A few months ago, we ran a group piece on something I had been thinking about since Marvel started publishing Star Wars comics again—had the medium actually gotten stronger since the original Star Wars series, or would we look back on this era as being just as silly and dated as those early days of Jaxxon and Cody Sunn-Childe? What I noticed then that I hadn’t really considered before was that a good chunk of the regular staff here actually doesn’t read the comics and has little in the way of opinions on them.
Then last week, when I started thinking about what Marvel might come up with to replace the soon-to-conclude Darth Vader series, I decided to bring the question to the staff, and this time I wouldn’t accept “I don’t read comics” as an answer. It’s hard to argue that Marvel haven’t done a great job maximizing Star Wars sales among the existing comics audience, but I was especially curious what they might do to bring in all these superfans I knew who nevertheless barely touched the things. I got some interesting ideas back, to say the least—here they are.
Ben C: As Marvel takes the bold move of ending Gillen’s Darth Vader title, what’s next is a logical question, as is what they should do. The cynical response is to say Marvel will simply re-launch the book with a new creative team in a few months, pocketing the ker-ching generated by it. Here’s the non-cynical response: What if they don’t? What then? Well, over the last two years, Marvel have proved to be competent custodians of the Star Wars license. Due to some very smart creative combinations of writer and artist, with a mix of ongoing and limited series and a restrained use of events, the only question left to ask is what does Marvel have left to prove? » Read more..
Alongside the now-confirmed Han Solo movie and the still-theoretical Boba Fett movie, one of the most perennially-rumored spinoff films is one (or three!) centering on Obi-Wan Kenobi. While such a movie could conceivably be set during the Clone Wars thanks to Ewan McGregor’s annoying eternal youthfulness, speculation generally assumes the movie would be set during his exile on Tatooine (for the record, Ewan is currently 44, which in Obi years puts him at about six years after Revenge of the Sith). Speculation also tends to assume, at least when I’ve seen it, that the story would involve some sort of dire mission pulling him away from Tatooine for a brief time.
Leaving aside the conceit that anything could be important enough to pull him away from Luke, and leaving aside the fact that rather than twiddling his thumbs, the one thing we know for sure is that Obi-Wan spent that time communing with Qui-Gon and Yoda and learning how to transcend death (which was still a distant second on his list of priorities after safeguarding Luke), it bugs me when people take for granted the idea that an Obi-Wan movie would automatically require him to leave Tatooine, because for all its ostensible overuse in the film saga, Tatooine is really interesting.
Look no further than John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi, a book dealing with that selfsame period that manages to restrict its action not just to the one planet, but to an area small enough to fit on a handy-dandy map. Kenobi, the first novel whose release Eleven-ThirtyEight had the privilege of covering, was a rousing and heartrending adventure story with more shades of the traditional western than A New Hope could’ve, ah, hoped to squeeze into its running time—and not for one second does the reader find themselves wondering “yeah, but what’s going on on Coruscant right now?” » Read more..
Approximately eleven months from now, the holiday season will be back in full swing again. Halls will be decked, mangers will be awayed, bells will be caroled, all that good stuff. But one thing will be different: there will be a new Star Wars movie about to come out. Exactly one week before Christmas, in fact. A holiday release is unprecedented for Star Wars “episodes”, but not for the franchise as a whole: until this year, the terms “Star Wars” and “holiday” have only ever been uttered in the same breath in reference to, well, you know what.
But this is a new era—and if ever there were a time to go there, to revisit the idea of a Holiday Special, now would be it. So let’s join Chewbacca’s family once again as they prepare for their Life Day festivities… » Read more..
While I’ve long taken up the banner of diversity in Star Wars as one of my pet causes, I have to confess that while I’ve gone to great lengths to quantify its in-universe demographics, I’ve never really spoken up about perhaps an even more important aspect—the demographics of the people making Star Wars.
Part of it is that my sci-fi/fantasy interests have never extended much beyond SW and I’m just not familiar with a lot of female creators, and I think the other part is that—like with the lack of gay characters—the white guys have such an enormous lead that it’s hard to even know where to start.
Luckily, Star Wars’ real-world component has made some decent strides on its own in the last several years; the departures of Karen Traviss and Sue Rostoni from the publishing program were followed by the arrivals of Karen Miller and Christie Golden and Jennifer Heddle, Lucasfilm’s public face is increasingly that of women like Kiri Hart, Amy Beth Christenson, Andi Gutierrez, and Vanessa Marshall, and of course, the whole damned thing was bequeathed by George Lucas in 2012 to Lucasfilm veteran Kathleen Kennedy.
There’s still lots of room for improvement, however—notably, not a single female writer or director has yet been linked to any future SW film—and this awesome piece on women in comics over at that other “ThirtyEight” website inspired me to ask the gang for their recommendations on new female faces to join the Star Wars ranks. Here are their thoughts. » Read more..
While we’re only a couple of weeks away from the official premiere of Star Wars Rebels, it may be a while yet before we really know on a macro level what the show is about. The Inquisitor, after all, doesn’t even join the party until later on—and it remains to be seen just how big of a presence he’ll be in the first season as a whole, to say nothing of future seasons. The same goes for Lothal—it’s the heroes’ base of operations for now, but forever? I doubt it.
So with that in mind, I asked the others to pitch their ideas for what you might call Rebels “bottle” episodes. Colloquially, a bottle episode of a TV show is a standalone story designed to be produced entirely using existing sets and contracted actors, meaning it can be produced for a bare minimum of expense—often these will show up to allow for something particularly extravagant elsewhere in the season.
While I didn’t hold them to the “cheap” part, I did mandate that the story be entirely self-contained, so it could theoretically go anywhere in the first season without getting in the way of whatever the larger arc turns out to be. Here are their ideas. » Read more..