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review 2018-07-05 21:17
Well
Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes - Jason Aaron,Laura Martin,John Cassaday

I have a very complicted relationship with Star Wars and Star Trek.  In part, it is because both mammoths are a part of my childhood.  New Hope was the first movie I saw in the movie theater.  Star Trek was life blood.  I remember playing both growing up.  Man, you should have seen my class illustrate the epic Yoda/Vader fight we were positive was coming in Jedi.

 

 

But they have their issues.  And people don't like it when you bring it up.  I mean a certain former Jame T Kirk harassed a Penn prof when she said while advance for its time STOS didn't do that well with gender.  She's right.  And this is also true of the ST:TNG and Star Wars.

 

One thing that always bugged me about Star Wars was that it was so male centric.  New Hope is set up that we feel more for Luke about Kenobi's death than Leia losing her family, home, and people.  Then there are some really strange choices in Jedi - like Leia getting her hair done with the Ewoks, and why isn't she a general, and Han is - Han who just spent a whole bunch of time frozen?

 

It's true that various tie ins - books and previous comic runs - have done much to either mellow, correct, or fill in those iffy things.  I still have a Marvel comic Original Star Wars series issue about Leia during the time Han is frozen.  She meets a stormtrooper who has a certain piece of rock around his neck.

 

Skywalker Strikes is as good as that issue.  It's set between New Hope and Empire.  Leia leads Luke and Han on a mission or two (until Han, being Han, screws it up).  Leia kicks ass.  Leia and Han try to take out Vader.  Leia does so many things.  True, the focus is on Luke coming to terms with who or what he is or can be, but its damn good storytelling and writing.  

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review 2018-07-03 12:47
Star Wars Rebel Jail by Jason Aaron
Star Wars Vol. 3 - Jason Aaron,Mike Mayhew,Leinil Yu

This is the third in the Star Wars series filling in the story after the first movie. Sadly, I feel that the stories have gotten progressively less interesting. They keep adding new characters that I don't know much about their back story (I did know who Dr. Aphra was, but for people that did not it must have made this novel even less interesting) and it simply was not as exciting.

 

With that said, I did appreciate the leadership of Leia in thus particular story. First time she really had the central role in one of these stories.

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review 2018-06-29 13:45
Review of Star Wars Volume 2 - Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron
Star Wars Vol. 2: Showdown on Smugglers Moon - Jason Aaron,Simone Bianchi,Stuart Immonen

While not as good as the first entry in the series, this was another solid read that continues the story of the major characters of the original Star Wars.  I felt the story in this one dragged a bit, and it introduced a few new characters that I didn't necessarily love right away.  With that said, it continues to fill in the gaps between the movies and the overall story is strong.

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review 2018-06-26 18:43
Review of Star Wars Volume 1 - Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron
Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes - Jason Aaron,Laura Martin,John Cassaday

I rarely read graphic novels, but enjoy Star Wars and love how these graphic novels fill in the gaps between the movie.  This novel picks up immediately after the original movie and shows us what the characters did next and how their relationships developed.  It was a very quick read, and the art was nicely done.  Looking forward to the next one.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 18:49
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, by Jason Fry
The Last Jedi (Star Wars) - Jason Fry

Almost forgot to review this! Like the novelization of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi was mostly worthwhile in terms of the additional context and peek inside characters' heads not offered in the film. However, I had even more questions about TLJ from the movie than I had for TFA. I also had not re-watched it yet. Moments I thought were not in the film were indeed in there when I eventually re-watched; I was so off in my head through TLJ, I missed a lot!

 

The most interesting new bits in the novel that I remember from my reading include details about General Hux's background and those of his fellow First Order officers. Apparently, Hux's father was also a military man but was crazy; Hux killed him (it's not revealed how)--it remains dangerous business being a father to a son in the Star Wars universe! Seriously, it's like being a Roman Caesar. In the film you can see Hux clash with other officers, but the novel clarifies that a few of them also served the Empire; they're used to doing things a certain way. Hux favors shows of strength rather than utilizing successful strategy.

 

Some additional scenes were filmed but not part of the final cut (available as deleted scenes in special features) and are described in the novel. These include a serious-turned-funny sequence where Luke tells Rey that newly arriving Caretaker species merchants are raiders who come regularly to steal and kill. Rey rushes down to them only to discover that they're having a party! Luke lied to make a point about how the Jedi would have taken a no-involvement stance. Something not filmed, though, is Luke inviting Rey to dance; it's sweet scene.

 

The biggest questions I had after seeing the film the first time involved Kylo Ren and Rey, of course. It somehow wasn't clear to me on a first viewing if Ren knew anything about Snoke forming the Force bond between him and Rey; he didn't. I also wondered if Snoke was telling the truth about that. In the book, before and during his monologue that ends with his death, we get a glimpse of Snoke's thoughts, and he did indeed bridge their minds (at least HE believes he did). There's also more about the fight from Rey's perspective especially; at the beginning she struggles a bit but essentially lets the Force guide her. It's pretty cool. She also senses Ben/Kylo as he fights and compares him to an animal finally freed from his cage.

 

Most revealing is why Rey leaves Ren alive once it's clear he's not going to turn and they struggle over Luke's light saber, which splits and knocks them unconscious. He wakes up, but Rey is already gone in the movie. In the book, there's a little scene where Rey awakens and contemplates what to do. She feels that the Force isn't done with Ren, and it's not her place to kill him.

 

There's also more about Rose and her sister, which helped me appreciate her more as a character. There's a bit more romantic tension between her and Finn, from her perspective at least, as she's annoyed each time he thinks only of Rey, not the larger cause.

 

And we get more about and from Leia, including her Force training and that moment where she and Ben sense each other as his ship is set to fire on hers. The thing that prevents him from killing her is that what he senses from her is worry--for him, not herself. My heart hurts; excuse me while I go cry over Carrie Fisher again.

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