All For the Wookiee: Seven of the Star-Warsiest Moments In ‘Star Wars’ #1-2
Marvels' Star Wars line has gotten off to a strong start, with the first two powerhouse installments of Jason Aaron and John Cassaday's Star Wars offering up some of the most exciting issues of space wizard comics we've read in a long time. If that wasn't enough, the premiere issue of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's Darth Vader drops today, promising even more thrills, spills, chills and black-armored grills in that galaxy far, far away.
As great as other Star Wars comics have been, these issues have felt the Star-Warsiest in a long time, prompting us to launch this new feature, All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments to share with you, dear reader. Spoilers follow. You have been warned.
MOMENT I: THE OPENING SHOT
It seems like a no-brainer move, but Aaron and Cassaday's decision to open with a vast star field as a ship slowly passes overhead invokes just the right amount of the movies while still managing to set a scene. When Lucas did it in A New Hope, it was, itself, a reference to one of the more popular sci-fi films of the era, Kubrick's contemplative and trippy 2001: A Space Odyssey. A good two thirds of that movie is shot like this, showing the immensity of a ship as it travels slowly through space, but Lucas immediately flips the script on that when the Rebel Blockade Runner is overtake by an even bigger ship, a Star Destroyer, and suddenly we're in an action movie.
The other baller thing about this page is is that we've seen all the movies at this point, and we know this particular ship is of Hutt design, and we also know the gambit our heroes are pulling on the next page: the old, "dress up like Hutt bodyguards" trick they use in Return of the Jedi. Good Star Wars. 4 out of 5 Rebellion symbols.
MOMENT II: GOOD FEELING
Having read an embarrassing amount of Star Wars peripheral fiction, I will be happy if we never again hear a character say that they "have a bad feeling" about this or that. Like, it was cute the first few times, but when it cropped up in every. single. thing., it sort of lost its charm. Aaron and Cassaday managed to make this jaded old Star Warrior smile with this little line of dialogue that subverts what has now become cliché. Also, it's great to hear Threepio, who's usually the mega-Negative Nelly, actually being positive for once. I mean, we all know things are gonna fall apart, because Star Wars, but this felt really Star-Warsy. 3 out of 5 Rebellion symbols.
MOMENT III: GIVE THE MAN A HAND
It's just not a Star Wars story if there's not some sort of dismemberment involved. Whether it's the weird wolfman-looking hand of Ponda Baba (my brothers and I called him Buttmouth because, well, look at the guy) or Darth Maul's lower half, or Jango Fett's entire damn head, people in the Star Wars universe are always losing extremities in some fashion. It's tradition! 4 out 5 symbols.
MOMENT IV: "HAN" KIND OF RHYMES WITH "PLAN," RIGHT?
One of Han Solo's defining characteristics is that he sucks at plans, but still manages to get away alive. Think about him unsuccessfully bluffing his way into the Death Star detention facility or the Imperial shield station on the Sanctuary Moon of Endor. They were ugly wins, but they were wins. Suck it, Darth Sidious.
Here we see him back the party into a hangar that just happens to hold a bunch of All Terrain Armored Transports, aka AT-ATs, aka The Best Toy Kenner Ever Produced. This leads to pages upon pages of Han gleefully stomping on Storm Troopers and trying to blow Darth Vader the hell up. I bet Jason Aaron was real fun to play Star Wars with when he was younger. This is so Star Wars it hurts. 5 out of 5 symbols.
MOMENT V: SPACE HILLBILLY ON A SPACE DIRTBIKE
At first, this seems to be a little out of character for the solemn Jedi Master we see in Empire and Return, but remember, Luke Skywalker is, essentially, a space hillbilly; dirtbiking stormtroopers across the face and bullseyeing a Vader-rat is second nature. He may as well be back at Beggar's Canyon, drunk on Blue Milk and boredom, hunting down vermin in his T-16 with Biggs and Camie and Deak. I imagine Luke's teen years were like Dazed & Confused, only with more sandstorms and dewbacks.
This also establishes precedence for his eventual owning of a group of highly-trained speeder bike stormtroopers in Jedi. Pretty dang Star Wars. 4/5 symbols.
MOMENT VI: IT'S NOT A PARTY UNTIL THE DROID IS DISMANTLED
Poor Threepio. Always getting pulled apart by Ugnaughts or blasted to bits Storm Troopers or getting his photoreceptors eaten by a Hutt crime boss's cackling Kowakian monkey lizard. I remember being slightly horrified at the prospect of being fully aware of your body being dismantled and being powerless to stop it when I was a kid. Like, that's a pretty terrible thought, right?
MOMENT VII: DARTH VADER IS LEGIT SCARY AGAIN
The Prequels – and to an extent, Return of the Jedi – sort of ruined Darth Vader for me. Once Luke removed that helmet and there was a desiccated old (incredibly) white guy in there, it was hard to see him as the pants-wetting terror he was in earlier films. Add to that the fact that we found out he was also the little kid from Jingle All the Way who everybody called "Annie," it became even harder to reconcile that with the shiny black samurai who strode into the halls of the Blockade Runner and immediately started choking dudes out.
(There's something to be said about finding out that the people you though to be monsters started out as dumb kids who squealed "Wizard!", or that they're sad, broken people under all their armor, incapable of feeling anything any more because of their bad decisions. I actually like that idea. Hell, it's kind of Game of Thrones' whole deal. But it's hard to walk that back once you've tried to make us feel empathy for guy who straight up murders a Jedi kindergarten.)
Luckily, Aaron has fixed that in these first two issues. Vader is merciless and single-minded in his pursuit, showing himself ready, willing and able to literally throw stormtroopers at his targets.
This bit, where a storm trooper happens upon Vader without his mask and is immediately executed for seeing his true face, is especially well-done. Because, what's Vader gonna do, let this guy go back to the Executor and chit-chat with his fellow troopers about how he saw Vader without his mask and that the effing Dark Lord of the Sith and Emperor Palpatine's personal executioner is actually just a regular guy under all that armor? And an old, frail-looking guy at that? Oh hell no. So, "Snap" "Gurrrk" and we're back at trying to kill these Rebels.
That's good Star Wars. 5/5.
UP NEXT: Darth Vader #1. Until then, Make Mine Star Wars.