Star Wars #35 + Mace Windu #1

Another double-dose of Star Wars comics for comic book day! This week, it’s another one-shot from the flagship series, and the first installment of a new Clone Wars era book focusing on none other than Jedi Master Mace Windu…should be pretty exciting, especially considering the Star Wars issue features my favorite smuggler, so let’s just cut to the case and get busy breaking these issues down, shall we?

Star Wars #35
sw35Upon seeing the first page of this book after the “crawl,” one will notice two things almost immediately:  at least one hammerhead cruiser survived past the Battle of Yavin, and Salvador Larroca hasn’t given up his uncanny valley approach to faces…*shudder*…anyway, the setup is that the Rebellion has infamous beefcake Hutt Grakkus in custody, and Mon Mothma wants Han & Chewie to “smuggle” him to Akiva where General Draven can interrogate him (so, in addition to a hammerhead surviving, Draven is still around as well…neat). He hems and haws about it for a while, Mothma brings up that it would be a great help to everyone, including princesses, and he acts all like “what’s that supposed to mean,” but eventually acquiesces (because, if not, what kind of book would it be?)…so Grakkus is on the Falcon and Han is telling him all the things he can’t do or he’ll be shot, Grakkus begins trying to entice Han back into the scoundrel side of smuggling for working for him, and some TIEs show up to ruin the party before the Falcon is ready for hyperspace – just another day at the office, really…during the initial encounter, before any shots are fired, a circular “panel” outlined in red shows Grakkus elbowing something, presumably on purpose, and Han makes a point of wondering what’s suddenly gone wrong with the ship, but never actually says what’s gone wrong…tricky fella…next, the TIEs open fire and manage to knock out the hyperdrive, just like that! Oh no! So Chewie goes to fix it and Grakkus continues attempting to lure Han into his service, saying he’ll make things right with Jabba and make him rich, that sort of thing. So that goes on for a while before Han decides to “give up,” lands on an asteroid, and is inspected by the Empire. The TIE pilots find only Grakkus on the ship, still in shackles; however, before the Imperials can search the ship to find Han & Chewie, Grakkus attacks them, killing one of them with his bare hands, and the rest are taken care of by our heroes, who were hiding in the same smuggling spaces they used in A New Hope (this includes Han doing a no-look trick shot, so he had practice before The Force Awakens, that wasn’t his first rodeo). It appears that the catastrophe has been averted, and now things can continue as planned, but Grakkus has other ideas:  he knocks Han down (while Chewie is conveniently out), takes a shot in the shoulder (but, after Empire’s End, we know it takes way more than that to kill a Hutt), slaps the pistol out of Han’s hand with his tail, breaks his shackles, and starts strangling Han. Chewie bursts in, but Grakkus says if he moves he’ll “crush his head like a tangoo melon.” Thinking  he has it all figured out, Grakkus commands Chewie to set a course for Teth, where Grakkus has “everything I need to get myself back where I belong. Back in power.” Hearing this, Han speaks a code phrase and Grakkus gets fried with electricity, and drops Han. Turns out Draven was listening in and that was the plan all along:  get Grakkus to spill the beans and then zap him with some kind of super cool spy tech stuff. Not bad. Things escalate somewhat between Han and Grakkus as Han keeps zapping him with continually increasing power, saying that’s he’s still who he always was. In the end, they leave the Hutt, zapped into unconsciousness on the asteroid to be picked up by the Rebellion. The end. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! We’re FINALLY going back to the R2-D2 off on his own to rescue C-3PO arc from way back before that forgettable Stonepower arc (yeah, the dumb one with Yoda, you remember). Based on the last page of this book, it appears R2 has done some serious ass-kicking so far, but that the Imperials have given up taking him lightly…are they really planning to end that long-anticipated arc with another one-shot like the ones we’ve been getting the last few issues? I kind of hope not, but it seems like that may very well be the case…I guess, as usual, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Mace Windu #1
mace1We begin with a cool, full-page shot of the Battle of Geonosis that includes Mace vs. Jango Fett (we all know how that turns out) and features a nice shot of Luminara Unduli in the foreground and Kit Fisto in the background. Then we move to the present where Mace and Master Mundi are having a little heart to holographic heart about the nature of the Jedi’s role in the conflict they find themselves in. Next we move to the gathered council where Mace, who we’re used to seeing dole out mission directives and such, is being given a mission of his own:  lead a group of four Jedi (which seems excessive) on a reconnaissance mission to the planet of Hissrich to see what the Separatists are up to. Mace’s team consists of the great Master Kit Fisto, an assumed miraluka Master named Prosset Dibs, and a young, just-turned-knight of an unknown-to-me pink species with two vestigial-horn-esque dark, circular, flat bumps on her head named Rissa Mano. (This is probably me using a heavy hand with my RPG lens, but I feel like this is very much akin to setting up a new campaign and the council are the GMs, so to speak, and Mace and his group are the player characters.) Before heading out for his mission, Mace has another heart-to-heart, but this time with a horribly-drawn Yoda (for the most part, I really like the art in this book – it has a bit of an edge to it and doesn’t look same old, same old like most of the other Marvel books, but they got Yoda 100% all wrong). For the most part in these conversations, it’s Mace having doubts about the Jedi being involved in such a violet conflict, and others giving him good reasons why, through the will of the Force, they’re doing the right thing. Next, on a sweet-looking, very Clone Warsy ship, the group gets a little time to “gel,” or at least to interact a bit before the mission proper begins. Turns out I really like the witty, goofy, banter of Master Dibs. He’s my early favorite…which means he’ll probably die early…the group interacts a bit more, speaking about the planet and what to expect, and then they land. When they step off, they’re wearing pretty rad Jedi “underarmor,” so to speak, complete with gloves on two of them (that are suspiciously missing in later panels). As they move out on foot, Master Dibs expresses similar feelings to what Mace had been feeling earlier, but Master Windu sets his mind at ease (or at least tries to) in the same way others did for him. During their conversation, Rissa and Kit have an cute-ish conversation about how Rissa thinks Mace is a top 5 Jedi Master, while Master Fisto is only top 20 or 30…it gives a sort of “Ahsoka-esque” touch to Rissa’s character (at least that’s what I feel like they were going for – a laid back, but eager vibe). Next, the group comes up on a patrol and, oddly, for a stealth mission, decide to take them out…before they do so, though, there’s some battle droid banter that doesn’t really work for me – they gave it a good go, but it feels forced, like they couldn’t quite harness the goofy quality without overdoing it…so, anyway, they take out the patrol, which was small enough for one Jedi to handle alone in the Clone Wars cartoon, but for some reason required all four members of the Jedi team, Master Dibs makes an eye-related joke, promised to be one of many, but then the group feels that they’re surrounded on all sides and the situation isn’t over yet…turns out they’re surrounded by locals, and a battle droid observed their confrontation and decides to report it to…*drumroll*…AD-W4, a mercenary droid for hire…a rad-looking droid, for sure, but a strange choice for an adversary…I’m cautiously optimistic about how this series is going to go…

And that’s the way the news goes! So what did you think? How does the Han Solo one-shot issue stack up against the Swiss Family Skywalker and the Sana & Lando one-shots? Did you like the inclusion of Draven, or was it unnecessary? What about Grakkus showing up again? He’s like a Marvel comics all-star, right? He’s everywhere…and how ’bout finally, FINALLY getting back to the R2 arc? Are you as stoked as I am, or has it been so long that you completely forgot about it? What about the new Mace Windu series? Are you super into it, or do you have reservations? I’m not sure what I thought it was going to be about, but so far it isn’t what I had in mind…that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though…anyway, give the books a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll smuggle Grakkus to your house and play ding dong ditch…TWS out.

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4 thoughts on “Star Wars #35 + Mace Windu #1

  1. I liked Draven. It made total sense to me. The only people who we’ve seen do bad things for the rebellion, Kassian, was under Draven. So I thought it made sense that Draven would be in charge of interrogation. I really liked the Akiva mentions. ANYTHING CONNECTING TO AFTERMATH gets me excited. I was smiling this whole day about that. I was hoping we would see Akiva, but we didn’t. Then like 8 hours after I read it I realized they probably aren’t even going to Akiva because they don’t need to interrogate Grakkus >~<

    I like one shots. I think this series has potential to tell great stories, especially since it doesn't even have to be about the main movie cast all the time. I think since it's just called "Star Wars", it can just go on forever basically, and just tell whatever. idk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked the inclusion of Draven as well – I thought it made perfect sense. And name-dropping Akiva was cool too, but I don’t make much of those types of connecting threads.

      I like the one-shots as well, and wouldn’t mind if they carried on like that by highlighting all kinds of different characters…

      Like

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