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Darren

Star Wars - the new canon

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This is the first collection from Marvel's "Age of..." series and I have to say it's not a great start. To be fair they're handicapped from the off by the fact that the prequel era villains are mostly rubbish, with the exception of Darth Maul, whose story is the best one here, but even that's nothing special. I don't want to write it off completely until I've read the corresponding "Heroes" collection which may link in to this one in some way, but that doesn't seem likely based on these stories, which are all forgettable, inconsequential, stand-alone one-offs with no common thread or theme. What a shame.

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Out of curiosity, are there any official/unofficial books that provide an issue-by-issue overview/review of Star Wars comics published during the past 40 years? I'm aware of the excellent A Galaxy Far, Far Away book, which contains essays on various comic series, and Paul Berry's Star Wars memorabilia book, which contains a chapter to the Marvel US series, but nothing that provides an issue-by-issue breakdown of, say, plot points and behind-the-scene events on the Star Wars UK or Dark Horse comic. Does such a thing exist?

 

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:( Is that Dark Visions? That's a pity, Vader is about the only character Marvel have got consistently right (up to now).

 

Edit: that's a bit unfair, they handled Poe and his team extremely well in his series. I meant out of the "original" characters.

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It’s not really a series, more loosely connected one-offs. I liked the first one, second was a bit silly but I liked it and the third (I think that’s the most recent) was a bit poor.

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Most surprising thing about Vader so far, Don Henderson becoming a main character! Poor bloke only got paid £300 for a days filming and they’re still milking his performance over 20 years after he died.

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They are the best set during the original trilogy, although it’s worth reading the main Star Wars series in parallel, at least for the first six issues where they tie together very closely.

 

The other Vader series (Dark Lord of the Sith) is also excellent and focuses on Vader’s formative experiences in the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith.

 

Equally good is the Poe Dameron series set before, during and after the new films.

 

Stick with those and you can’t go wrong!

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I’ll give Poe a go as I need something to flesh out the character. He’s easily my least favourite thing in the new movies.

 

Pretty much loving Vader so far. Only thing that grates is the referencing back to the Prequels. They exist, Disney are running with them, so I guess I have to lump it.

 

Wish they’d trash them out of existence though. Even the sight of Jimmy Smits in Rogue one stank up the atmosphere for me.

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I used to agree when I first started reading the comics, but I've come to realise that Marvel and their writers are very good at those callbacks. With very few exceptions, they enhance the stories and even manage to slightly rehabilitate the referenced scenes. They can't magically make the films themselves any good, of course, but they do a great job with what they've got. The last issue of Dark Lord of the Sith is a brilliant example, which just wouldn't work without them, and it works perfectly.

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I've not read the third book yet but definitely yes - the first two are both excellent.

 

I have quite a growing pile of unread comics and "not even bought yet" books to get through! I really must knuckle down.

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At last I've started working down my pile of shame, starting with this. Now, the first thing to point out is that this is completely unessential. It adds nothing of substance to the canon or to Han Solo's lore, but as a throwaway adventure starring everyone's favourite scruffy looking nerf herder it's actually really good fun. This is set during the period in the Solo film between him joining the Empire on Corellia and being bumped down to the infantry where he meets Beckett, Chewie and co. So this is young Han still in love with Qira and always on the lookout for an opportunity to steal a ship so he can head back to rescue her. But in the meantime he's got imperial basic training to get through before they let him anywhere near a cockpit. Along the way he rubs up (often the wrong way) against his fellow recruits who all have their different reasons for joining up. It's all fairly by the numbers stuff but it's done well and of course there are lots of pictures of spaceships flying around with PEW PEW sound effects written over the top, which always get a thumbs up from me. Plus there's a single-issue story about Beckett and his gang from before their appearance in the film, which is equally good and has one panel in particular that reminded me of the late Carlos Ezquerra's art in 2000AD, so that's a bonus point straight away.

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