A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6 Micro-Review – Firing on All Cylinders

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 6, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Paul Fry, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: September 28, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is the kind of issue I pictured when this series first came out. We’ve got Chewie getting into fights in prison, as a bunch of space pirates race to free the Millennium Falcon from the clutches of the Empire. Meanwhile, Han Solo is presumed dead. (Spoiler: He’s not.)

This book was a slow starter. But it’s firing on all cylinders now. My only complaint? That they felt the need to shoehorn Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan into this story. They were, of course, in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. Lame.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Yoda and the Path to Digital Characters

***Think what you will about George Lucas. But in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: Luke Skywalker is trained to be a Jedi by Yoda on the planet Dagobah.

George Lucas Says (via the Empire Strikes Back commentary track): “It was struggling with [the creation of Yoda] that took me to the next level of saying, ‘Gosh, I wish I could get that [puppet] to walk.’ Because he can’t walk more than a few feet. … It takes a lot of work to get him to go anywhere. That was really what started me on the idea of creating digital characters that could actually move freely in a set without having to have the whole scene blocked around the puppeteer.”

I Say: So can we infer from this statement that we have Yoda to blame for the exhaustive overemphasis of digital technology in the prequels?

I jest, of course. This train of thought makes all the sense in the world. There’s nothing wrong with it, strictly speaking. It’s just a shame that things went to such an extreme. It took him down a dark path, so to speak…

And as Yoda himself says: “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Sabotage”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E17 – “Sabotage”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Dee Bradley Baker, Kari Wahlgren, Tom Kane
WRITER:
Charles Murray
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
February 9, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Anakin and Ahsoka investigate a bombing at the Jedi Temple.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode, while nice in terms of being ominous and mysterious, doesn’t work for me for one major reason: If it’s suspected that a Jedi was involved in the temple bombing, there’s no way the Jedi themselves would be allowed to investigate it. The Senate, assuming they aren’t all complete morons, wouldn’t allow it. A third, truly unbiased party would be brought in determine whether or not the Jedi were involved. Often times, that’s what big companies will do when incidents occur, and it’s not clear who the blame lays with.

I understand that it’s a TV show, and Anakin and Ahsoka are the heroes. But how about this: Instead of involving a CSI droid, or whatever Russo-ISC is supposed to be, create a detective character for the Star Wars universe. Something in the vein of a classic private eye. Then, make Anakin and Ahsoka his liaisons with the Jedi Order. That way they can still be in the episode, but you don’t necessarily have that huge conflict of interest present.

Although let’s be honest, from an in-universe perspective, having Anakin involved in the investigation at all is a pretty dumb decision. The Jedi Council knows that Anakin can be rash and emotional, for no other reason than Obi-Wan, Anakin’s old master, is part of the group. Actually, if you had to involve a Jedi in this whole scenario, Obi-Wan wouldn’t be a bad choice. He’s level-headed, and has proven himself trustworthy enough that he was invited to the council. Hell, he conducted the investigation into Padme’s assassination in Attack of the Clones. So he’s even got a history of detective work under his belt!

Clearly, we were lacking some Jedi wisdom in this episode.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

An Andor, “Episode 1” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: Andor
EPISODE:
S1:E1. “Episode 1”
STARRING:
Diego Luna, Kyle Soller, Adria Arjona, James McArdle, Antonio Viña
WRITERS:
Tony Gilroy
DIRECTOR:
Toby Haynes
PREMIERE DATE:
September 21, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Cassian Andor becomes a wanted man.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let me say this straight away: I did not like Rogue One, the movie to which Andor acts as a prequel. I didn’t think any of the characters were sufficiently developed. The only one with any charm or heart was the robot, K-2SO. It’s always seemed to me like people were fooled into thinking they liked the movie because of all the classic Star Wars stuff in it, along with its darker tone, which I admit does appeal to a large group of fans. But for me, a dark tone by itself doesn’t cut it. I need something underneath the dark packaging to sink my teeth into.

I don’t expect to change people’s minds about Rogue One. At this point, people believe what they believe. Furthermore, I don’t expect Andor to change my mind about Rogue One. But the good news is, changing my mind about Rogue One isn’t what Andor needs to do. This show’s job is to be good in and of itself. What I hope for Andor more than anything is that it does something Rogue One didn’t do: Make me like and care about Cassian Andor.

Disney+ premiered Andor with its first three episodes. It did something similar with Obi-Wan Kenobi, dropping the show’s first two episodes on its premiere date. Apparently, releasing multiple episodes out of the gate helps the show make a bigger splash in terms of viewership. Me? I’d be happy with a single episode premiere. It draws things out, makes the experience of the show last longer, etc. (Plus, it makes it easier to review.)

In our opening scene, we get the time stamp “BBY 5.” Star Wars geeks know this means five years before the Battle of Yavin, i.e. five years before the original Star Wars film. But more casual viewers? They won’t have a clue what that means.

Was that an intergalactic strip club Cassian went into in the opening scene? This being Star Wars, somehow I expected more Carrie Fisher style slave girl bikinis.

We knew we were likely going to get some scenes with child-aged Cassian. He had that line in Rogue One about being in the fight since he was six. It looks like he comes from a world that’s not overly industrialized. The group he and his sister are in looks vaguely tribal.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was bored by this episode. But it did feel like there wasn’t much happening. I’ll chalk it up to first episode exposition and character introduction. But I won’t be inclined to be quite as nice next time…

Okay, I get it. Cassian has lots of friends and connections. Did we need to establish that four times? First there was the Brasso character. Then we had Bix Caleen and Timm Karlo. Then there was the encounter with Nurchi and Vetch. Finally, we had the little exchange with Pegla. Am I supposed to care about these people? The only one that really accomplishes that goal is the Bix character, played by Adria Arjona.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Risk of Yoda

***Think what you will about George Lucas. But in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yoda, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: In the swamps of Dagobah, Luke encounters a small creature who we later learn to be Yoda, a wise Jedi Master.

George Lucas Says (via the Empire Strikes Back commentary track): “There was a huge challenge with this. I didn’t want Yoda to look like a man in a suit. So I made him two and a half feet tall, which would have been impossible to put anybody in [a suit that size]. … It was one of the scarier things in the movie. Because if he looked like Kermit, we would have been dead.”

I Say: I don’t think this risk gets talked about enough. I think the achievement that is Yoda has subsequently gotten lost in all the advancements in digital technology, many of which have ironically been spearheaded by George Lucas. Had puppeteer Frank Oz, puppet designer Stuart Freeborn, Empire director Irvin Kershner, and everybody involved in the creation of Yoda not been as talented as they were, the movie might have fallen on its face.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, deserves a lot of credit for the creation of Yoda too. It’s one thing to create a realistic-looking puppet. It’s another thing to act alongside that puppet, react genuinely, and make it feel like a living being that could exist in the real world. Without Mark Hamill, Yoda as we know him today doesn’t exist.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Lawless”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

Satine death, Star Wars the Clone Wars, The LawlessSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E16 – “The Lawless”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Sam Witwer, Ian Abercrombie, Katee Sackhoff
WRITER:
Chris Collins
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
February 2, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save Satine from Maul’s forces.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Wait, Satine has a nephew named Korkie? Why is that funny to me?

So now we have not only have Mandalorians with red armor, but Mandalorians whose helmets have horns like Darth Maul. You just know the artists and designers had fun with that one.

Having received Duchess Satine’s desperate transmission for help, Obi-Wan travels to Mandalore to save her. Question: Did Yoda and the Jedi Council know about him going to Mandalore, or did Obi-Wan do it on his own? If so, does he face any consequences for that? Just asking…

After they are captured by Mandalorian forces, Obi-Wan is forced to watch as Satine is executed by Maul. Needless to say, this makes their feud even more personal than it already was. I wasn’t necessarily surprised to see Satine die. But I was surprised to see her simply executed the way she was. She didn’t go out in a blaze of glory or anything. They just got everybody in a room, and Maul killed her. Simple as that.

Sensing what’s happening, Darth Sidious personally travels to Mandalore to confront Maul. And again I have to ask, does anyone know where he went? He is the chancellor of the Republic, and they are in the middle of a war. He can’t just go off without telling anybody, can he?

I understand these kinds of details aren’t necessarily important in the context of telling the story. The important thing is that Obi-Wan and Palpatine ultimately end up on Mandalore. But it’s fair question, isn’t it?

I noticed that just before the two-on one duel starts with Sidious, Maul, and Savage Opress, Maul does the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below). I can only assume that was intentional. The Obi-Wan pose wasn’t as much of a thing yet. But the show had done it before. And of course, we’d see it in Revenge of the Sith.

Ian Abercrombie, who voices Palpatine/Sidious, has the character’s evil laugh down pat. That makes his fight sequence with Maul and Opress that much more effective.

There are a lot of “echoes” in this episode. You’ve got Obi-Wan luring that Mandalorian on to his ship and stealing his uniform, much like they did in A New Hope. Then, seconds before he sees Palpatine, Maul says he senses a presence he hasn’t felt since… Again, like in A New Hope. Then, after it’s revealed that Bo-Katan is Satine’s sister, Obi-Wan says “I’m so sorry,” much like he says to Padme in Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars does love it’s callbacks, doesn’t it?

To Maul’s shock and horror, Sidious kills Savage Opress. Thus, possibly my least favorite character in all of Star Wars is put down. Whatever shall we do without him?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Obi-Wan #5 Micro-Review – Doing the Best with the Least

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Obi-Wan 5, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Obi-Wan #5 (of 5)
AUTHOR: Christopher Cantwell
ARTISTS:
Adriana Melo, Wayne Faucher (Inker), Dono Sanchez-Almara (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.
RELEASED:
September 14, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This final issue is the best one to come out of this Obi-Wan mini, and yet it’s the one where the least actually happens. It’s simply a tale of our hero showing compassion to an injured stormtrooper.

On the cover, Phil Noto looks like he’s channeling a little bit of Mike Mayhew’s take on the character.

All in all, this mini-series wasn’t mind-blowing. But it did make for a nice companion to the Obi-Wan Kenobi show on Disney+.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Burials and Echoes

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Anakin Skywalker, funeral scene, Star Wars Attack of the Clones

The Scene: At a small funeral ceremony for his mother, Anakin promises not to fail her again.

George Lucas Says (via the Attack of the Clones commentary track): “There’s, again, a constant echoing back and forth of things. .. where [Anakin’s mother is] buried, one can assume that Owen and Beru are buried in the same place.”

I Say: What I like about this “echo” is that it actually extends beyond Owen and Beru, and even beyond Lucas’ influence with The Rise of Skywalker. If Shmi Skywalker is buried at the homestead, one would have to assume that her husband Cliegg Lars was eventually buried there too.

Then, in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey buries Luke and Leia’s lightsabers near the homestead. So in a symbolic and ceremonial sense, Luke and Leia are buried there too.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Shades of Reason”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E15 – “Shades of Reason”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Sam Witwer, Jon Favreau, Anna Graves, Julian Holloway, Clancy Brown
WRITER:
Chris Collins
DIRECTOR:
Bosco Ng
PREMIERE DATE:
January 26, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Maul and Pre Vizsla each jockey for control of Mandalore.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well of course the bad guys are secretly plotting against each other. It almost wouldn’t be Star Wars if they weren’t. In a way it’s kind of stupid. But it also makes sense. Star Wars shows us that greed and a lust for power, i.e. the dark side, are all-consuming. And once you start down that path, you can never have enough…

Pre Vizsla gets in front of the crowd and says that Death Watch is here to save them from the gangsters. The crowd buys into what he says very quickly, despite the group ominously having the word “death” in its name. Not exactly easy from a marketing standpoint, is it? You’d think the Empire would have run into the same thing with the Death Star.

One of the things that interests me about this episode is that none of our heroes are in it. There’s no Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, Yoda, etc. Not every show can pull that off. It’s a credit to the quality of the writing and the patience said writers have in crafting this story.

The animators did a great job with Satine’s face in this episode. You can feel her worry, despair, even pain at the situation she and her people find themselves in.

Pretty epic fight between Maul and Vizsla (shown above). Maybe my favorite one-on-one confrontation of the entire series thus far.

Ultimately, Maul decapitates Vizsla with the Darksaber and takes his spot as leader of Death Watch. The whole “he who holds the Darksaber rules Mandalore” thing is obviously what they’re preparing to invoke between Din Djarin and Bo-Katan as head toward season three of The Mandalorian. This was a handy episode to watch in that respect.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars #27 Micro-Review – Small Characters, Big Universe

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars 27, cover, 2022, E.M. GistTITLE: Star Wars #27
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
ARTISTS:
Andrés Genolet, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by E.M. Gist.
RELEASED:
September 7, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Another gorgeous cover by E.M. Gist. He’s definitely a keeper.

These last two issues have been largely about a couple of spies within the Empire, and their attempts to flee and get their children to safety. I like that. Sometimes I think this series, or perhaps another series altogether, should be about “smaller” stories and characters in the Star Wars universe that aren’t bound to Luke, Leia, etc. The galaxy is a big place, after all. There’s lots to explore…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.