Tag Archives: The Clone 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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

Review: “Star Wars–The Clone Wars: The Wind Raiders Of Taloraan” by John Ostrander & The Fillbach Brothers

Title: The Wind Raiders Of Taloraan
Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: The Fillbach Brothers
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Officially Legends, but tied to the TV series)
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse Comics, 2009

And so continues my foray into the Expanded Universe material related to The Clone Wars! This time, the third digest-size novella The Wind Raiders Of Taloraan….

After accidentally derailing a delicate diplomatic meeting with the Bothans, Ahsoka is assigned to accompany Obi-Wan and Anakin to observe negotiations with the Denfrandi, rulers of the planet Taloraan. The Republic needs Taloraan’s Tibanna gas supplies for the war effort, but with the Defrandi already secretly in league with the Separatists and the primitive Wind Raiders simply hostile to anyone and everyone, this mission may be simply impossible for our heroes!

As with the previous entries, the story here is pretty decent. Its a little formulaic, with Ahsoka messing up and then learning her lesson by the end, but this is primarily aimed at the younger set, so we can’t complain  too much. Plus, John Ostrander is always a pleasure. I’d have liked to see his longtime collaborator Jan Duursema come along for the ride though, and give us a break from the stylized art of the Fillbach Brothers. It’s not bad, I suppose, I’m just not really a fan. Again, if you like the show, you’ll like this. If you’re not familiar, it won’t do as much for you.

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

Leave a comment

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

Review: “Star Wars–The Clone Wars: Crash Course” by Henry Gilroy, Gary Scheppke, & The Fillbach Brothers

Title: Crash Course
Writers: Henry Gilroy (Story and Script) & Gary Scheppke
Artists: The Fillbach Brothers
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Officially Legends, but tied to the TV series)
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse Comics, 2009

As previously mentioned, I’ve been revisiting the early Clone Wars stuff in an attempt to work out a coherent timeline. So, without further ado, here’s the second Clone Wars digest comic!

After a series of failed offensives, the Jedi surmise that a Separatist spy ring is operating on Coruscant, feeding the enemy classified information. When a Separatist agent escapes with important data, Anakin and Ahsoka go undercover in the world of high-stakes podracing to catch the culprits. But even if the spies never realize they’ve been made, podracing is one of the deadliest sports in the galaxy….

Again, this was a fun little side adventure. Though I’m not a huge fan of the Fillbach Brothers’ art, it’s serviceable enough to get by. The story itself worked well, with the characters all ringing true to their TV personas. It was also fun to stick Anakin back into the world of podracing and see him confront his childhood once more. It’s also interesting to see Ahsoka accumulating her own small network of contacts that will serve her well after she leaves the order. As with the previous comic, whether you’re a fan of this story or not will likely depend on your familiarity with the show.

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

Leave a comment

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

Review: “Star Wars–The Clone Wars: Shipyards Of Doom” by Henry Gilroy & The Fillbach Brothers

Title: Shipyards Of Doom
Writer: Henry Gilroy
Artists: The Fillbach Brothers
Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Officially Legends, but tied to the TV series)
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Dark Horse, 2008

So, I’ve been going back and looking at a lot of the early Clone Wars stuff in an attempt to work out the proper sequence of certain events. As such, here’s the first in Dark Horse’s line of digest-size Clone Wars comics!

It’s the early days of the Clone Wars, and the Separatist Navy is producing ships at a rate that far outpaces the production abilities of the Republic. If the Republic can’t slow Separatist production, the war is going to end quickly…and not in their favor. In an attempt to even the playing field, Obi-Wan, Anakin and his new padawan Ahsoka Tano take a strike team of clone troopers to the Banking Clan’s automated shipyards as a scouting force for the incoming Republic bombing raid. Unfortunately, the automated shipyards are less automated than advertised, forcing the Jedi to find a way to evacuate the slave workforce before the bombers arrive.

On the whole, this was a fun little side adventure. The writing is solid, as you would expect from one of the writers for the television show this ties into. The art is more stylized, lower on detail than I would usually prefer, but it works well enough. The ties to the show are solid, and this easily slides into the niche between the Clone Wars film and the next onscreen appearance by these characters as Anakin deals with the fact that he almost got his padawan killed on her first mission, overprotecting her and making her feel like he doesn’t trust her in battle. Ahsoka is a bit whiny, fitting in with her character at this point in the show, but somehow that was less annoying this time through. Maybe I’ve softened towards her due to her later awesomeness? Who knows. There are slight continuity issues, given that they recycled certain elements of this story for the episode The Citadel, infiltrating the planet frozen in carbonite like they do here. Wouldn’t be a problem, except Anakin comments about never having done it before, thus conflicting this comic. Anyway, if you liked the show, you’ll enjoy this. If you’re not familiar with the show, it won’t do as much for you.

CONTENT: Mild to no profanity. Mild violence, usually against battle droids or occurring between panels. No sexual content.

Leave a comment

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

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Speaking Silently” by Jason Fry

Speaking SilentlyTitle: Speaking Silently
Author: Jason Fry
Artist: Tom Hodges
Series: Star Wars (Technically Legends, but tied to the Clone Wars)
Rating: ****
Publisher/Copyright: Titan Magazines, 2013

How’s about another short story from Star Wars Insider? Too bad, here it is anyway…. In this tale, Jason Fry serves us a short tale of Captain Rex and the 501st during the Clone Wars. So far as I know, the only place to get this is in Insider #139, so I wish you luck getting your hands on it….

Captain Rex is having a bad day. The Seperatists are running roughshod over his troops, and a mixed group of clones and local militia have just been captured by the clankers. Fortunately for him the locals are Lorrdians, masters of non-verbal communication who are able to speak volumes without opening their mouths. Now if only the droids had been stupid enough to send the clones a taunting holo of their prisoners….

This is a short story, and there’s admittedly not much to it. It is fun, though. This is one of those stories awkwardly stuck between Legends and Canon. Its not official, but it ties into the official television series so I’m being a rebel and treating it as if it were. I’d place it around the middle of the series, but the only hard data point we have is that it occurs sometime before The Clone Wars S04E07: Darkness On Umbara.

CONTENT: Some violence. No profanity or sexual content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars

Review: ” Star Wars: Dark Disciple” by Christie Golden

Title: Dark Disciple
Author: Christie Golden (Novel); Katie Lucas, Matt Michnovetz, & Dave Filoni (Original scripts)
Series: Star Wars (Official Canon, The Clone Wars)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Del Rey, 2015

New Star Wars! Dark Disciple is based on a collection of scripts from the canceled Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network which serve to tie up the story arc featuring Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku’s former apprentice.

The galaxy-wide Clone Wars have raged for almost three years, but an end is nowhere in sight. Every Republic victory is matched by a corresponding setback, almost as if both sides were being played by a single entity bent on preserving the stalemate. The Separatist forces led by Count Dooku grow only more ruthless as the war drags on, committing atrocities that haunt the Jedi with their inability to prevent innocent bloodshed until even the Jedi council is ready to consider the unthinkable: assassination. This dangerous mission will forge strange alliances, forcing unorthodox Jedi Master Quinlan Vos to ally with Dooku’s former apprentice Asajj Ventress, a deadly assassin holding a grudge against Dooku for betraying her and slaughtering her entire people. Together, Vos and Ventress could just be powerful enough to take out Dooku…if they don’t kill each other first.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. Towards the end of the animated series Ventress was becoming one of the standout characters, gaining some real depth as she dealt with the consequences of Dooku’s betrayal and her private war for revenge. Add Quinlan Vos, one of my favorite characters from the Legends version of the Clone Wars, into the mix and you’ve got a winning proposition. If you followed the animated series, you owe it to yourself to check this out. If you’re a newcomer, you’ll probably be fine as well, though most of the references to past events will likely be lost on you. If you’re a veteran of the pre-Cartoon Network Clone Wars though…you’ll have to come at this with a clean slate. A lot of this, especially Vos’s storyline, is territory we’ve seen before, albeit through the looking glass. I’ll refrain from saying more in the interest of spoilers, but those who were reading Star Wars: Republic in the run-up to Revenge Of The Sith should know what I mean.

CONTENT: Some disturbing violence and torture. Mild profanity. Mild flirting/sexual innuendo, but nothing explicit.

This is a longer version of a review I did for the Manhattan Book Review. You can find that here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Novels, Reviews, Star Wars

Mini-Review: “Star Wars–Reputation” by Ari Marmell

Title: Reputation
Author: Ari Marmell
Artist: Tom Hodges
Series: Star Wars (Technically Legends, but tied to the Clone Wars)
Rating: *****
Publisher/Copyright: Titan Magazines, 2012

I was going through some old Star Wars Insider magazines the other day, and I ran across this short story. I don’t know how I missed it before, but I did fall pretty far behind there for a while and am only just catching up. Anyone who’s watched much of the Clone Wars series probably remembers the bounty hunter Clint Eastwood Cad Bane. You know, the guy with enough brass to stage a heist in the Jedi Temple itself, proceeding to kidnap several Force-sensitive infants, busted Ziro the Hutt out of the slammer on Coruscant by taking several senators hostage, and then proceeded to sign on for a mission to kidnap Palpatine himself? He’s a cool character, to be sure, and this tale picks him up as he’s just first trying to make a name for himself. War is coming, Bane is sure of it, and that means money up for grabs….if one has the nerves and the reputation to claim it.

For most of the story, from Bane’s musing on the state of the GFFA to his sparse dialogue throughout the tale, Bane’s voice is spot-on. I could almost literally hear it in my head as I read. The story also explains why he has so many gadgets that we see almost nowhere else in the entirety of the franchise, such as the rocket boots he’s rocking while everyone else wears heavy jetpacks.

Trying to place this into the timeline of the Galaxy Far, Far Away illustrates the slightly awkward position the division of the canon puts me in. Officially, anything published before the cutoff date that isn’t the films or the actual Clone Wars cartoon is considered “Legends” canon. However, the Clone Wars cartoon (and thus all related material) doesn’t fit with the previously-established “Legends” timeline for the Clone Wars. Thus, I’m choosing to be slightly rebellious and include the Clone Wars tie-in material in the official canon timeline. Cool? Cool. Anyway, this story is set just a scant two years before the outbreak of the Clone Wars. (That’s 24 BBY for my fellow Star Wars geeks….)

So far as I know, the only place to find this story is in Star Wars Insider #136, where it was originally published.

CONTENT: Mild profanity, mostly specific to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Some moderately gruesome violence. No sexual content.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews, Short Stories, Star Wars