A Star Wars: Yoda #1 Micro-Review – The Smoldering Jedi

***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 Yoda 1, cover, November 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Yoda #1
AUTHOR: Cavan Scott
ARTISTS:
Nico Leon, Dono Sanchez-Almara (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: November 23, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Nico Leon and Dono Sanchez-Almara really hit this one out of the park from an artistic perspective. Leon has a great handle on Yoda. There’s a gorgeous full-page shot of him, lightsaber lit, standing atop a smouldering surface.

And of course, I’m a sucker for Phil Noto drawing Star Wars. So I’m very pleased with the cover.

On the writing side of things, this is a pretty standard, yet still nice tale about Yoda saving a tribe of villagers from an evil force. It’s most of what you want and expect from a solo Yoda story.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Anthony Daniels and C-3PO

***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, Star Wars A New Hope

The Scene: C-3PO bickers with R2-D2 about boarding an escape pod aboard the Tantive IV.

George Lucas Says (via The Characters of Star Wars featurette): “[I originally] was going to make [Threepio] more like an oily used car dealer or a salesman. He was going to be more like a salesman who was always trying to please and always saying the right thing. But as Tony Daniels came into it, he was a very good actor, and he had this British accent, and I just fell in love with the accent. I tried to use all different kinds of people. I tried to use the used car dealer. I tried to use the salesman. None of it worked except for Tony as this kind of fussy British butler.”

I Say: Try as I might, I’ve never been able to picture Threepio as a used car salesman type. Or, for that matter, as anyone other than Anthony Daniels. We can all be thankful that George went with Daniels, and wasn’t as stubborn as he’d prove to be in later years.

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

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #7 Micro-Review – A (Quick) Prison Break!

***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 7, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #7
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
Paul Fry, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: November 16, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Han Solo & Chewbacca continues to fire on all cylinders, delivering on the kind of rip-roaring adventures one pictures when they think of Han and Chewie’s pre-A New Hope antics. My biggest complaint is that the two-pronged story with Chewie in prison and Han marooned on a strange planet wraps up too quickly for my taste. But I suppose there’s something to be said for not overstaying your welcome.

Guggenheim, Fry, and this crew even manage to sell me on the inclusion of Ponda Baba and Doctor Evazan in the prison stuff. Well done, gentlemen.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Destiny”

***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:
S6:E12 – “Destiny”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Tom Kane, Jaime King, Ashley Eckstein, Corey Burton, James Arnold Taylor
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
 March 7, 2014
SYNOPSIS:
Yoda continues his quest for life beyond death.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yoda opting to leave his lightsaber behind as he ventures into the unknown is a really nice callback (Or call forward?) to The Empire Strikes Back. Our little green friend wasn’t asking Luke to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

On the subject of Luke, the line “[Yoda] is to teach one that will save the universe from great imbalance.” is obviously a reference to him. Cute. Again, a nice little nod to Empire.

“Destiny” brings us the creation of a delightful little one-off character I’ll call “Dark Yoda,” i.e. the essence of the darkness that lies within Yoda. He’s a little reminiscent of Gollum of The Lord of the Rings fame. But he’s no less delightful for it.

One thing I definitely appreciated about the Yoda/Dark Yoda confrontation: No lightsabers. It would have been easy to turn the scrap between the two of them into a lightsaber duel. But they resisted the temptation. Thus we get to see Yoda in a physical fight with no weapons, which I don’t know that Star Wars had done up to this point.

There are a lot of floating platforms on this world that Yoda has to hop to and from. Gives it a little bit of a Super Mario Bros. feeling, doesn’t it?

Yoda’s destination going into the next episode is a world called Moraband, which is referred to as “the ancient homeworld of the Sith.” What’s interesting to me about that from a creative standpoint is that if this episode had been made today, Yoda likely would have journeyed to Exegol. That’s a fun little thought…

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Old Man and the Machine

***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

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope, lightsaber

The Scene: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader prepare to duel with lightsabers aboard the Death Star.

George Lucas Says (Via The Birth of the Lightsaber featurette): “In the beginning, the first film, Episode IV, it was a fight between a very old man and a man who was only partially a man, mostly a mechanical being. So it really wasn’t much of a sword fight at all. … As we went on, we wanted to have the lightsaber fights become faster and more intense as Luke became more proficient in the art of sword fighting.”

I Say: I’ve heard George talk about this a number of times over the years. It works fine as an in-story explanation of why there are no acrobatics or fancy sword fighting moves in A New Hope. But if Star Wars had been made in the prequel era, i.e. the late ’90s and early 2000s, you’ve got to know that Obi-Wan would have been doing all sorts of wild stunts. Remember that Count Dooku, who can’t be that far removed from Obi-Wan in terms of age, does a somersault off a balcony in Revenge of the Sith for no apparent reason.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Voices”

***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:
S6:E11 – “Voices”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Tom Kane, Matt Lanter, Terrence Carson, James Arnold Taylor, Catherine Taber
GUEST-STARRING:
Liam Neeson
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Danny Keller
PREMIERE DATE:
 March 7, 2014
SYNOPSIS:
Guided by the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda goes on a special quest.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

First and foremost, it’s extremely cool to have Liam Neeson back. Even independently of him having played Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace, he’s got such a great voice. He’d previously come in for the season three episode, “Ghosts of Mortis.” But his role here is obviously much more substantial in the grand scheme of things.

The prequels never suitably followed up, or even explored, the idea of Qui-Gon speaking to Yoda from beyond the grave, and how that ultimately leads to Yoda and Obi-Wan being able to come back as Force ghosts. So I’m extremely grateful that The Clone Wars explored that, and with plenty of fan service to boot.

For all the unexplored territory they venture into, these last few episodes of season six just might be the most essential of “The Essential Clone Wars.”

This episode continues on a theme we’ve seen in previous episodes, including the last one: The idea of public confidence in the Jedi being undermined. The idea being that part of how bad guys bring down a society is by diluting public confidence in its institutions. Not to get too political here, but we saw a lot of that recently during the Trump presidency.

The scenes with Yoda in the hospital bed, and then later in the isolation tank (shown above), do a nice job of reminding us just how small and seemingly vulnerable the character is. He’s not vulnerable, of course. But the visual is interesting.

Oddly enough Rig Nema, the doctor character, is voiced by Catherine Taber, who also provides the voice for Padme. Even more odd is that she doesn’t do much to differentiate between her Padme voice and her Rig Nema voice. So it essentially sounds like Yoda is being tended to by Padme.

As fun as it is to watch Yoda explore Dagobah for the first time, and walk into the same cave he’ll send Luke into decades later, you’ve got to believe it was even more fun for the animators to work on. There’s no imagery more synonymous with classic Star Wars than Yoda in the swamp.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: General Grievous and Darth Vader

***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

General Grievous entrance, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

The Scene: General Grievous, leader of the Separatist droid army, enters the film.

George Lucas Says (via the Revenge of the Sith commentary track): “With General Grievous, I wanted somebody who was reminiscent … of what Anakin is going to become, which is a half-man, half-robot. In this case, Grievous is sort of 20 percent alien, 80 percent robot. … It echoes what is about to occur with Anakin, as a part machine, part life form.”

I say: George Lucas does love his echoes, doesn’t he? I remember thinking this idea of Grievous sort of foreshadowing what happens to Anakin when he becomes Darth Vader was pretty cool. If nothing else, it shows that Darth Sidious’ forces had become somewhat proficient in creating cyborgs out of critically wounded beings. So, in a way, Grievous also lays the groundwork for Anakin’s transformation later in the film.

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

Toy Chest Theater: Darth Vader by Tanner Scott Mielken

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

So would this be…an inverted parody?

More than three decades after its release, Spaceballs remains the definitive Star Wars parody. Frankly, it’s not even a close race. Most of us who’ve seen the movie no doubt recall the moment when Colonel Sandurz (played by George Wyner) walks in on Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) playing with his dolls. Personally, I’d call them action figures. But that’s neither here nor there…

In this image, Tanner Scott Mielken takes that scene from a Spaceballs and flips it on its head, using the character that’s actually being parodied to parody that parody. Make sense?

Darth Vader, Tanner Scott Mielken

It doesn’t hurt that it’s funny just to see Darth Vader playing with dolls. So even if you haven’t seen Spaceballs, it works.

Incidentally, if you haven’t seen Spaceballs then run, do not walk, and find it. I’ll even help you: You can stream it for free on YouTube.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Reading Emotion into a Robot

***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, Star Wars A New Hope

The Scene: C-3PO enters the film alongside R2-D2.

George Lucas Says: “One of the very difficult things about creating Threepio is that I needed to create a face that was absolutely neutral, that I could then read into whatever emotion it was that was being put forth in the scene. I had a sculptress come in and do a series of heads to to get to a head that was absolutely neutral and had no emotion on it whatsoever. I wanted all the reactions to be from the environment and the story around it so that if he was happy you would read happiness into his face. If he was sad you would read sadness into his face, and it wouldn’t be distorted at all by the physical configuration of his face.”

I Say: The whole “read emotion into the face” principle doesn’t just apply to Threepio. It also applies to Darth Vader. Case in point: The moments prior to Vader’s unmasking in Return of the Jedi, as he’s telling Luke he wants to “look on you with my own eyes.” We’re reading things like love and compassion into Vader’s mask, which is a stark contrast to what we’ve read into it previously.

To an extent, it also applies to R2-D2 and other robot characters. I suppose that’s what happens when your robots have so many feelings…

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Lost One”

***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:
S6:E10 – “The Lost One”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Tom Kane, James Arnold Taylor, Brian George, Matt Lanter, Corey Burton
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Brian Kalin O’Connell
PREMIERE DATE:
 March 7, 2014
SYNOPSIS:
The Jedi explore the mystery of Sifo Dyas’ death.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Little peek behind the curtain: For the most part, I’ve been using the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Essential Episodes” playlist on Disney+ to select which Clone Wars episodes I feature. But that has to change now, as mysteriously there are no season six episodes on said list. The three episodes I plan to feature from season six are ones I had previously seen, and frankly, I think are awesome. They dive into one of the big unresolved issues from Attack of the Clones: The mystery of Sifo Dyas.

We open the episode with a vehicle on wheels slowly driving through a sandstorm. The novelty of seeing wheeled vehicles in Star Wars still hasn’t worn off for me. I wonder what the logic is behind them using one here, as opposed to one with hover technology. Does it allow for more stable navigation through the storm?

This episode goes on awhile before we get any lightsaber fights, shooting, or any other Star Wars action staples. That’s fine for adult viewers, obviously. But it makes me wonder what younger kids thought of this episode. Did it hold their attention? Was the expansion on a character only briefly mentioned during Attack of the Clones enough to keep them interested?

How much time passes between this episode and Revenge of the Sith? A matter of months? Because Anakin has that line to Dooku: “My powers have doubled since we last met, Count.” Casual viewers would naturally think he’s referring to a couple of years earlier during the events of Attack of the Clones. But those of us who’ve watched The Clone Wars know Anakin and Dooku crossed swords a few different times over the course of this big galactic conflict. I mean, obviously Anakin is boasting. But it’s kind of a weird boast.

“My powers have doubled since we last met. Remember? It was just a few months ago…”

By the end of this episode, the Jedi Council learns that Count Dooku is responsible for the creation of the Clone army. Understandably, they’re of the mindset that if this got out, it would seriously undermine public confidence in the Jedi and the war effort. Again, as we saw with the story that led to Ahsoka’s departure from the Jedi Order, we’ve got this theme of people losing faith in the Jedi, and the Jedi’s fear of such a thing. I like that idea. The notion that the galaxy is becoming more skeptical about the Jedi lends credence to the idea that Palpatine could frame them as the villains in Revenge of the Sith.

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