Epic Covers: Star Wars: Darth Vader #28 by Rahzzah

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

They’ve been doing a long-term storyline in Star Wars: Darth Vader where Vader teams up with one of Padme’s former handmaidens, Sabe. While I can’t say I’ve been following along, this cover for today’s issue by Rahzzah caught my attention. The Emperor tends to have that effect, doesn’t he?

Darth Vader 28, cover, 2022, Rahzzah

This cover has a lot going for it. The blocking is wonderful, placing Palpatine behind Sabe with his hand on her shoulder, like he’s a vampire or some undead creature reaching for her. The detailed fashion in which Rahzzah renders his face certainly accentuates that idea. Along those same lines, Sabe looks just like Natalie Portman. That might actually be the one thing I dislike about the image, as Sabe was played by Keira Knightley in The Phantom Menace. Do they not have the rights to her likeness?

Then you have the obvious color contrast between the two characters. Palpatine is in black, while Sabe is all in white. Good and evil, etc. The red background also gives the image a certain intensity. Of course, it helps that red is synonymous with the Sith in Star Wars.

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

A Star Wars #28 Micro-Review – A Forgettable Journey

***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 28, cover, 2022, E.M. GistTITLE: Star Wars #28
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
ARTISTS:
Andres Genolet, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by E.M. Gist.

RELEASED: October 12, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue sees Luke Skywalker travel to Coruscant, the epicenter of the Galactic Empire. You’d think that’d be a pretty big, dramatic deal, right? But Luke makes pretty quick work of his mission, and gets right back to the Rebel Fleet. I get that he’s, y’know…Luke Skywalker. But that’s still pretty anticlimactic.

I’m hoping this isn’t the last we see of this family of Imperial double-agents. I was slow to get into their story, but they grew on me.

E.M. Gist keeps knocking it out of the park. He captures Luke’s likeness damn near perfectly.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Threepio’s Humanity vs. Vader’s Humanity

***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

C-3PO, Han Solo, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: After a sarcastic interaction with Han Solo, C-3PO says, “Sometimes I just don’t understand human behavior!”

George Lucas Says (via the “Characters of Star Wars” featurette): “Part of the fun of Threepio is he has no soul. He is programmed to think a particular way and be compassionate, but he doesn’t really know what that means. And sometimes he gets frustrated and sometimes he has very human-like qualities, but they don’t have a central place where he can think independently. Darth Vader, on the other hand, as he becomes more mechanical, he loses more and more of his ability to even think like a human.”

I Say: The notion that Vader is losing his ability to even think like a human being is compelling. In contrast, Threepio is, in many ways, trying to discover his own humanity. There’s an interesting dichotomy there when you consider that Darth Vader built C-3PO. As the movies go on, the human being starts to become less human and more robotic, while the robot starts to gain his humanity.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “To Catch a Jedi”

***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:E19 – “To Catch a Jedi”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Ashley Eckstein, Nika Futterman, Matt Lanter, Dee Bradley Baker, Tom Kane
WRITER:
Charles Murray
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
February 23, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
A fugitive Ahsoka is pursued through the depths of Coruscant.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Apparently this episode, “To Catch a Jedi,” is named for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film, To Catch a Thief. Apparently I need to brush up on my Hitchcock, as I couldn’t help but think of the show To Catch a Predator. I can’t have been the only one…

No? Just me? Got it.

Yoda’s initial call is to send Anakin after Ahsoka. But it’s Mace Windu who actually says the sensible thing: That Anakin is too emotionally compromised to be involved in the pursuit. Ultimately, after a little encouragement from Obi-Wan, they do send him after her. But from a writing standpoint, it might have made more sense to have the council hold Anakin back, and then have him defy them by searching anyway.

Question: Where do photos of Jedi come from? The Republic has a photo of Ahsoka (shown above) that they use to announce her fugitive status to Coruscant. Did she pose for that photo, perhaps for records purposes? Or was that supposed to be a candid shot of some kind? You’ve got to assume the Jedi keep records, which would naturally include photos. But if that’s a posed photo, why is she scowling like that?

I ask all this because we saw a similar posed photo of Obi-Wan Kenobi during his self-titled Disney+ series.

I appreciated that they had both Ahsoka and her mystery Jedi assailant using hand-to-hand combat (Teras Kasi perhaps?). It reminds the viewer that the Jedi are capable of much more physically than just swinging lightsabers.

It was nice that they went back to Asajj Ventress for this episode. It would, after all, wind up being the penultimate episode aired on Cartoon Network. The show wasn’t near its true ending, but an ending of sorts was approaching…

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Princess Leia’s PhD

***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!***

Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The Scene: Princess Leia makes her first appearance in the film, feeding the Death Star plans into R2-D2.

George Lucas Says (via the A New Hope commentary track): In Princess Leia, I was looking for somebody who was young, 19, the same age as what Luke was supposed to be. But instead of being kind of an idealistic, naive, farm boy from the far reaches of the nether lands, she’s like a very sophisticated urbanized ruler. A senator. She’s a politician, she’s accomplished, she’s graduated and got her PhD at 19.”

I Say: What sticks out to me about that quote is that Leia has her PhD. So technically, she’s Dr. Leia as well as Princess Leia.

The average fan doesn’t know just how smart Leia is, do they? I think most people view her as a bold, fearless character. But they don’t necessarily grasp just how supremely intelligent she is. She’s one of the most educated, most intelligent characters in the entire Star Wars saga.

And here I thought she couldn’t be more awesome…

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”

***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:E18 – “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Stephen Stanton, Dee Bradley Baker, Meredith Salenger
WRITER:
Charles Murray
DIRECTOR:
 Danny Keller
PREMIERE DATE:
February 16, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Ahsoka is accused of murdering a military prisoner.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“The Jedi Who Knew Too Much” is essentially part two of a four-parter that began with “Sabotage.” But this episode is where things really kick into high gear, and the end begins for Ahsoka. I can only assume they had this “framed for murder” story, or something akin to it, in mind when the series began. As Ahsoka obviously doesn’t appear in Revenge of the Sith, common sense would dictate you not create this character without knowing how to ultimately get rid of her.

I can appreciate that there’s a public backlash against the Jedi as the war becomes less popular. There’s obviously precedent for that in the real world, most recently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it does beg the question: Is it just the Jedi who are seeing a backlash? If so, why? Why not the chancellor? Why not the Senate? They’re every bit as involved in the war.

Admiral Tarkin (or Grand Moff Tarkin, as we knew him in A New Hope) appears in this episode, voiced by Stephen Stanton. I had mistakenly thought Stanton provided the voice for Tarkin in Rogue One. He didn’t. But he certainly could have. His Tarkin voice is spot on.

Anakin and the clones chase Ashoka outside a building that’s apparently called the “Repubic Center for Military Operations.” Its exterior includes big statues of clone troopers, and what appears to be a big memorial for troops lost during the Clone Wars.

All I could think of as I saw this building was that the Republic must have a lot of money to burn if they can create a facility that elaborate and ordained in the midst of a war. Either that, or Palpatine really wanted to push the clone trooper imagery and propaganda as he built up his Galactic Empire.

The entire prolonged chase sequence involving Ahsoka, Anakin, and the clones is really effective. Very suspenseful, and you believe that either side can ultimately win out.  Kevin Kiner’s score works perfectly too. It all feels like the culmination of five seasons. Like this is what we’ve been building to.

At first glance, Ahsoka’s motivation for running is a little bit questionable. Common sense and logic dictate that only a guilty person would flee that way. However, it does speak to her youth, inexperience, and even a certain impetuousness that might come with being Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice. So it works.

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

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.