Star Wars #27
Scripting: Doug Petrie
Pencilling: Randy Green
Inking: Andy Owens
Coloring: Dave McCaig
Lettering: Annie Parkhouse
Cover: Randy Green, Andy Owens, Dave McCaig
Reviewed by: JF Boivin (12/27/2009)
Newly-Knighted Jedi Yoshi Raph-Elan crashes his starfighter on an unnamed planetoid as a result of an attack by unidentified fighters. He finds a village that is controlled by war droids and after defeating one Yoshi slices into its memory to find where it resides. This leads him to an ancient castle which he infiltrates and meets Princess Lourdes who's about to be married to Lord Gar-oth. Disguised as her servant at the engagement ball, Yoshi decides to stop Gar-oth from marrying Lourdes right there by announcing that he is her husband. A hand-to-hand duel ensues, in which Gar-oth discovers that Yoshi is a Jedi and he activates a giant Goliath droid to kill both Yoshi and the Princess. Lourdes fights and kills Gar-oth while Yoshi manages to destroy the droid. And thus the people of the planet are free, and a Jedi rescue team picks up Yoshi.
From the summary above, you can see that this is not the most complex of stories. "Starcrash" shares its title with an old cheesy Italian sci-fi flick from my youth and it's not much better in the storytelling department. The worst problem here is that Petrie (a writer on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show) doesn't seem to know anything about Star Wars, aside from Jedi and lightsabers. Another problem is that the characters are all kind of goofy. Yoshi keeps talking to himself during and after his crash landing, and this quickly becomes annoying. At one point on page 7, when he finally begins to internalize his thoughts, he then switches back to talking out loud in the middle of a sentence! The reason for the crash itself seems to be a convenient plot device which creates a huge plot hole. Who are these insect-like starfighters? Why do they attack Yoshi's ship? Where do they go after he crashes? And why was Yoshi alone in space on his supposed first day of Jedi Knighthood?
Once the first annoying sequence ends, Yoshi notices a village conveniently closeby and when he arrives there he sees a battle droid (not the Trade Federation ones) enforcing a curfew law by shooting citizens out on the streets. Because his lightsaber was conveniently damaged in the crash, Yoshi fights the droid by bashing it with a metal bar. Then for some reason the scene switches to Yoshi somewhere inside in front of a fireplace slicing into the droid. How did he drag it there? And where is he? The droid shows him a hologram of a castle, and the scene then suddenly shifts to Yoshi ascending the castle's wall (still talking to himself). Then of course he intrudes inside the private chamber of beautiful princess Lourdes who just happens to be putting on a dress. she immediately becomes friends with Yoshi (thanks to the clich? of a prophecy predicting the arrival of the "foreseen") and explains to him the whole situation about Lord Gar-oth and being forced to marry him to stop him from killing her people. Of course Yoshi gets himself invited to the engagement ball. The following scene at the ball becomes a little bit interesting, with Yoshi fighting a giant robot and Lourdes killing Gar-oth with help from her flying majordomo Skeeter. That last action reveals Lourdes to be the "foreseen" because (get ready for the big twist)... "the Foreseen can only be a woman"! Later on, Yoshi gets picked up by a rescue ship after the Princess told him to return to her. Possible blooming romance for a Jedi?
I did not like this fill-in issue at all for all the reasons above. What I did like is the idea of a story that can take place anywhere and anytime in the Star Wars universe (it could even take place in the Tales of the Jedi era) and a nice break from the regular Quinlan Vos storyline. It also reminds me of the story in issues 53-54 of the old Marvel series where Leia crash lands on a Medieval-type planet and helps the local fight a General who allied himself with the Empire (that story was a conversion of an unused John Carter, Warlord of Mars story). But I definitely do not like the execution. It's always hit-or-miss when a new writer comes to the fold on a one-shot story, and this is one of the misses.
Green's artwork is a pretty typical superhero-type style, somewhat realistic but very simplified and cartoony. Enhancing the feeling of timelessness of the story are the designs of the ships (both Yoshi's and the Republic rescue ship), which are completely unfamiliar to the Star Wars universe. The Princess looks a lot like Zelda from the famous video games from Nintendo (Yoshi's name is another "link" to Nintendo, being a character from Super Mario World). The designs of the insect fighters and the battle droids are pretty cool, while the Yahk-Tosh Lord Gar-oth is very reminiscent of a Hutt. Otherwise, I'm pretty neutral on the artwork.
Lame story starring an annoying new Jedi character.
Rating: 3 / 10 Not Recommended