Sergio Aragonés Stomps Star Wars
Story: Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragonés
Art: Sergio Aragonés
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Amador Cisneros
Cover: Sergio Aragonés, Tom Luth
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (01/14/2007)
Writer Mark Evanier and cartoonist Sergio Aragonés meet Lucy Autrey Wilson, Director of Publishing for Lucas Licensing, at the Lucasfilm offices to talk about working on a Star Wars comic. During a tour of the facilities, Sergio accidentally gets transported into a Star Wars through a digitizing lens. A group of international distributors brought in by George Lucas loose interest in the movie because of the new "changes," so the technicians have to try and remove Sergio from the movie. Meanwhile, a saboteur/jealous filmmaker dressed up as George Lucas rigged explosive devices all around the offices. Will anyone stop the evildoer in time?
Yes, you've read the summary correctly: this is not really a Star Wars comic. In fact, it took 7 years for me to come around to reading it. It actually is part of a sort of "trilogy" where Evanier and Sergio have fun with some licenses using an alliteration . The first two were Sergio Arangoné Massacres Marvel and Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC in 1996 (check this page on Mark Evanier's website for more info on those).
The whole premise is based on the fact that the Star Wars movies have been transfered from film to digital and that's how Sergio gets inserted into a movie, which works for this kind of thing I guess. But I don't understand why he appears during the Yavin scene in A New Hope, then when they fast forward to a later scene he is suddenly on to the Dagobah and Yavin scenes from The Empire Strikes Back and then back to the celebration scene on Yavin. I know it doesn't make sense for me to criticize a funny cartoon but some things should make sense, no? Most of the jokes made me cringe, like several references to Yoda looking like Ross Perot and Sergio defeating Vader by using the Farce (i.e. drawing silly cartoon of him on the wall). The one joke that I thought was funny is when they finally catch the saboteur, who is seen throughout the comic planting explosives in the background, he reveals that he's a frustrated filmmaker who makes time-lapse movies about tapioca pudding "aging, pulling away from the side of the dish". Also the fact that Sergio's being mistaken for "Biggs" when he's in the Yavin temple because of his mustache is kind of funny.
Several Lucasfilm employees appear in the comic during the Lucasfilm office tour (as seen in this story here) and makes me wonder if any of this is inspired by a real life event. What is inspired by real life for sure is to have the artistic team be the stars of the story, although some aspects of their personalities are (hopefully) parodies of their counterparts. Sergio is represented as this bumbling Spanish idiot who is a big fan of the movies (he's seen the first one 94 times, although he has to resort to renting them on videotape!) and Evanier is this vain artist who cares a lot about his friend Sergio.
Of course this being a "Sergio Destroys" story, it does have its share of mayhem. Not only does Sergio's appearance in the movie turn away a group of distributors during a demonstration (to George Lucas' dismay), but also the Lucasfilm offices (Skywalker Ranch?) get blown up after all when Sergio stupidly presses on the detonator and leaves Lucas out of a job. Of course if you are a fan of Aragonés and his work in publications such as MAD Magazine and Groo the Wanderer, you will probably love all this good-hearted silliness, but for Star Wars fans I would not recommend this story unless you have a very childish sense of humor.
If you're not familiar with Aragonés' unique style, you shouldn't even be reading this. He is known as one of the fastest cartoonists in the business, and maybe I'm wrong but it seems that he put some extra care in drawing this issue. I see some extra detailing in the long shot view of Cloud City, and in the faithful representations of the X-wing fighters. He is probably a fan of the movies in real life as well and he gets to illustrate a lot of familiar characters such as Leia, Luke, Han, Chewie, Vader, etc... He also threw in some new elements, like a Rodian on Yavin (complete with the gloves with dangling empty fingers) and Vader killing Han and Chewie with a laser gun (!?!). Not to mention the first ever drawing of Vader mooning...
Don't expect a Star Wars comic. This is made for Sergio Aragonés fans. Be forewarned!
Rating (as a Star Wars comic): 3 / 10 Not Recommended. Unless you like that sort of stuff.