Star Wars

Darth Vader #3

by Alan Rapp on March 31, 2015

in Comics

Darth Vader #3Facing the wrath of the Emperor who lays the recent defeats, including the destruction of the Death Star, at his feet, Darth Vader begins to put together his own private force to ensure his plans (including learning the identity of that meddlesome farm boy with his old lightsaber who despite being the biggest hero the Rebellion has ever known or celebrated the vast Imperial network has yet to learn so much as his name).

Despite the fact that the storyline for this opening arc boils down to basically the Dark Lord of the Sith being grounded by his dad and sneaking off to do whatever he wants in a fit of teenage rebellion, Darth Vader #3 does entertain thanks in large part to the introduction of Aphra, a new character providing the kind of mechanical expertise Vader needs to quietly rebuild his forces without alerting the Emperor to what he is doing.

Unless the series is going to be Darth Vader cutting a huge swath through the galaxy leaving dead bodies in his wake (don’t get me wrong, that could work), the series needs characters like Aphra to ping conversation and ideas off of. I’m intrigued to see where the comic goes from here. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Star Wars #3

by Alan Rapp on March 19, 2015

in Comics

Star Wars #3Star Wars #3 continues the opening arc of Marvel’s new main Star Wars comic as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids attempt to make it out alive where their plan to cripple an Imperial weapons factory blows up in the face thanks to the timely arrival of reinforcements and Darth Vader.

Mostly action (and multiple nods to the classic trilogy including C-3PO getting blown apart, Leia joking about the Falcon‘s condition, and Luke on a speeder bike), the third issue of the series does end on an interesting note suggesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi had left something for Luke in his hovel on Tatooine that will likely become important in the series somewhere down the line.

The storyline also explores Luke’s need to prove himself worthy of a father’s legacy and Kenobi’s teaching while still not understanding how to grow into the Jedi is destined to become which leads him to taking dangerous risks to protect his friends and complete their mission despite the Dark Lord of the Sith standing in his way. For fans.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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Princess Leia #1

by Alan Rapp on March 11, 2015

in Comics

Princess Leia #1Beginning with the awards ceremony which closes out the original Star Wars, the first issue of Marvel’s new Princess Leia series centers around Leia struggling to find a new role within the Rebellion following the destruction of her homeworld Alderaan.

Although I think some of inking of artist Terry Dodson’s panels look a tad unfinished in places, Dodson’s art is a solid match for Mark Waid’s storytelling the offers a rationale for Leia to have a few solo missions of her own to fuel the series. Not completely on her own, Waid and Dodson introduce the character of X-Wing Fighter Pilot Evaan who is loyal to the last remaining royal from her homeworld even if she has issues with Leia’s public demeanor.

Although we get glimpses of other familiar characters including Luke, Wedge, Han, Chewbacca, and Admiral Ackbar, it seems that Leia and Evaan will be carrying the bulk of the story from here on out as the pair search for other survivors of Alderaan whom the Empire has put a bounty (including a certain Rebel princess). Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Fire Across the Galaxy
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Fire Across the Galaxy

The First Season of Star Wars Rebels comes to a close with the crew of the Ghost laying everything on the line to rescue Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) from the Empire. With the help of an Imperial shuttle and the stolen T.I.E. Fighter (“Fighter Flight“) and Ezra‘s (Taylor Gray) Jedi senses the crew has their way onto the Star Destroyer and a way to find their missing Jedi although, as is the case with almost all their plans, things don’t go as smoothly as expected.

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Star Wars Rebels – Rebel Resolve

by Alan Rapp on February 24, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Rebel Resolve
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Rebel Resolve

Despite Hera‘s (Vanessa Marshall) orders to lay low, Ezra (Taylor Gray) easily talks Sabine (Tiya Sircar), Chopper, and Zeb (Steven Blum) into rescuing Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) who is being held, and tortured, by Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) and the Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs). Not knowing where to start, Ezra is forced to reveal his secret to Vizago (Keith Szarabajka) and agree to I.O.U. likely to bite the young padawan in the ass in the near future (if he lives long enough).

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Darth Vader #1

by Alan Rapp on February 18, 2015

in Comics

Darth Vader #1The first of Marvel’s new single-character driven titles, Darth Vader #1 opens with Darth Vader returning to Tatooine for an audience with Jabba the Hutt in which the Dark Lord of the Sith brutally teaches the gangster the difference between a Jedi and a Sith in a way that leaves several dead and the Hutt agreeing to whatever Vader wants. The setting is meant to conjure images from Luke‘s appearance in the same throne room from Return of the Jedi but given this scene takes place decades later in real time and years before in Star Wars chronology it feels a bit odd.

After seeing our protagonist kick butt for several panels we’re stuck seeing Vader bow to his master for forgiveness given the failures the Emperor chooses to lay at Vader’s feet. Given this encounter, and Vader and the Emperor both keeping secrets from each other, the comic’s remaining pages deal with his attempts to find the Millennium Falcon and the young warrior who he does not yet realize is his son as well as figure out just what plans Palpatine is hiding from him. Although it seems like two-steps back from the character’s journey in the recent Dark Horse title, Darth Vader #1 is a strong issue fans should enjoy. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $4.99]

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Star Wars Rebels – Call to Action

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Call to Action
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Call to Action

After discovering that Gall Trayvis (Brent Spiner) is nothing more than Imperial agent used to ferret out rebels, the crew of the Ghost come up with their own plan to give Lothal and the surrounding systems a true voice of resistance. Planning to hijack an Imperial communication array to spread the truth about the Empire, the one thing Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and his crew don’t take into account is the arrival of Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton) who is displeased by the locals inability to deal with the rebel cell on Lothal and is taking over their capture personally.

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Star Wars Rebels – Vision of Hope

by Alan Rapp on February 4, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Vision of Hope
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Vision of Hope

While practicing to use his new lightsaber Ezra (Taylor Gray) experiences his first Force vision giving him a glimpse of the adventure he and his friends are about to embark on. “Vision of Hope” continues Ezra’s training as a padawan while reminding us of Yoda’s famous words: “Always in motion is the future.”

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Star Wars #1

by Alan Rapp on January 26, 2015

in Comics

Star Wars #1Over the years both Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics have released a plethora of forgettable and mediocre Star Wars comics. Over the past couple of years however Dark Horse had found a way to recapture a bit of the old Star Wars magic with a series set shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star featuring the struggling rebellion’s battles against the evil Galactic Empire. Sadly cut short due the Star Wars rights returning to Marvel, a new adventure begins (with an insane amount of variant covers) as Marvel tries their own hand at classic tales featuring Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids you most assuredly are looking for.

Writer Jason Aaron offers an issue highlighted by Chewbacca’s attempt to kill Darth Vader with a sniper rifle while his rebel pals break into a Imperial Weapons Factory. I mostly enjoy John Cassaday’s art but he struggles getting the right look of the characters in several panels that aren’t close-ups. I thought it was an interesting choice to draw Vader like he appeared in the old Marvel issues (with his mask occasionally stretched) which gave me a hit of nostalgia but also felt a bit wrong.

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Star Wars Rebels – Idiot’s Array

by Alan Rapp on January 21, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – Idiot’s Array
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - Idiot's Array

“Idiot’s Array” reintroduces a fan favorite to the show with Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as a younger, but no less suave, Lando Calrissian. Winning the Ghost‘s astromech droid Chopper in a game of Sabaac with Zeb (Steve Blum), the scoundrel hires the crew for a job that gets Hera (Vanessa Marshall) temporarily sold into slavery, the Ghost shot at by an Imperial blockade, and introduces a cute but annoyingly expanding Puffer Pig that causes all kinds of chaos once Zeb and Ezra (Taylor Gray) let it out of its cage.

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