What’s up, Wednesday? When’d you get here? Oh snap, you brought comics!?!? Wednesday, you’re the best! Too cheesy? Yeah, probably, but I’m leaving it anyway…so, it is, in fact, comic book day, and this week we get the conclusion(?) of the Yoda interlude from Obi-wan’s journal in the main Star Wars series, as well as, that’s right, the first issue of the Darth Maul series…boom! I have pretty high hopes for that one, so I have my fingers crossed that this isn’t a Debbie downer of a comic book day (in case you haven’t been keeping up, I’m not too keen on the Yoda story, so I have the opposite of high hopes for it…I kinda just want it to be over and not end up feeling like a wasted read)…but enough with this introductory filibustering, let’s get to the comics!
Star Wars #28
That’s right, I’m starting with this one…if you really can’t wait to read about Darth Maul, just scroll down, but promise you’ll come back up here when you’re done…there’ll be punch and pie, I promise (no there won’t, that’s impossible, but you get what I’m going for)…anyway, the issue begins with Yoda climbing up the mountain, somehow without his blue stone shackles from the last issue, and now with the guy he freed from the Muckwhackers acting as sort of the opposite of a Sherpa…okay…the climb gets to be too much for the old fella and he decides he’s going to jump, and there’s nothing Yoda can do to stop him because he’s carrying one of those magical blue rocks that Yoda can’t really move with the Force…splat, no more freed guy…so Yoda finds a cave, goes inside fearlessly as Yoda is wont to do, and the cave closes up behind him as you’d think at first blush that caves generally aren’t wont to do, but, remember, this is Star Wars, and caves aren’t always caves…so he hangs out inside the caves, builds a fire, chills with some lizards, then gets attacked by the long lost adults that it turns out were sent into the cave to find the heart of the mountain, just like Yoda, but instead found peace among themselves and decided not to leave…so, really, really bad parenting going on here, as per more or less usual for Star Wars…not seeing Yoda as a threat because they believe the mountain will swallow him up or some such, they let him leave. In his continued wanderings about the cave he stumbles upon a dying boy that was banished to the mountain because he could not kill in battle. Yoda helps him back to health by giving him some moss, and then humbles himself by asking the boy, Garro, to be his teacher and mentor him in the ways of the Stonepower…then we’re back with Obi-wan as he’s using a mind trick to keep Greedo (*eye-roll*) from having an old-school, Western-style shootout with some Sullustan (probably Nien Nunb – and actually, I think my favorite part of this entire book involves looking at all the aliens they managed to cram into these few panels on Tatooine; it’s an eclectic bunch including species from Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and the original trilogy)…and who should appear to him out of nowhere, wearing a red, Jedi-esque cloak, but none other than Garro himself, who says that Obi-wan should hold onto his mountain as long as he can because his power won’t last forever; Obi-wan recognizes the swirly symbol he still has on his face (which I guess is permanent? I thought it was just some kind of warpaint-type thing previously), but Garro vanishes before Obi-wan can inquire further…so. very. weird. Then we skip to the present where Luke’s still chilling in his X-wing even though 3PO’s been captured and the most important droid in the galaxy, R2-D2, just went to rescue him by himself (so dumb, I’m sorry, but they’re really losing me with all this)…somehow the symbol, which is written in the journal, is familiar to Luke too, and he has the droid that’s supposed to be getting his ship back to working order run it through a star map database…sure enough, it matches the “Vagadarr System” (I don’t recall ever hearing about this system, but maybe someone more into the old EU is straight freaking out about it right now), so Luke decides that’s where he needs to go to finally become a Jedi and be able to save the droids…okay…then we pop back in on Yoda and he’s blindfolded, trying to move the blue rocks that Garro is For–err, I mean, Stonepower throwing at him, only he’s mostly failing and getting hit in the face…then Garro tells Yoda to feel the stone breathing, and Yoda manages to grab a huge stone from the mountain to use to block the other stones Garro is throwing. Garro finds it amazing and says no one has ever moved a stone that big before; Yoda says he was able to do it because he felt it breathing, then he points to an opening in the cave where, holy shit, there’s a heart! Not a proverbial heart, though, an actual heart. So the heart of the mountain is actually the heart of some thing because the mountain isn’t really a mountain…this is the dumbest thing they’ve had in any of the comics since the kaiju egg in the Poe Dameron series…AND THE INTERLUDE ISN’T OVER YET! That’s the end of the issue, but there’s still more with Yoda and the rock monster to come…good grief…I’m 100000% over this storyline…next!
Darth Maul #1
Darth freakin’ Maul, ladies and gentlemen…back in his prime! When he had his own, real lower half and everything…so, the book begins on the crazy, radioactive, marshy world of Twon Ketee: a group of mercs are supposedly flushing out some big game for a lazy hunter, but, as it turns out, they’re actually bait to get a rathtar (yeah, you read that right, roly, poly rathtars from The Force Awakens factor prominently in the first part of this story) to attack them so our boy Darth Maul (that’s right, he’s still Darth back then) can swoop in and have a little fun. I like how Darth Maul’s thoughts are written in black boxes with a red outline and white words; it really gives them an extra sense of pent up rage when you read them. It definitely adds another dimension to his angry inner monologue. Moving on, Darth Maul handles one rathtar with relative ease, but then relishes the fact that they’re pack hunters, so he has to deal with two more. Darth Maul being the old, The Phantom Menace version of the character, doesn’t say much. Most of what we get is from his aforementioned inner monologue and it’s mostly about how he’s bursting at the seams to get out there and do what he’s been trained to do: kill Jedi. Killing rathtars will do in a pinch, but the satisfaction doesn’t last; his blood-lust is insatiable. Back on Coruscant, Darth Maul stalks a Jedi Master and her Padawan from an ally, close enough that they feel his cold presence in the Force, but he doesn’t engage and they never actually find him. As you might imagine, his flirting with the temptation to fight a real Jedi angers his master, Lord Sidious, aka Sheev Palpatine, because his plans haven’t been fully set in motion just yet, so Darth Maul must wait…and he’s reminded that he is expendable should he interfere and potentially ruin things again…on the bright side, as an unknown part of Palpatine’s early plans for galactic domination (to me, anyway, this may be a tidbit from a book or some such that I glossed over), the Trade Federation are doing a little illegal mining in the Kellux System and have had a run-in with some particularly troublesome pirates; this is a bright side because now Darth Maul has a real mission to attend to, and attend to it he does, first by showing up and decimating the pirates’ “Orb-wings” in a rare appearance of Darth Maul kicking ass in his Sith Infiltrator (which is one of my favorite Star Wars ship designs ever). And second by coming in and going Anakin-on-Mustafar on both the pirates and the Trade Federation captives…there can be no witnesses, you know…before killing everyone, though, Darth Maul learns that a Jedi Padawan has been captured and is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder by the “boss-mistress of the Xrexus Cartel.” Deciding that this is his chance to enact his vengeance on the Jedi without drawing the ire of his master, Darth Maul sets out to get to the Jedi Padawan not before the auction, but before the Jedi get there first…oh, and there was a cute little cartoony comic about one of Darth Maul’s probe droids on Tatooine, but, in Forrest Gump style, that’s all I have to say about that…
So, what do you think?!?! Do you dislike the Yoda interlude, or do you think the only thing that could possibly make it better is if the next issue has some kind of egg of the mountain involved that ends up being the kaiju egg from the Poe Dameron series? (That would…just no…) What about Darth Maul, though, huh? Hunting rathtars like a true badass…did you enjoy that, or was it too much? Would you have liked it better had they used another creature, like, I don’t know, maybe my favorite Star Wars creature: the rancor? And what did you think of the issue overall? I thought it was a nice setup, and I’m really curious to see where it goes and how a few famous bounty hunters that have appeared in some of the upcoming art get involved…give the books a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll tell Darth Maul you’re a Jedi and said the Sith are all a bunch of whiny little wannabe Jedi pansies…that won’t turn out well for you, trust me…until next time, TWS out.