Punch it Chewie!
For those hapless sad sacks that haven’t accepted Star Wars into their lives, you have a chance to redeem yourselves. There is a new chapter entry in the lexicon of the Star Wars universe. Dark Horse Comics has launched a new Star Wars comic book. Oh joy of joys!
Though my writings are usually laced with sarcasm and thinly veiled slaps at pop culture, this one will not be (well it probably will). First let me say as a lifelong and deeply devoted fan (the kind that gets upset over the whole who shot first, Han or Greedo, debacle) I am so happy that the Star Wars universe, like our own, is constantly expanding.
Simply titled Star Wars, this new comic is an ongoing tail about the Rebellion’s constant struggle with the Empire. It begins just about where Episode IV: A New Hope left off. Now five issues strong, this series has all the promise the films had.
Before we discuss the comic, I think a little history recap is in order. Plus, going over the unabashed genius that is Star Wars always pumps me up. A New Hope began lighting up screens in 1977. It proved to be a bold display, showing that Flash Gordon wasn’t the only one who could master space. George Lucas’ galactic epic was on a scale never seen or tried before. It was so grand that other media forms wanted a piece of the action.
Merchandising was first. Having a Star Wars toy in your home became as ubiquitous as air. The next phase came in the form of literature. The first print media to tackle the series was actually Marvel Comics. They released the first Star Wars comic book shortly after the film was released in 1977.
As a proud owner of the entire 107-issue Marvel run, I can tell you the new Dark Horse publication is just as good. Naturally, nothing holds up against the original, but this series is pretty close. Brian Wood, a name we should keep our eyes and ears open for, is the writer on the series. So far he has gotten the tone just right. The relationship between Han and Chewie is so spot on it’s like watching Harrison Ford interact with Peter Mayhew again.
The real interesting storyline that he’s building is actually between Luke and Leia. Remember, this is right after the battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star. We know these two are siblings but the writer has me reading like I just came to the Wars universe (which is a good thing). It’s nice to feel like it is all-new and relearn the fate of the Republic. I mean, I know they’re related, but I’m reading and saying to myself, “Is Leia jealous of this other hot alien chick that’s hitting on Luke?”
To make a diehard like myself reinvest in the series is a sign of brilliant writing. Not to forget that the artwork makes the reader feel as though they are watching the movies again with every turn of the page.
I should make mention issues one and five specifically. Issue one set the stage, as any introductory work should. It told us we were two months past Yavin (aka A New Hope) and put us on the path to discovery. We are discovering the connection between Vader (who they made look like the perfect villain), the relationship linking Luke and Leia, and how the Force works.
In issue five, for about two frames, we meet The Fett. My original Trilogy brothers and sisters will know the smoldering coolness that is Boba Fett. Donned in his Mandalorian armor, homeboy set out to hunt Han Solo down with extreme prejudice. It was easy to tell that The Fett meant business in the few short teaser moments he was around.
Before I go, let me leave you with a few more tidbits. First, Brian Wood, as I mentioned, nailed the tone and his work with Leia so far proves it. She has that cute but fierce demeanor and is not getting left out of the action. Next, though he hasn’t yet made an appearance, Obi Wan is getting set up to make an awesome splash and if they are smart, he’ll be a series regular (not just an ethereal voice).
Finally, we see Vader’s quarters. For those of us who gasped during this infamous all be it 15-second scene, you will love this comic series. Including fan favorite moments like that demonstrate how seriously the creative team takes this project. I suppose, in closing, it has my very coveted stamp of approval.
Stay Glued to the Screen,