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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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 Gathering”

***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:E6 – “The Gathering”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Olivia Hack, Jeff Fischer, Greg Cipes, Georgina Cordova, Dee Bradley Baker
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
November 3, 2012
SYNOPSIS:
A group of Younglings travel to Ilum for a Jedi rite of passage.

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

I was immediately disappointed when I realized the dialogue for Gungi, the young wookiee, consisted of recycled Chewbacca noises. I understand it was probably cheaper than hiring an actor to come in to grunt and growl. But at the same time, they had both Dee Bradley Baker and Tom Kane in the cast for this episode. You’re tellin’ me neither of them could fire off a decent wookiee noise? I don’t buy it.

On the subject of voice actors, I was pleasantly surprised to see Greg Cipes on the credits as the voice of Zatt. Cipes also provided the voice of Michelangelo in Nickelodeon’s 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. When you know its him, and listen intently, you can hear Mikey in Zatt’s voice.

From a writing standpoint, I can appreciate the whole “Gathering” ritual. But part of me does wish it wasn’t centered around lightsabers. The Jedi are more than just superheroes with laser swords, and there’s so much emphasis on lightsabers already. It might have been nice for them to think a little bit outside the box here.

Question: As he’s the head teacher for the Younglings, not to mention the grand master of the Jedi Order, does Yoda have to be present at all these Gathering events? If so, that seems like the kind of thing he should have pawned off on somebody else. Especially during a time of war.

This episode takes on a much different tone when you consider that most, if not all these kids were likely murdered during the events of Revenge of the Sith. Possibly by Darth Vader himself. Kind of a downer, huh?

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

A Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi “Part II” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
EPISODE:
“Part II”
STARRING:
Ewan McGregor, Vivien Lyra Blair, Moses Ingram, Rupert Friend, Kumail Nanjiani
WRITERS: 
Joby Harold, Hannah Friedman, Hossein Amini, Stuart Beattie
DIRECTOR:
Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE:
May 26, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan travels to Daiyu to rescue Princess Leia.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

When I first saw the publicity images of Obi-Wan on Daiyu, I thought we were looking at the underbelly of Coruscant. That would have been cool to see. But from a story perspective, it makes more sense to keep Obi-Wan away from Coruscant. He is, after all, a wanted man. And Coruscant is, after all, the center of the Empire.

Most of the best planets in Star Wars are simple in concept and easy to understand. Tatooine is the desert planet, Coruscant is the city planet, Kashyyyk is the wookie planet, etc. By those standards, it looks like Daiyu is the crime planet. A sort of low rent Coruscant where corruption reigns supreme. It serves its purpose fine here, so I’ve got no complaints.

Kumail Nanjiani’s character, Haja Estree, is a Jedi impersonator. I like that. A trickster who preys on people’s need for hope. Yet deep down, he secretly has a desire to legitimately do good. I have my doubts about whether we’ll see him again in this series. But I certainly wouldn’t mind it.

I appreciate that we see Obi-Wan using a blaster, and reluctant to use his lightsaber. When he uses the Force to save Leia in this episode, it’s a big moment because he presumably hasn’t done it in years. When he uses the lightsaber for the first time on this show, it should be a similar kind of moment.

Plus, we’re getting our lightsaber fix with the Inquisitors. Having Obi-Wan use one too, especially so soon, would be overkill.

The actress that plays the “I was someone’s daughter once too” girl is actually Ewan McGregor’s daughter, Esther Rose McGregor. Ironically, Obi-Wan tells that character he’s looking for his daughter.

Is that the Star Wars equivalent of a meth lab we see in this episode? I’m thinking it is. And I kind of love it.

I was angry, yet sadly not surprised to hear Moses Ingram, who plays Reva, has been getting racist messages from a small portion of the Obi-Wan Kenobi audience. There’s no place for that. Never has been. Never will be. And I was happy to see the official Star Wars social media accounts come to her defense.

I’m now convinced we’re getting a Qui-Gon Jinn Force ghost scene. We’ve seen Obi-Wan try and talk to Qui-Gon a couple of times now. You can’t not pay that off. Liam Neeson, who of course plays Qui-Gon, may have said he doesn’t do TV. But what else is he going to say? His appearance is, theoretically, meant to be a surprise. Andrew Garfield had to lie for months about not being in Spider-Man: No Way Home. I’d bet money it’s the same kind of situation with Liam Neeson and Star Wars.

Plus, we found out at Star Wars Celebration last week that Neeson is doing voiceover work on a Tales of the Jedi animated show. He’s coming back, folks. We just have to be patient.

I was more than happy to see Reva turn on the Grand Inquisitor, presumably killing him. As I said last time, I don’t love the idea of the Inquisitors, as I think they devalue Darth Vader. So the less of them that are around, the happier I am.

As it turns out, though, the Grand Inquisitor may not actually be dead. He’s obviously on Star Wars: Rebels, which takes place years after Obi-Wan Kenobi. So either he survived the stabbing, or there’s a cloning situation happening here, or some other wacky scenario brings him back. Remember, this is the Star Wars universe, where Darth Maul can survive being cut in half and dropped into a pit…

I’ve enjoyed Rupert Friend’s portrayal of the character, though. It looks like he was having a ball doing it. I got Ian McDiarmid/Revenge of the Sith vibes.

Obi-Wan’s reaction to learning Anakin is alive was very well acted by Ewan McGregor. The revelation does make me wonder, though…who did know Anakin was Darth Vader? Was it common knowledge within the upper ranks of the Empire? It must have been on some level, because the Inquisitors obviously know.

What about Yoda? Did he sense Anakin was alive? Can Obi-Wan contact Yoda, the same way Bail Organa contacted him, and ask?

Oh, the pressing questions…

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

Rob Watches Boba Fett – Staying in Your Lane

The Book of Boba Fett, characters posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E6. “Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris, David Pasquesi
WRITERS:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
February 9, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Boba Fett and his forces collide with the Pyke Syndicate.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

After Luke’s ultimatum in the previous episode, Grogu abandons his Jedi training, and elects to return to Din Djarin’s side. Ironic, isn’t it? Luke made a similar decision with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.

And thus, Luke’s first student winds up ditching him. Not a great start to a Jedi Academy that will ultimately meet a tragic end…

Boba Fett agrees to stop the spice (a drug in the Star Wars universe) from flowing through Tatooine to get the villagers of Freetown to fight for him. This, despite the fact that spice trade makes up a huge portion of his business. This, plus the fact that he and his crew are essentially defending Mos Espa from the bad guys, make Boba Fett seem much more like a Robin Hood figure than a crime lord. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Is that really the Boba Fett that people want to see?

I appreciate that Mando doesn’t look graceful or polished at all in his use of the Darksaber. It makes sense. He’s not a swordsman. So he should look like an amateur.

Boba Fett riding a rancor seems like the kind of thing a fanboy saw in a wet dream. Granted, it was pretty awesome. But still.

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT

It’s a little surprising that they killed off Cad Bane. Granted, this is Star Wars. People in this universe can survive being cut in half and dropped down a pit. So there’s no hard and fast rule that says he can’t come back at some point. But this felt like it had a measure of finality to it. A fitting end for the character.

The fact that the episode and the season end not with a shot of Boba Fett, but Mando and Grogu, pretty much says it all. They wound up being what people cared about, not Fett.

Temuera Morrison has said that, in a second season, he’d like to see Boba Fett go after Mace Windu for killing his father. Eh…no thanks. It might be cool to see Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu again. But not in that context. I’m content to let him stay dead.

All in all, it seems like The Book of Boba Fett, the first season at least, will be remembered as a series that couldn’t support itself from a storytelling perspective. Thus, the need to borrow elements from The Mandalorian. It was awesome to see all that stuff. But it belonged in season three of Mando’s show, not Boba Fett’s show.

That’s not to say Mando had no business being there at all. He could have, say, come in at the end of episode six as a hook for the finale. That way we still get those scenes of Fett and Mando fighting off the Pykes together. But devoting two full episodes to him? To call that pulling focus is a gross understatement.

I guess sometimes you just need to stay in your lane…

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

A Star Wars #20 Micro-Review – Luke’s History Lesson

***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 #20
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
ARTISTS:
Marco Castiello, Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer). Cover by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, & Rain Beredo.

RELEASED: January 12, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Using comic book magic, this issue puts Luke together with a High Republic era character. The results didn’t blow me away. But it was kinda cool, I guess.

Given that Marvel publishes Star Wars: The High Republic, part of me was surprised they didn’t put Luke and the character in question on the cover. But of course, they rarely pass up a chance to put Yoda on a cover, do they? I can’t even say I blame them for that.

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