Rebels Revisited: The Last Battle Piece


We’ve brought up The Clone Wars a lot in this column as we’ve discussed Rebels, both because it’s the latter’s direct predecessor in terms of production, and also because Rebels itself has featured the characters and events carried over from its own series quite a number of times. But Rebels has also done something in relation to TCW that sequels often do: a better job of explaining, extrapolating and summarizing their predecessor than the original work itself ever did.

The Clone Wars was a scattered show in terms of its plot and tone, as often happens to shows with long runtimes. But even as long as it did last, TCW still felt like it was cut short, leaving many running plots unresolved and some characters in limbo. While some of the stories ended on perfectly acceptable notes (Ahsoka leaving the Jedi, Maul’s insurrection being ended) those were not the last installments the TCW team had planned to tell about them. Each story had more to go, and that was evident before and after the show’s actual cancellation.

Rebels is doing its part, not to replace those stories that would have happened if the show had not been cancelled, but to be a proper sequel series that would exist no matter how long TCW itself had run. What “The Last Battle” is meant to show isn’t the end of the Clone Wars, the actual war itself ended well over a decade before when Order 66 came down and the droid army was deactivated. This episode shows us (and Ezra) what scars were left behind by that war, and lets us see it with the benefit of hindsight. » Read more..

Luke Skywalker: The Hero Who Ran Away?


“Luke Skywalker has vanished”

So begins The Force Awakens. Hold on, though – shouldn’t Luke be fighting with Leia’s Resistance against the First Order, taking on the villainous Snoke and his fallen apprentice Kylo Ren, rather than running away from his problems? For many fans, to whom Luke was a childhood hero, this narrative choice seemed at best out-of-character, and at worst a betrayal of everything he stood for.

Luke’s disappearance is indeed a long way from the swashbuckling young hero we saw in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. But Luke’s journey in the original trilogy is to become a Jedi, the Jedi – the one to correct the mistakes of the previous generation. From this perspective, his choices following Return of the Jedi make perfect sense.

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Doctor Aphra Goes Solo: Marvel Changes it Up and Why it Matters


With the release of its December 2016 solicitations, Marvel ignited a firestorm of speculation. Among its usual Star Wars titles was Star Wars: Classified, a new ongoing series. Given its December launch and the secrecy surrounding the project, fans guessed it could be one of two things: a Rogue One tie-in or a series featuring Darth Vader’s Doctor Aphra.

Now that Darth Vader has concluded, the speculation has been laid to rest.  Doctor Aphra, penned by Darth Vader scribe Kieron Gillen, will focus on the not-so-good doctor’s exploits after escaping death at the hands of her former boss.

The news that Aphra will be headlining her own series marks a number of firsts, both for Marvel’s line of Star Wars comics and for the Star Wars franchise as a whole. It’s also a welcome addition to Marvel and Star Wars’ growing number of stories centering on women and people of color.

Aphra’s status as the leading woman of her own series is an exciting prospect, not just for her fans, but also for fans of a growing new expanded universe. Doctor Aphra will be the first ongoing comic series since the reboot to focus on a homegrown comics hero (one not first appearing in the films or TV shows). For fans who cut their teeth on Dark Horse’s stable of original characters, her new series is the first sign that Marvel is willing to step away from the on-screen playground. » Read more..

Rebels Revisited: Escalation


The pendulum of Rebels has moved back and forth between the Force-centric and the martial-centric quite a bit this season so far. It’s been a gradually growing shift of emphasis from episodes based around Ezra and Kanan trying to pick up the pieces of what happened after “Twilight of the Apprentice” to the theme of unity beginning to grow among the rebel cells that we saw through the first two seasons. As the timeline moves closer to Rogue One and A New Hope, the Rebel Alliance that we know and love is in its infant stages, with groups working in closer and closer harmony. This is not done in a vacuum, though, since greater rebel activity has naturally drawn more and more attention to the various “fulcrums” of that same unity across the galaxy.

More than anything, this week’s episode demonstrated the escalation between the two major factions we’ve seen throughout Rebels. The Rebellion is beginning to take shape, with the Ryloth cell working hand in hand with Hera to coordinate activities and evacuations of key people like Cham Syndulla after being put on the run by Imperial forces. At the same time, however, Grand Admiral Thrawn has made his way to Ryloth due either to orders from on high or by his own volition, backing up Captain Slavin and turning the tide against Cham and his forces by promoting swift, decisive assaults against key positions, like Cham’s home province.

The larger Rebellion is forming, and Thrawn knows it. He preys on the connection between Hera and her father by blockading Ryloth and forcing Cham to go on the run, knowing that she and her crew would be along shortly to try and run the blockade and save the day. But the destruction of Hera’s group and their cell is not the goal he has set for himself; he values information more than the piddling victory that would come from the death or capture of the Syndulla family or even the subjugation of Ryloth. » Read more..

NYCC Exclusive: Veers Watch Interview


Hello folks — I’m here to bring you an exclusive from the show floor of New York Comic Con. No, it’s nothing as banal as a news scoop or announcement. Instead, I’ve got the transcript of an interview I conducted this past Sunday with the one and only Veers Watch. If it sounds like I’m crazy, then you probably haven’t visited or followed his Twitter account. He has a very specific brand, which consists of watching/reading various Star Wars products and then announcing whether or not they contain an appearance of General Veers.

Riveting stuff, no? His dedication is certainly something to wonder at, and he’s kept it up for a while now. But who is Veers Watch? What makes him tick? Why Veers? And is there something else to him other than an admiration for a well-executed ground assault? Well, let’s find out! My questions below are in bold, his responses are in plaintext except for my interjected text in brackets.

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Why is Veers your favorite character?

Well, one of the reasons I love Veers is that he’s one of the only Imperial officers to actually survive the movies, which I thought was a lot of fun. The actor, Julian Glover, his ubiquitousness across a lot of series is also a huge draw. But I just love that out of all the Imperial officers, he always struck me as the most competent. He has his job, he gets it done. You know, he’s able to not necessarily stand up to Vader, but he offers his own insights. I thought that was a huge draw. And I like Imperials in general, so.

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