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Tag Archive: Star Wars prequels


Review by C.J. Bunce

When Lando Calrissian showed up on the doorstep of Han Solo and Leia with a toddler Ben in tow, Han knew the outcome couldn’t be anything good.  In Daniel José Older‘s novel Star Wars: Last Shot–A Han and Lando Novel, it’s Lando that causes angst for Han, but it also gets him away from a home life where it’s just not happening for the former smuggler and decorated General of the Rebellion.  Someone has set off some assassin droids and if your name was ever on the title for the Millennium Falcon, you’ve been marked.  The mastermind behind the droids is a character inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, a medical student plucked from his good life and plunged into a maddening existence where he begins to merge men with machines.  For Fyzen Gor, droids are the more advanced form and he will stop at nothing until the galaxy knows it.  Enter Han, Chewie, Lando, and Ugnaught, an Ewok tech guru or “slicer,” an attractive Twi-lek who Lando has his eyes on, and a young hotshot pilot, and you have a Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven story plucked from the pages of classic Marvel Comics.

But that’s the present, or at least the present time as it existed a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi, where only part of the story takes place.  Both partners Han and Chewie, and Lando and companion droid L3-37 have each encountered Fyzen Gor and his enigmatic Phylanx device before–once before Lando loses the Falcon to Han during Solo: A Star Wars Story, and once afterward.  Star Wars: Last Shot presents three parallel stories all culminating with the present search and confrontation with Gor to learn the secret of the device.  L3-37’s theme of droid rights is a significant element in this tale, and further expands L3’s influence on the future beyond being merged with the Falcon’s computer.  Despite several key cyborgs in the Star Wars galaxy (not the least of which being Luke and Darth Vader), this novel is Star Wars taking on cyborg themes not usually found in the franchise outside the early comics, themes you’d find wrestled with previously in other sci-fi properties.

The prequels live on.  Adding to the surprise presence of Darth Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story, writer Older resurrects many bits and pieces from the Star Wars prequels, including a Gungun who makes clear that Jar Jar Binks was not emblematic of the alien race.  We also encounter many names, aliens, and places from past stories, like aliens reflecting the likes of Bossk, Hammerhead, Ewoks, Ugnaughts, and Cloud City from the original trilogy.

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Mayhew Attack of the Clones    Mayhew Revenge of the Sith

Mike Mayhew, illustrator on The Star Wars series for Dark Horse Comics and an incredible cover and interior artist on many major sci-fi and superhero titles, has created new cover artwork for the Star Wars prequels.  Much like the original trilogy received last year, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith will see their own hardcover editions of their comic book adaptations for your comic book library.

If you couldn’t imagine getting interested in the prequels again, just check out these three beautiful covers.  Mayhew nails both the look and feel of the Star Wars universe and he gets the characters, like Yoda and General Grievous, and the actors behind the characters, all spot-on.

Mayhew Episode 1     Mayhew Vader DownWe’ve also included some other recent cover art by Mayhew (above and below).  You can meet Mike Mayhew this weekend at WonderCon at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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Yoda and Luke

Review by C.J. Bunce

After the completion of the Star Wars prequels, George Lucas sat down and went frame by frame through all six Star Wars movies, examining literally hundreds of thousands of images and selecting about 250 screen grabs from each film, frames that he believed showed particular artistry, each in its own right.  The result was 2011’s limited edition of 1,138 boxed sets called Star Wars: Frames, sold for $3,000, and now only rarely available with one set being sold at Amazon.com for a whopping $11,500.  Thanks to Abrams Books, Star Wars: Frames is being re-released this month in a far less expensive but complete edition, collecting 1,472 stills from all six films in the Star Wars saga.  It is without a doubt the definitive visual work on Star Wars, in a rare league of deluxe book editions along with long out-of-print Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume of Star Wars and Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop as the best Star Wars books ever released.

Star Wars Frames

This more affordable, unabridged version of Star Wars: Frames includes two hardcover books, each covering one of the two movie trilogies in 368 pages, housed in a hefty Death Star-themed silver box.  Listing at a published price of $150, you can buy it for less than $100 at Amazon.com.  The only difference between the $3,000 version and this version is the original was issued in a six-book set (one book for each film instead of one for each trilogy), with each image taking up a full page, packaged in a wooden crate instead of cardboard.   The content is the same.  Star Wars: Frames will be released November 5, 2013, but we received an early review copy this week.  The book lives up to its promise, in surprising ways.

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Spaceship chase

As with many movies these days it seems like studios release enough trailers that by the time you see the movie you already know it front to back and can even quote key lines.  It looks like the same may be true for the new Star Trek movie coming out soon, Star Trek Into Darkness, all previewed here earlier.  And this weekend Paramount released yet another preview.

Lots of great colors and “wow!” imagery, maybe even more so than with the earlier teasers and previews.  Even more story elements are revealed including many that make you want to sit down and list how many plot points it has in common with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and the other Star Wars prequels.  Depending who you are and how much you liked the Star Wars prequels, a comparison like that may or may not be a good thing.  But with J.J. Abrams locked-in to begin directing Star Wars: Episode VII soon… you just can’t help draw the comparisons.  Here’s a few apparently obligatory prequel scenes to think about as you watch this trailer:

  • Jar Jar and Qui-Gon Jinn chased on foot across the fields of the planet Naboo
  • R2-D2 suddenly having the ability of flight across a planet’s surface
  • giant vertical cityscapes of Coruscant
  • female/alien bounty hunter Zam Wesell’s lavender outfit
  • space car chase scene with cocky Anakin and serious Obi-Wan Kenobi complete with joking banter
  • Jar Jar Binks, Qui-Gon Jinn and Kenobi in a submarine craft startled by a sea creature
  • and even though it’s not from the prequels, remember Han Solo’s line to Chewbacca before the jump to light speed?

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