Tag Archives: Kanan Jarrus

Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: The Fake Jedi” by Martin Fisher & Bob Molesworth

Title: The Fake Jedi
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Bob Molesworth
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

Here’s another Star Wars: Rebels short! This one was first published in Germany (sensing the trend?), translated and published in the UK in Star Wars Rebels Magazine #3, and should be published stateside eventually. Until then, happy Googling!

This one is a solo adventure for Kanan as he is forced down by the Empire on a strange planet. Taken in by the locals, he is taken to their lightsaber-wielding leader who, despite his weapon, is no Jedi. Of course, this is when the Inquisitor decides to show up looking for Kanan….

This one wasn’t bad. The story was predictable, but that’s par for the course on these I’m thinking. As with previous stories illustrated by Molesworth, I think his art is perfectly serviceable and possibly better than these comics could reasonably hope for. Is this one essential reading? Not really, but it was fun nevertheless.

CONTENT: Mild violence. No profanity. Scantily-clad alien women, not played for titillation.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars

Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Ring Race” by Martin Fisher & Bob Molesworth

Title: Ring Race
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Bob Molesworth
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

Here’s another Star Wars: Rebels short comic! Why? Because I can, that’s why. This particular story first appeared in Germany, was translated and published in the UK in Star Wars Rebels Magazine #1, then reprinted stateside in the US version of the same magazine.

After a particularly nasty encounter with Imperial forces the Ghost is in need of repairs, forcing the crew to visit Osisis Station to acquire parts from Galus Vez, the owner of the station. Unfortunately, Vez is tired of dodging Imperial interest in our protagonists, and offers them an ultimatum: beat him on his private course through the asteroid belt, or he’ll take their ship and hand them over to the Empire. Not ideal, but since Vez has no intention of playing fair our protagonists don’t feel the need to either….

This one was fun. The ending is never really in doubt, but you can’t expect too high of stakes in a twelve-page tie-in to a series. They’re hardly going to do something drastic like kill a character or destroy their ship offscreen. The writing is spot-on, and all the characters are true to their on-screen personas. The art was decent, simple and clean without doing anything spectacular. Nothing special compared to comics from the larger publishers, but compared to other shorts like this, it shines. It matches the look of the show well enough, and that’s really all you can ask of it.

CONTENT: Mild violence. No profanity. No sexual content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars

Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Learning Patience” by Martin Fisher & Ingo Romling

Title: Learning Patience
Writer: Martin Fisher
Artist: Ingo Romling
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ***
Publisher/Copyright: Egmont UK Ltd, 2015

In honor of the fact that I finally got my Star Wars: Rebels DVD, here’s a story from the UK magazine! This particular story appeared first in Germany, then in English in the UK Star Wars Rebels Magazine #2. I believe it’s set to appear in the US in November’s issue of the stateside Star Wars Rebels Magazine, but I could be mistaken about that.

Ezra is having trouble letting go of his tension and just focusing, letting his task be completed in its own time. Instead, he gets caught in a self-defeating spiral of pressure to perform and impatience. Of course, this means that a situation is going to arise where his survival will depend on that very skill….The story itself was decent, if a little too cliched, and the art was serviceable without being remarkable. The offscreen mission Kanan and Zeb are undertaking has yet to be documented, so far as I know, but that could change as they publish more of these short comics. On the whole, a mediocre tale, but worth checking out if you can find it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars

Review: “Star Wars–Kanan: The Last Padawan” by Greg Weisman & Pepe Larraz

Title: The Last Padawan
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Series: Star Wars: Kanan #1-6 (Official Canon)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Marvel Comics, 2015

I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit behind on the Star Wars: Rebels front. Due to a marked lack of cable, I decided to wait til it hit DVD and catch up from the beginning. In the meantime, here’s the first arc of Marvel’s series filing in the backstory of Kanan Jarrus.

Before there was Kanan Jarrus, cocky and sarcastic renegade fighting the Empire at every turn, there was Caleb Dume, a young Jedi Padawan apprenticed to Jedi Councilwoman Depa Bilaba. Caleb and his master have just liberated the planet Kaller from the Separatists when Order 66 is given, triggering a pre-programmed command forcing Clone Troopers across the galaxy to turn on their Jedi leaders. Thank to his master’s sacrifice, Caleb escapes the initial slaughter only to find himself alone in a galaxy where being a Jedi is an instant death sentence…..

Even without more than a passing familiarity with the character of Kanan Jarrus, this was an incredible comic. The moment Order 66 is given Caleb’s world falls apart, and you can see the anguish and survivor’s guilt writ large across his whole existence. He is very much aware of the fact that Master Bilaba could have escaped, at least temporarily, but chose to sell her life so he could escape…and that he ran, leaving her to her fate. I very much look forward to getting to know this character better when my DVDs arrive in the mail…. It was also interesting to watch Styles & Grey come to terms with what they did during Order 66, seeing them react in different ways to the realization that they had slaughtered their beloved commander without a second thought. (Side effect: this puts paid to any Legends stories where Clones disobeyed the order, as their inhibitor chips would simply kick in the pre-loaded commands. Most Clones would never even think to question their actions after the fact.) The writing is top-notch, and the art is simply stellar. The last chapter is a Rebels-era adventure as Kanan returns to Kaller for the first time, haunted by the ghosts of the past.

CONTENT: Mild violence, including a bit of blood in a couple spots. No sexual content. No profanity that I recall; if there was any it was pretty mild.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews, Star Wars

Review: “Star Wars: A New Dawn” by John Jackson Miller

Title: A New Dawn
Author: John Jackson Miller
Series: Star Wars (Canon)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Del Rey, 2014

Much has been made of the fact that this is the first entry into the Star Wars Expanded Universe since Disney hit the reset button, despite the (apparently unnoticed) publication of several tie-ins to the series Star Wars: Rebels that preceded this. Even the title makes a reference to it. Maybe those don’t count because they’re not geared at adults. Anyway, all that hype is a little misleading. There is very little here that harkens the new era of Star Wars publishing. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it had very little to do with the reboot. I’m pretty sure the book was mostly written already by the time that edict was handed down. That’s not its function. The place of this book in the ongoing Star Wars canon is to serve as a prelude to Star Wars: Rebels and introduce a couple of the main characters from that show. And it does that, superbly. Just don’t expect a grand departure from what came before, because almost everything therein was consistent with the Legends canon that existed before. There was no reason to foist major structural change on the book just to buck tradition and highlight the fact that there was a new sheriff in town.

The old order is dead. It died eight years ago, and when it fell it took everything Kanan Jarrus knew with it. He was just a Padawan at the time, only starting his journey to becoming a Jedi, but that didn’t matter to the Emperor when he issued Order 66. Kanan’s master sold her life to give him time to escape, and he’s been running ever since, floating from system to system, just avoiding the Empire’s notice, never in one place too long. He’s put his Jedi heritage behind him, and looks out primarily for number one even if he can’t resist sticking his neck out for a friend every once in a while. These days he makes ends meet flying transports loaded with high explosives between the mined-out planet Gorse and it’s still-rich moon Cynda as the companies scramble to meet Imperial quotas. Given how often they fall short, the Emperor has sent an envoy to see what he can do to speed up production. Cyborg businessman Baron Vidian made a fortune during the Clone Wars, and since has been working for the Emperor, smoothing logistical bumps in the rapid expansion of the Imperial Navy. The cost in sentient lives and suffering has been noticeable, and would-be rebel Hera Syndulla has followed him to Gorse in an attempt to learn all she can about Imperial security in general and Vidian in particular. When Vidian launches a coldhearted plan to speed up production at the expense of countless lives, Kanan and Hera will be thrown together in a desperate attempt to stop him. But can the massive might of the Empire really be resisted?

Like I said, I enjoyed this, and I’m if anything more excited for the launch of Rebels. The characters of Hera and Kanan were well-rounded and interesting, as were most of the assorted allies and acquaintances featured here. Unfortunately, the villain Denetrius Vidian was not nearly so nuanced as I’ve grown to expect from Miller’s work. He’s far from the only starkly-evil villain in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, but could have been given some more shades of gray. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment, but its still worth noting. The book was also notable for its inclusion of those incredibly rare creatures, female Imperials. There were several female stormtroopers thrown in (although not by name, and it didn’t make any difference to the story what gender they were), as well as the commander of Vidian’s Star Destroyer. I’m not sure if this is an attempt by the new Lucas Story Group to make the Empire more inclusive, or just Miller trying to even the playing field a bit. The only thing here that really conflicted with previous canon was the inclusion of Depa Billaba as Kanan’s former master when previous canon had established her as lying comatose at that point in the timeline. Obi-Wan makes a pointed comment in the prologue about the various “legends” contained in the Jedi archive, but that’s about the only nod they make to the reboot issue aside from the title. In case anyone’s interested, this is set eight years after Revenge Of The Sith, six years before Rebels and eleven before A New Hope.

CONTENT: Mild language. Some violence, not all that gory or gratuitous. No sexual content, but Kanan flirts with every female he meets–occasionally, as in the case of the Star Destroyer’s captain, just to annoy them and get them to leave him alone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Novels, Reviews, Star Wars

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: Entanglement”

Episode Title: Entanglement
Episode Writer: Henry Gilroy & Simon Kinberg
Short Story Author: Michael Kogge
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Disney, 2014

Take three! I think this is my favorite of these shorts so far. Entanglement is the third of four three-minute shorts being released to help promote the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels TV series. I posted on the first and second shorts a while back, and the final one is on its way. Those same four prequels were also adapted by Michael Kogge into a series of short stories in the book Rise Of The Rebels. These prequels are meant to introduce you to the characters from the show in the context of an actual story as opposed to their earlier introductions that focused more on the production/character conception side of things. This time we meet Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, the brawny (yet intelligent) Lasat who serves as the muscle for our crew. Check out the short below:

Here we watch Zeb get lost on his way to a rendezvous and get distracted rescuing a local street merchant from Stormtroopers, who of course have to call in reinforcements. It was a lot of fun, especially his running banter with Kanan over the comlink. Zeb is an interesting character, and I look forward to seeing him develop as the series gets rolling. There’s an interesting fighting dynamic here with his “Bo-Rifle” that we didn’t really get a chance to see put through its paces, but that’s a function of the runtime. Plus, he’s voiced by the guy that does Wolverine in all of the animated Marvel stuff–Steve Blum, if you were wondering. And he’s got the whole thing where he’s based on the early Ralph McQuarrie designs for Chewie, which is cool. The short story version of this tried to add a little bit to the choreography of the fighting, adding a bit where Zeb starts an abortive chase down the adjacent alley, but literally goes nowhere because three sentences later he’s back in the hangar. I laud the effort, but decry the lack of follow-through. Maybe this was an artifact from a previous version, or or maybe it just needed one more draft. I don’t know. I wanted it to work, but it didn’t. Based on everyone referring to these shorts as prequels, this is set sometime just before the Star Wars: Rebels series kicks off.

Content: Some mild violence. No language, no sex.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Rebels: The Machine In The Ghost”

Episode Title: The Machine In The Ghost
Episode Writer: Greg Weisman
Short Story Author: Michael Kogge
Series: Star Wars: Rebels
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Disney, 2014

And here we go! I think this is officially the first new story released for the rebooted Star Wars Expanded Universe. That honor was supposed to go to the upcoming novel A New Dawn, but the people over at Star Wars: Rebels jumped the gun a bit in promoting their new show. What we have here is a three-minute short, part one of a four-episode series of prequels to the actual show. Those same four prequels were also adapted by Michael Kogge into a series of short stories in the book Rise Of The Rebels. These prequels are meant to introduce you to the characters from the show in the context of an actual story as opposed to their earlier introductions that focused more on the production/character conception side of things. This time we meet Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, and C1-10p or “Chopper”. Kanan is a former Jedi Padawan who managed to survive Order 66 and has locked away his lightsaber, living on the run until he hooked up with rest of this crew. Hera is the pilot and owner of the Ghost, with her own unrevealed (so far) reasons for hating the Empire. Chopper may be the grumpiest astromech droid you’ll ever meet, but there’s no way he’s going to let the Ghost and her crew be blown to smithereens on his watch. There are links to the introduction videos above, and you can see the short below.

The actual video itself is so short that I can’t give much of a summary without spoilers. Basically, we find Kanan, Hera and Chopper alone in the Ghost being pursued by a quartet of TIE Fighters after being ambushed when they tried to raid an Imperial supply convoy. When the ship starts taking damage, Chopper has to balance conflicting orders from Kanan and Hera as to what to fix first before the TIEs blow them out of the sky.

Since I’m a huge Star Wars geek, I’m obviously excited about this upcoming show. A lot of the same people from the Clone Wars cartoon have been carried over, and as much as I gripe about that show it definitely did improve as things went along. Plus, you know, since they rebooted the timeline I can’t gripe about how much they screwed stuff up anymore–that other stuff no longer exists. I think the crew has learned a lot (they say they have) from that experience, and I look forward to seeing what they can do in this new time period. Regarding this particular installment, it was very fun. I really enjoyed the banter between Kanan and Hera, but Chopper was the real focus here, I suspect because Kanan and Hera will be getting much better introductions when A New Dawn hits shelves. We know that Kanan and Hera meet in that book, set in 11 BBY,* while the show is set in 5 BBY. This short could hypothetically be set anywhere in that interim period, especially since the rest of the crew is absent, but I’m placing it as close to the start of the show as possible given the characters’ unchanging appearance. Obviously, as more information emerges as to the status quo at the start of the series I can refine that further. Is the short story version worthwhile? It doesn’t really add much, aside from refining the context of why they’re being chased and pointing out that the guns Chopper fires are mounted on the Phantom, a smaller fighter docked to the back of the Ghost. You also get inside Chopper’s “head” a bit more to see what he’s actually thinking, but there’s really no need–he’s a very expressive droid, so it doesn’t add much to the experience. It’s not bad, I was just hoping it would be expanded a bit. Use the short as a jumping-off point or something, maybe even offer context as to whether this happens before the rest of the crew joins up or if they’re just off on another errand (I doubt this, since the Phantom is still present, but who knows).

CONTENT: Aside from TIE pilots being blown up, no violence. If you understand the binary language Chopper beeps in, I imagine his dialogue would be profanity-laden, but you can’t and so there is none. No sexual content.

*Star Wars dates are measured in years BBY or ABY, before or after the Battle of Yavin respectively. Effectively, BC/AD with Star Wars: A New Hope as the tipping point.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Reviews, Star Wars