TWS: Thinkin’ ‘Bout Ink – Star Wars #21 + Darth Vader #23

Marvel Star WarsIf it pleases the court, I’d like to present this week’s evidence of awesome Star Wars comic book adventures:  Star Wars #21 and Darth Vader #23. First of all, I’m pretty sure Star Wars #21 is my favorite new Star Wars comic to date, and I have a feeling this current arc may cause it to leap over the Darth Vader series into first place (especially since that series is almost over). But wait, then you have Darth Vader #23 saying “not so fast, SCAR Squadron, you answer to Vader personally, so that means you can’t leap frog his book until the fat lady sings, and she’s barely warmed up”…so, anyway, enough jibber-jabber, let’s get this ink-stravaganza rolling!

Star Wars #21
StarWars21I know I said “pretty sure” in the intro, but if someone said I was about to be abducted to a deserted island and could only take one comic with me, it’d be Star Wars #21. I love everything about it:  the pro-Empire point of view, the new Stormtrooper designs, the idea that not all Stormtroopers were unable to hit the broad side of a barn with a bazooka (think about that for a second, though, the Stormtroopers that ran from Han and subsequently couldn’t hit him or anyone, for that matter, were on the Death Star…well, wouldn’t you station your most inept troopers on the battle station that you assume is invincible?), and it even has Ant-man (obviously this is a joke, but look at the trooper on the right side of the top panel on page 15…that’s totally Ant-man!).  So, for starters, let’s talk about how this is really the first time we’ve heard of a planet that was genuinely helped by the Empire. So often it’s a story that starts out seeming as if the Empire is doing good, only to turn into them destroying the planet for resources and making the people more destitute than they were before (like in Lost Stars, for example), but Kreel and his people were literally and figuratively pulled from the pits and given real lives by Imperial rule…from what we know so far, I’m not sure the New Republic has been able to pull that off; in fact, situations where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (though also common during the Empire), seem to be a theme under the New Republic, especially when illegality is left unchecked. I really liked seeing the SCAR Troopers work together as a team, and each have personalities and specialties that they brought to the table. It really reminded me of a Clone Wars episode. And, really, swap the SCAR Troopers for Bad Batch and the Rebels for Separatists, and it easily could be…you wouldn’t really need to change anything else…well, except Kreel’s use of a lightsaber at the end, which was sweet. Under most circumstances, I prefer lightsabers to be wielded only by those strong in the Force (or Han Solo if he’s cutting up a tauntuan), but it makes perfect sense for his character, and I like that he held off on using it to save it for a “wow factor” moment instead of flashing it around at any opportunity, like to cut an apple or something. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Luke & company deal with these super troopers…like I said, this has the potential to make Star Wars the series I look forward to most…

Darth Vader #23
DarthVader23Alright, so, once again, we’re left with a “how’s he going to get out of this one” cliffhanger. It’s getting a little stale, but I’m actually really curious to see how they resolve his current predicament of being “unplugged,” so to speak…my best guess is he’ll summon the Force with the living portion of his body that remains (as he always does), and somehow override the switch, or he’ll float his lightsaber up on lop off Cylo’s goofy head and then Force-press the button to turn himself back on…or maybe he’ll just do that first, then dispatch Cylo…I guess there are several options…but, based on the “next issue” panel, I have a feeling that being released from his cybernetics is going to ease the constant pain he says he uses to channel the dark side in Lords of the Sith, and allow him to have a disconnected, more Anakin flashback moment where he thinks about Padme and how things could have been before realization sets in and brings Vader back to the forefront to rain destruction down on all those that oppose him and the Emperor. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if #24 all takes place in Vader/Anakin’s mind, and the last thing we see is him overcoming the cybernetic lockdown, allowing the final destruction of Cylo to take place in the final book of the series. Now, the real question is:  what’s going to become of Dr. Aphra? I think she did the smartest thing possible to save her own skin by staying behind and not bailing, but I’m not sure it’s going to work…I certainly hope it does, but I’m not going to hold my breath for her…or the droids, to be honest, I have a feeling Vader’s going to wipe the slate clean of all parties involved…which hopefully doesn’t mean Krrsantan is toast too, because, I mean, you know me, I love Wookiees, but I’m not going to be holding my breath for him either. I really think #25 is going to be a blood bath that ends with the Emperor and the gassed Stormtroopers coming to and finding Vader, alone and victorious, at the helm of his new flagship…

Well, well, well…so what do you guys think? Is Star Wars #21 the best comic yet, or am I some kind of Imperial sympathizer wacko? Did you think it was the worst book and there’s nothing better than Darth Vader #23? How’s li’l’ Anni going to get out of his current cliffhanger? Do you think some kind of flashback issue followed by total destruction is what the writers have in store for us, or am I way off the mark? What do you think will eventually happen to the SCAR Troopers? Will they, in a strange twist of fate, destroy the Rebellion and bring peace and prosperity to the Empire, thus negating all the films after A New Hope? (C’mon, that’s an easy one, I think anyone that reads this can respond to that one.) Anyway, give the books a thorough second read and let me know what you think in the comments…or I’ll have a certain non-rubbish sniper camp out near your house somewhere and, when you least expect it…well, you know…until next time, TWS out.


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