So, I’ve already said pretty much already I could or cared to about The Star Wars. My feelings have been made known. If you’re still picking it up, you’re either an Omega-level masochist or you’re just here for the really esoteric stuff in the review, so we’ll just cover that, and we’ll drink a little bit, and we’ll try to forget this series is happening at all. To start with, this is the penultimate issue. There’s supposed to be a general feeling of story threads that are wrapping up and nearing a satisfying conclusion in second-to-last issues. Instead, this issue brings a lot of new problems to the table, like, for example, Luke decides to start teaching Wookiees to fly. Because they don’t know how, but they need to mount an attack on the Imperial base, so let’s just teach these savages that still use spears how to fly a Y-Wing. That’ll go really well. I remember the times we put an Amazonian tribe who had never been outside of the jungle into a space shuttle, too. Good times.
In my continuing series of praising tragically misused artist Mike Mayhew, I’ll say that in this issue and the issues previous, he has really become an expert at the two-page spread. There are some artists that overstuff them, and there are some like Jamie McKelvie who like to dissect them and put them back together in weird ways; Mayhew is a traditionalist and he’s mastered the tradition. When the army officer yells, “What’s going on?!” on the page turn, you know you’re in for some good, old-fashioned Mayhew ass-whuppin’ on the next double splash. It’s a thing to behold.
This issue does suffer a bit from sticking to what I assume are the McQuarrie concepts. The Wookiees in this Star Wars universe look like... Okay, so picture Bat-Boy, from the Weekly World News. Put Bat-Boy’s head on the shoulders of the Chewbacca that you know and love from the Star Wars movies. Make him look like he doesn’t have enough hair, or he’s slightly balding all over, and you feel like if he twists or shimmies just right, you’re gonna catch a glimpse of that Wookiee Wang. That’s what the Wookiees look like in this series. It’s... utterly macabre.
The upside is that Darth Vader’s design is steadily growing on me. He’s got metal arms outside of his suit, the traditional chestplate, and a red, I can only assume bionic, eye. He looks like all the really fucking cool parts of Darth Vader, Jax from Mortal Kombat, The Winter Soldier, and Cable from X-Men. He’s pretty badass. Obviously, they undercut this with the preview of next issue’s cover where he’s wearing the traditional Darth Vader helmet but without the faceplate, so he looks like a slightly more in-shape version of Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.
Another thing that comes to mind at this point in the series is whether or not Rinzler is actually pulling from the first draft of Lucas’s screenplay. There’s a lot in this issue that spreads over all six of the Star Wars movies. There’s floating tanks, there’s a Wookiee battle, there’s Owen Lars, there’s an attack on a forest moon base, there’s an attack on what looks like the Death Star, but for contractual reasons is not the Death Star. Was this all really in that first draft? I honestly don’t trust Lucas enough anymore to believe that. And if I end up reviewing this first draft series and then come to find out that I’ve been sold a bill of goods and it’s actually a revised and “improved” version, and it still stinks out loud? I am going to be writing some strongly worded letters.
If you’re still buying this series as a curio, more power to you. Otherwise... what do I have to do, man? Stop buying trash. You want my kidney? You can buy my kidney instead of this book. I offer extremely reasonable pricing plans. At least next month is the last issue, hallelu, praise Jesus.
Script: J.W. Rinzler Artist: Mike Mayhew Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/16/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital