it for the last four decades.” I am very excited for this. Very, very excited.