Star Wars Tales #15
Star Wars Tales #15 (Photo Cover)
Story: Jason Hall, Nathan Walker, Jim Beard, Jay Laird, Scott Lobdell, Brian Augustyn
Pencils: Sunny Lee, Kilian Plunkett, Todd Nauck, Timothy II, Sean Murphy, Paco Medina
Cover: Leinil Francis Yu
Editor: Dave Land
Reviewed by: Mike Cooper (04/08/2003)
[Read Scott Chitwood's review]
The Luke/Leia issue: Luke meets an odd little boy in the desert, Leia meets the Emperor, Luke almost goes to the moon, Luke and Leia discuss their relationship with each other (and Han) in the wake of Endor, Luke meets a bounty hunter on Dagobah, and Leia kicks Imp butt Farrah Fawcett-style.
"I Guess They Showed Me", or
Mike's Reasonably Belated Review of Star Wars Tales #15
Let me start off by saying that Lucas Marangon and Dave Land apparently want to ruin the slave costume for me. That is all.
This has to be the first entirely enjoyable issue of Tales in at least a year and a half. The series has had its ups and downs (most notably #12), but finally, I get an issue without a single black stain.
Figuratively speaking, of course. If the book had actual black stains on it I'd be pretty pissed.
Sandstorm - Ah, Jason Hall. You just keep popping 'em out. I got chills when Anakin appeared. I'd die to see a scene like that in one of the movies; with Vader's dark profile and shards of future confrontations echoing from...wherever. The artist did a good job of melding prequel and classic images into one environment, but considering Luke's age at this point I would've liked to see Owen and Beru look a little more like their Prequel selves. Though I imagine Tatooine would hardly do wonders for the aging process.
First Impressions - First of all, beautiful art by Kilian Plunkett. I've always liked this guy. Moving on, it's so wonderful that we're finally getting some stuff with Bail Organa. His status around this time period's always been pretty much set in stone; it seems like everyone was just waiting for a visual reference so they could cut loose. The story's pretty much a sequence of great little moments: TIEs surrounding a very familiar docking platform, the best-looking Caamasi rendition I've seen thus far, poor Bail insisting that the Senate is still worth something, and most of all, Palpatine talking about her "father's fire" with Vader sitting right behind him. One recurring theme in this issue seems to be expertly well-placed references to established EU; in this case, it's that Caamasi. Though Walker could've come up with a better name than Eg'ros Akala. It seems so familiar...
Falling Star - One minor complaint straight off: I hate it when authors feel the need to use characters' full names like in the first two panels here. I think it should be pretty obvious to most people that we're looking at Biggs and (especially) Luke. Even if you're a casual enough fan that you wouldn't recognize Biggs on your own, knowing it's him isn't necessary enough to the story to warrant cheesy-sounding dialogue. In any event, this is a great little story, and one that's perfectly suited for the Tales format. It's also the first time anyone's ever dealt with Tatooine's moons. All this time, I knew they were being used for something! They did a nice job on this one, though I'm hereby petitioning for a boycott on authors using "power convertors" and "Tosche Station" in the same sentence from now on. It just stirs up bad memories. This story's pleasantly surprising EU moment: they actually called the transport a Gallofree! (EDIT - 4/10 - Another pleasantly surprising factoid, pointed out by the author himself at DarkHorse.com: If you look closely, you'll see a familiar cloaked figure shadowing Luke on three different panels! Very nice!)
Do Or Do Not - In many ways, this issue is the polar opposite of #12, which some of you may remember I trashed thoroughly. One thing I complained about was the pointlessness of Wedge's story, in particular its shunning of continuity. Well listen up, folks: this here's the prime example of when that's okay. Ignores Truce at Bakura? Check. Good (and nicely unique) art? Check. An actual reason the story's worth telling (great glimpses into the post-Endor mindset of Luke and Leia, added depth to the eventual formation of the Jedi Academy)? Check. Creepy winking Yoda? Check. I did kinda get a bad feeling about Luke's "over five years" line, though. But what the hell; it's Infinities.
Slippery Slope - Scott Lobdell! Woohoo! Dark Horse, keep the big names coming. Great dialogue, one-of-a-kind art, and a funny droid. What more can I say? It's frightening that a machine can be programmed to lie that creatively.
Lucky Stars - This one would best be reviewed by a series of excerpts from my mental process as I read it. Page 1: Elerion? How do you pronounce that? White hair, is that Winter? Nope, it's "General Hundeen". Page 2: What the...is that a blonde Chiss? Nah, probably some other species, or a human with dyed skin. On the other hand, she's got red eyes... Page 3: Man, this gives new meaning to the term "estrogen brigade". Page 5, bottom right panel: Eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!!! Is there a single species in this galaxy that isn't attracted to humans?? Page 7: Is that a Shistavanen or what? They keep calling him Weasel, so probably not... Page 8, top half: Well, that was easy enough. Page 9: Okay, I can't believe a heterosexual male is thinking this way, but just once I'd like to see a strong-willed female character that doesn't immediately resort to trampiness when they want to accomplish something. Page 9, panel 3: Heheh. He said "floozies". Page 10, top right panel: I could be wrong, but I do believe that's the first time in the history of Star Wars someone's had a weapon pointed at their crotch as a method of intimidation. Page 10, bottom left panel: Eew again. Page 11, panel 3: I could be wrong, but I do believe that's the reference to porn in the history of Star Wars. Page 11, bottom middle panel: Heheh. That's guy's got a chicken head. Page 12: Mr. Bigglesworth, your claws are digging into my back! Get off, get off! Page 14, bottom left panel: Just put 'em in the Charlie's Angels pose, why don't ya?
So all in all, a consistently enjoyable issue. A couple weird moments here and there, and some decidedly unexpected innuendo toward the end, but enjoyable is enjoyable. Keep it up, fellas.
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