‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Golden Age of the Sith’ and ‘Fall of the Sith Empire’ (1996-97) (Comic book reviews)

 

Similar to following evolutionary theory backward to the Big Bang, “Star Wars” stories always seem to have a backstory, no matter how far back on the timeline they take place. 1993’s “Tales of the Jedi,” which takes place 4,000 years before “A New Hope,” aimed to give some historic flavor to the Force. But writers Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson (who took the reins on the “TOTJ” sequels) inevitably gave this backstory a backstory.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘The Freedon Nadd Uprising’/‘Dark Lords of the Sith’/‘The Sith War’ (1994-96) (Comic book reviews)

  

When I first saw “Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” I was a bit disappointed that the Emperor was already, for all intents and purposes, the Emperor — he was already evil. As the prequels went on we learned how he gained power over the galaxy, but not why he sought that power. Certainly, the novel “Darth Plagueis” eventually filled in Palpatine’s backstory, and certainly, the prequels gave us Anakin’s fall to the dark side (facilitated by Palpatine), but it illustrated a common not-so-great trend in “falls to the dark side” in “Star Wars”: It’s too often a matter of plotting more so than characterization.

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‘Buffy’ Season 9 titles picking up momentum with mix of old and new (Comic books commentary)

There are no spinoff TV series, movies or books, but almost nine years after “Angel” aired its final episode, the Buffyverse is thriving in comics. In fact, there are currently four titles going under the Season 9 banner: The regular titles “Buffy” and “Angel & Faith,” plus the miniseries “Spike: A Dark Place” and “Willow: Wonderland.”

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9 reasons why the ‘Star Wars’ sequel trilogy will respect, not ignore, the Expanded Universe (Commentary)

As I kind of expected — but don’t really understand — the consensus in the world of fans and punditry in the wake of the “Star Wars — Episode VII” announcement is that the sequels will almost certainly ignore the Expanded Universe of novels and comics. The ForceCast’s Jimmy Mac surmised that “Episode VII” would take place 20 years after “Return of the Jedi” (since we know the movie will be a brand-new story, that timeline placement would overwrite established canon) and he and co-host Jason came up with all kinds of non-EU-related theories in their first episode after the announcement. Meanwhile, the Star Wars Book Report host said the announcement means “the EU will be blown out of the water” and that we’ll just have to accept that in order to enjoy the new movies.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Tales of the Jedi’ (1993) (Comic book review)

For the sake of simplicity, “Star Wars” stories can be divided into four eras. The classic trilogy era started with the movie “Star Wars” (1977), the post-“Return of the Jedi” era started in earnest with the book “Heir to the Empire” (1991) and the prequel era started in earnest with the movie “The Phantom Menace” (1999). That leaves the ancient era, which started with the comic book “Tales of the Jedi” (1993). The first “TOTJ” series, with Onderon as its main location, is ripe for the flashback treatment due to the planet being the site of the current “Clone Wars” arc.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: ‘Han Solo at Stars’ End’ (1979-80) (Book and comic review)

 

In an interview with Star Wars Insider, Jeff Grubb (author of the new novel “Scourge,” which I’ll review in a future post), separates “Star Wars” novels into three categories: Jedi books, war books and “scum and villainy” books. That latter are his favorite, and I concur.

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‘Star Wars’ flashback: Marvel’s ‘Ewoks’ and ‘Droids’ (1985-87) (Comic book reviews)

 

Ask “Star Wars” fans to list notoriously bad “Star Wars” yarns through the years, and No. 1 will of course be the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.” Some will add the two “Ewoks” movies and some will throw in the “Ewoks” and “Droids” cartoons (assessments that I disagree with). Some will mention the giant green rabbit from the early Marvel comics (I can see their point) and some will point to the very end of the Marvel comics run (with good reason).

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First episode impressions: ‘Comic Book Men’ (TV review)

As a TV geek, I respect and revere comic book geeks. Pop into any decent comic shop and those rows upon rows of long-boxed back issues attest to the richness of the medium since its inception in 1933. Because of that, it seems more impressive to achieve a high level of knowledge about comics than it does TV or films.

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Joss Whedon and ‘Buffy’ Season 9 get back to basics … basically (Comic book review)

Since the beginning of “Buffy,” I’ve found myself liking the characters more and more and the world they live in — the “mythology,” in geek-speak — less and less. (I’m talking in generalities; obviously, Angel’s backstory in Season 2 was a great addition to the mythology, for example.) It puts me in a weird position going into Season 9 of “Buffy” (and the corresponding “Angel & Faith”) from Dark Horse Comics, because with the whole world knowing about vampires and demons and Slayers, it doesn’t feel like those wonderful early days. But on the other hand, I love me some “Buffy” characters like never before.

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Luke Skywalker must die? Not necessarily (‘Star Wars’ books and comics commentary)

An entertaining “Star Wars” fandom debate broke out recently, prompted by FANgirl’s provocatively titled blog post “Luke Skywalker Must Die.” Jason at The ForceCast podcast blasted her post a couple episodes ago (May 20) and then he and his co-host, Jimmy Mac, had FANgirl (real name: Tricia) as a guest on the latest episode (May 27).

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