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+.

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Astonishing Art: Neal Adams Draws Star Wars

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The comic book industry continues to miss the legendary Neal Adams, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 80. The world of comic books will likely always miss him. Recently, I found myself missing him a little bit more when I stumbled on to this little gem…

I was totally unaware that Adams had done any Star Wars work. But low and behold, here we have a variant cover for Marvel’s adaptation of The Force Awakens from 2016 (shown below left). I love the red trail that he gives Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. That’s a unique little touch we don’t see too often. And just to see him render Kylo and the stormtroopers is fun.

For those with more of a taste for the classic trilogy, Adams would go on to do a variant cover for Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Alpha (shown below right), which allowed him to draw Boba Fett.

It’s a shame Adams didn’t get a chance to visit the Star Wars universe more often. It looked damn good under his pencil. Then again, most things did…

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Rob Watches Boba Fett – Emerging From the Pit…

The Book of Boba Fett, posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E1. “Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, David Pasquesi
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
December 29, 2021
SYNOPSIS:
Years after escaping certain death, Boba Fett takes over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Disney kind of screwed Boba Fett over. I mean, think about it. They took the basic concept of the character, costume and all, and repackaged it into The Mandalorian. And obviously, that repackaging paid off. The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars content to come along in years. But it didn’t leave much for them to work with as far as a Boba Fett TV show is concerned. He couldn’t be a lone gunslinger traveling the galaxy and having adventures. Mando was/is already doing that.

So what does Boba Fett do if he’s not a bounty hunter anymore? That question could have been the thesis for an entire season. But coming into The Book of Boba Fett, we already knew what the character’s new goal was: To take over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire.

But why? Why does he want to be the head of a crime family? That’s my big question coming out of the first episode, and that’s what I hope The Book of Boba Fett tells us. At this point, Boba has either been a bounty hunter or been around bounty hunting for most of his life. To an extent, it’s all he knows. So why the change? And why now?

As they’re both overseen by Jon Favreau, and their main characters are so similar, it’s difficult not to compare The Book of Boba Fett to The Mandalorian. Especially at first.

I loved the first episode of The Mandalorian, particularly the opening scene in the cantina. It captured our intrigue, set the tone for the show beautifully, and is generally just a fun scene. This episode doesn’t give us a scene quite like that, but it does show fans something they’ve always wanted to see: Boba Fett escaping from the sarlaac pit.

Even George Lucas didn’t believe Boba Fett died in the pit. He said so on the Return of the Jedi DVD commentary track. So this escape scene was a long time coming. I feel like that image of Fett’s hand bursting out of the sand has been in the fandom’s collective consciousness for decades.

So Fett’s armor (mostly) protected him from the sarlaac’s stomach acid, and he was able to breathe thanks to some leftover oxygen from a doomed Imperial stormtrooper’s helmet. The question, of course, is what a stormtrooper was doing at Jabba’s palace to begin with. It’s not a pressing question, though. We saw stormtroopers walking around on Tatooine. One could have easily gotten on Jabba’s bad side.

Jawas proceed to steal the armor off Fett’s unconscious body. To make matters worse, that white body suit he was wearing isn’t exactly dignified.

So how old is Boba Fett supposed to be at this point? Let’s say he was about 8 when we saw him in Attack of the Clones. And that movie takes places 22 years before A New Hope. So, factoring in the four years between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, that would make him…about 34 years old when he crawls out of the sarlaac pit, and 39 during the events of The Book of Boba Fett.

I’ll say this much: I don’t necessarily envy Temuera Morrison. He’s over 60 years old, and has to play someone 20 years younger. He manages to pull it off, though.

After being captured and enslaved by Tusken Raiders, Fett is able to loosen his bonds, and offers to free a fellow prisoner. Said prisoner then screams for his captors, foiling Fett’s escape attempt.

Something about Fett offering to free that prisoner rubs me the wrong way. The man is supposed to be a mercenary. What does he care about what happens to anyone else? Particularly in that scenario.

On a geographical note, I never knew Jabba’s palace was in Mos Espa, a city we originally saw in The Phantom Menace. We saw him pop up in that movie during the podrace. But I had no idea he lived there. From exterior shots, the palace always appeared to be in a fairly remote location. Maybe it’s just outside city limits…?

The referral to Boba Fett as the new daimyo is interesting. The word daimyo refers to a lord or leader in feudal Japan. A nod to George Lucas’ appreciation for Akira Kurosawa films, perhaps?

The blue pianist in the cantina is indeed Max Rebo, who we saw in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi. A random choice. But not an unwelcome one.

After the fight with the assassins, Fett tells his gamorrean guards to get him to his bacta tank. Bacta, of course, being the universal stand-in for medicine in the Star Wars universe.

As he’s moving a bit slow in the fight against the assassins, we see Fett is still feeling the effects of the sarlaac pit even five years later. Presumably he’d be fully healed if he’d started bacta treatments sooner. I’m wondering how long he’s supposed to have been doing bacta treatments. Since he installed himself as daimyo, perhaps? That might make sense, as Jabba would have had the resources to come up with a personal bacta tank like that. Except his would have been much bigger. His would have been, like…a bacta vat.

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

A Star Wars #19 Micro-Review – Now This Is More Like It…

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

TITLE: Star Wars #19
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
ARTISTS:
Marco Castiello, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz & Rain Beredo.

RELEASED: December 8, 2021

This issue is more in line with what I personally want to see from a Star Wars comic going forward. It focuses in on Luke and his learning more about the Jedi. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a whole series like this that takes place after Return of the Jedi.

I still don’t like the gold lightsaber. I do, however, like this cover. For some reason I’m attracted to the outfit Luke is in. The outfit obviously has a very Jedi vibe to it.

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

Toy Chest Theater: Stormtroopers by Ryan Mitchell

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Well, you knew we had to do something with Star Wars today, what with it being May the Fourth. I’ve always liked Ryan Mitchell‘s shots. Obviously, he has a knack for images that look like old timey war photos. This one in particular has always stood out to me. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s an action shot. It looks like there’s just been an explosion nearby…

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Rob Watches The Mandalorian: An Icon Returns

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E6. “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
December 4, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Mando takes Grogu to the planet Tython, where he’s intercepted by Boba Fett and Fennec Shand.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I wonder who came up with the name Grogu, and how long they’ve had it. You think they had that in mind from the get-go?

Slave I gets an awesome entrance in this episode. Not overstated. Just a simple fly-by. The ship is so iconic to Star Wars fans that a simple appearance, even from a distance, does all the work.

So what is that energy field that comes up around Grogu? Are we to believe it’s Force energy? That seems like the most likely explanation. Especially since Grogu passes out afterward.

“I’m a simple man making his way through the galaxy. Like my father before me.” Nice little callback to two different lines there. The first from Jango in Attack of the Clones. The second from Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi.

This stormtrooper ineptitude is becoming a problem for me. The fact that Mando, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand were able to fend off more than a dozen of them is pathetic.

Also, when a giant boulder is rolling toward you…MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, IDIOTS!

The sequences with Boba Fett and the gaffi stick were a sight to behold. Aside from the few swings we saw in the original Star Wars, I believe this is the first time we’ve seen one in action. Certainly to this degree.

The fight between the newly re-armored Fett and the stormtroopers is obviously some great fan-service. It did bring to mind memories of the Darth Vader slaughter from the end of Rogue One. The difference? In Rogue One, that sequence was there to bolster up the end of the film because it had so little in the way of character and story. In contrast, this Boba Fett stuff has been set up since the beginning of the season. And to say the least, The Mandalorian isn’t lacking in depth.

Moff Gideon wants to be Darth Vader. Bad. Real bad. To the point that he carries around a lightsaber. It’s kinda cute, actually.

They blew up the Razor Crest! I didn’t see that coming…

I’ve never liked Temuera Morrison as the voice for the helmeted Boba Fett, especially the way they swapped out Jason Wingreen’s voice for his in The Empire Strikes Back. I have no issue with Morrison playing the role at large. But when he’s got the helmet on? Give him a voice like Wingreen’s. If Darth Vader can have a voice modulator, so can Boba Fett.

Some questions that still haven’t been answered: How did Fett survive the Sarlaac Pit? I think the general consensus is that he climbed out. But did somebody rescue him? When was he rescued?

If they do end up doing a Boba Fett series, this is some of the ground the first season should cover.

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: An Attack of Conscience

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S1:E3. “Chapter Three: The Sin.”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Omid Abtahi
WRITER: Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE: November 22, 2019
SYNOPSIS: After returning the child to his client, Mando has an attack of conscience.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I assume those stormtroopers have to keep their armor on full-time, as if they were still on duty. One would think they’d want to avoid outfits that would get them recognized. But I suppose you can’t be recognized if you don’t go out in public.

I wish we had something to call the Werner Herzog character besides “the client.” Even the mad scientist character has a name: Dr. Pershing. Granted, that sounds like the name of somebody’s podiatrist. But at least it’s there.

While we’re on the subject, are we to assume Baby Yoda has no name? See, that one I’m okay with, as we can assume he’s been in Imperial research facilities for much of his life.

Carl Weathers’ Wikipedia page says that he took the Greef Karga role on the condition that he be able to direct an episode in the second season. Take everything you read on Wikipedia with a grain of salt. But if it is true, that’s some clever bargaining on his part.

With this episode, Deborah Chow became the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars project. Those kinds of milestones are a double-edged sword for me. Yes, you obviously want diversity in the director’s chair. But the fact that it took more than 40 years for it to happen is cringeworthy.

Then again, it’s not like there’ve been a massive surplus of live action Star Wars projects. The Mandalorian is, after all, the franchise’s first live-action TV series.

Don’t get personally involved. That’s got to be, like, the first rule of bounty hunting, right? If it’s not rule #1, it should be rule #1A.

One of the big themes in The Mandalorian, and Star Wars at large, has to do with fatherhood and parenting. We’ve had Luke and Vader, Boba Fett and Jango Fett, Han and Ben Solo, etc. And now, we’ve got Mando and the child. Heck, even Mando himself has some lost parent issues.

What I like about this episode is that we’re with Mando as he makes the decision to become a parent, albeit a surrogate one. We see the struggle between his mercenary instincts and his conscience. And we get through the whole thing with minimal dialogue from him. It’s beautifully done.

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: #FireGinaCarano?

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E4. “Chapter 12: The Siege.”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Horatio Sanz
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Carl Weathers
PREMIERE DATE:
November 20, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Mando reunites with Greef Karga and Cara Dune to take out an Imperial base.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m happy to see Cara Dune again. But I had no idea her actress, Gina Carano, was such a heat magnet. #FireGinaCarano is apparently a thing on Twitter because of her views about the trans community, COVID-19, masks, and the Democratic party. Instead of spouting off about this, I’ll simply invite fans, viewers, and readers to come to their own conclusions…

Mrs. Primary Ignition popped for Baby Yoda putting his arms in the air as the ship lands. Cuteness quota: Reached.

Carl Weathers, who plays Greef Karga, directed this episode. He’s got several directing credits. But nothing as high profile as this. Based on how well this episode turned out, I imagine he’s got many more directing gigs coming his way.

“The Siege” has a lot going for it. We’ve got familiar faces from last season. But we’ve also got a really nice balance of action, excitement, and intrigue. I wouldn’t put this episode in the same league as “The Prisoner” last season. But it was still a thrilling watch.

Listen carefully during the classroom scene. You’ll hear the protocol droid say the New Republic is headquartered on the planet Chandrila, as opposed to Coruscant. Makes sense. Coruscant had become synonymous with the Empire. Best to start fresh somewhere else.

Writers need to start being careful about stormtrooper dialogue. Specifically, parroting lines from the original trilogy. Remember, these movies have been ingrained into people’s minds for 40 years now. So a seemingly harmless line like, “Alright men, load your weapons” can harken back to a very specific moment, and take you right out of the episode.

Another stormtrooper gripe: During the shoot-out sequences I found myself wishing one of our heroes, specifically Karga or Mythrol, would take a non-lethal blaster bolt. Just to show that these stormtroopers can in fact hit a target more than once in a blue moon.

So our base, it turns out, is actually a lab. We don’t find out what exactly they’re doing, but we know it involves blood from Baby Yoda. Given the child’s strength in the Force, that means these experiments could involve the creation of Snoke, or even the Palpatine clone we see in The Rise of Skywalker. On the other hand, it could simply be a matter of Moff Gideon creating clones to serve as the Dark Troopers we see at the end of the episode.

And yes, Dark Troopers were a thing in the old canon. I’m anxious to see them in action.

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

Alex Ross Spotlight: Star Wars and Star Trek Collide

By Rob Siebert
Space Pacifist…who just happens to be right.

Happy May the 4th, everybody!

As a kid, I never understood the whole Star Wars vs. Star Trek thing. Mind you, I’d never seen Star Trek. But I understood how the two universes were different. It’s apples and oranges.

Star Trek, when it’s done right, is designed to ask us questions. Most good science fiction is. Ideally, you’re supposed to come away asking questions about yourself and your world, i.e. “Who are we as a people, really?”, “What would you do in this situation?”, etc.

Star Wars on the other hand, is more about the thrill of the adventure. Yes, all that stuff that’s been written about George Lucas, Joseph Campbell, and the hero’s journey are true. And I love all of it. But at the end of the day, we want to be along for the ride.

But as I got older, it started to make a little more sense. For my money it’s not about pitting the two franchises against each other. It’s about how you like your science fiction. Are you an intellectual or an adventurer? Both worlds have a certain amount of each, but there’s nothing at all wrong with leaning in one direction over another.

This is all a really long-winded introduction to this painting by Alex Ross.

Ross has depicted the two worlds separately (shown above). But obviously this is his first time mixing them. I admit, I have no idea why this piece exists. But I ain’t complaining.

Note that the Enterprise crew members have beamed in alongside the rebels. Han Solo isn’t pointing a blaster at Spock, and Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t swinging a lightsaber at Kirk. All our heroes are standing together against evil.

That says it all, right there.

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

The Rise of Skywalker Novelization Review – Palpatine Edition

***I just recently finished the Rise of Skywalker novelization. Naturally, as the “Expanded Edition,” it’s intended to supplement the events of the film and hopefully fill some of those gaping plotholes. Naturally as a Star Wars geek, I’ve got opinions. Too many to fit into a single review. Thus, welcome to the first of my multi-part Rise of Skywalker novelization review!***

By Rob Siebert
Has a LOT of free time during quarantine.

1. After the Big Boom
The book confirms something that a lot of fans already suspected: The Palpatine we saw in The Rise of Skywalker was indeed a clone. Or rather, the real Palpatine’s consciousness in a clone’s body.

There are more than a few Darth Plagueis references in the novel, which is a nice touch. Having learned from his old master how to cheat death, the Emperor began working on his contingency plan when he sensed the conflict in Darth Vader.

Palpatine’s consciousness left his body as he fell toward the Death Star core in Return of the Jedi. It traveled “far, far away to a secret place he had been preparing.” I can only assume that secret place was Exegol. But his new body wasn’t fully prepared, and his various Sith heretics rushed to sustain him. Obviously they never fully succeeded, as he would eventually plan to take Rey’s body as his own.

I know some fans thought Palpatine’s survival essentially negated the end of Return of the Jedi. I never really got that logic. Darth Vader was redeemed, the Empire was dealt a fatal blow, and the galaxy had three decades of peace. Not a bad deal as far as I’m concerned.

2. “They turned our kids into our enemies.”
Since The Force Awakens, one concept that’s both fascinated and frustrated me is the formation of the First Order. How they came together, what they want, how they’re different from the Empire, etc.

Lando has a few lines in this book that I really wish they’d put in the movie. During the scene on Pasaana where he tells Rey and the others he’s not coming back with them, he says…

“First Order went after us – the leaders from the old wars. They took our kids. … My girl wasn’t even old enough to walk. Far as I know, she’s a stormtrooper now. … They turned our kids into our enemies. My girl. Han and Leia’s son, Ben. To kill the spirit of the Rebellion for good.”

When you take into account Palpatine was been behind the First Order from the start, and that he’s essentially the most patient villain in pop culture history, that makes all the sense in the world. What better way to not only take the galaxy back, but to exact revenge on the heroes of the Rebellion than by targeting the next generation? You turn Han and Leia’s son into your unwitting apprentice, and you get Lando’s daughter as a bonus. The movie never even indicated that Lando had a daughter…

To an extent, the whole “They took our kids” thing applies to Luke as well. Remember, all his students ended up dead. All of them.

Ultimately, Palpatine’s plan worked, didn’t it? Han and Leia’s family imploded, Luke went into exile, and Lando ran away from it all.

3. Stormtroopers and Sith Troopers
The book tells us that the Sith Troopers, a.k.a. the red stormtroopers, were pulled from the regular stormtrooper roster, and designated lost in action somehow.

While the novel never indicates this explicitly, I think putting Palpatine in charge of the First Order adds a nice little irony to the stormtroopers being taken as children and forced into training. Because, to an extent, that’s exactly what the Jedi did.

Granted, you can make that argument without Palpatine. But it’s much more poignant with him.

4. You Have One Unheard Message
The first paragraph of the opening title crawl tells us “The galaxy has heard a mysterious  broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE.”

Gotcha. But what did he say exactly? We never hear it in the movie.

Thankfully, the book fills us in…

“At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith.”

5. More From Dark Empire
While I’m about to talk about this book yet again in relation to The Rise of Skywalker, it must be said that Dark Empire is one of the most atrociously colored books I’ve ever seen. Obviously it was a style choice. But hindsight being 20/20, a different choice would have been better.

This isn’t so much about the novelization as the story itself. In Dark Empire, Palpatine comes back in a clone body and has a fleet of “World Devastators” at his disposal. In the end, he’s defeated by Luke and Leia as they draw strength from words spoken by Yoda as he trained Luke.

Would Star Destroyers with attached Death Star lasers count as “World Devastators?” Asking for a friend…

I’m not trying to make any sort of salacious allusions here. I just find it amazing how prophetic this story from 1995 would turn out to be in terms of a movie that would come out 25 years later. And feature a much older Luke and Leia.

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