Review: Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi (or, Sorry, I Just Drooled On Your Artwork)
Oh boy. Oh baby. Oh lordy loo. How does one review a book with artwork of this caliber? This is the man who gave Star Wars its distinctive look. To look at a picture is to not only revel in the technical accomplishment, but to be overwhelmed by a flood of memories. Tony DiTerlizzi, the author of this book and the one who delivers us this children’s interpretation of the films, relays to us in the foreword of how, when he was seven years old, he first watched Star Wars on the big screen and became enamored with the masterpiece. I couldn’t help but be propelled to when I was of a similar age, first watching A New Hope. Although, technically, my first memory wasn’t of the movies. If you’re able to recall, when the Special Editions came out in 1997, they came in a large box set that housed the three movies, and when you put in the first tape (how old that word makes me feel) to the VCR it started with a short documentary on the special effects. I vaguely recall a bit of the Death Star miniature, and a car that kept on driving by it, for whatever reason. Though really my first clear memory was of making fart noises by opening the special edition box set. What? Don’t tell me you never did it. I know you did. For you see, I was watching you. Continue reading
Before & After the Special Editions:
Han and Greedo (Part 2)
Last week, I proposed that the exchanged blaster shots between Han and Greedo as seen in the Special Edition essentially changed the lovable smuggler from a “man trying to make his way in the universe” to a relatively shallow character who was inevitably poised to become a hero of the galaxy. This alteration has continued repercussions on his character development throughout the original trilogy as well as affecting the storyline of the Rebellion as a whole.
Before the change, Han Solo progressed from loner to leader. He made a deal to carry two men and two ‘droids to Alderaan for a hefty sum of money, not for a noble cause, and certainly not to rescue a princess. He was coerced into marching into the detention area for an even heftier sum of money. There is no evidence of altruism or heroism in him at all; he is, as the princess states, a mercenary. He made the trip to Yavin IV to collect his promised credits for passage to Alderaan plus the expected reward for rescuing the princess. As Y-Wings and X-Wings were being prepared for the battle ahead of them, Han was filling his hold with credits and cargo. When Luke confronts him about “turning [his] back on them,” Han encourages the youth to join him and Chewie because Luke was “pretty good in a fight”. As the younger man walks off, dejected, Han explains himself to his copilot — fighting against the Death Star was suicide. Still true to his character, Han Solo is in it for himself, hurrying to pay off old debts before he pays with his life.
But in that moment when Darth Vader has Luke’s X-Wing in his sights and his wingmen unexpectedly crash and careen into his TIE, Han Solo’s journey is complete (at least for this first installation in the saga). Although he claimed that he came back so Luke wouldn’t “get all the credit and take all the reward,” when he playfully shoves Luke at the base of his X-Wing, we all realize that there is more to him than money. He returned to fight alongside his friend, to come to the rescue when the call came his way. Han becomes heroic in the footsteps of Luke, who had immediately responded to Princess Leia’s holorecording by making it his mission to deliver the ‘droids to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Han’s motivation seems to stem from personal relationships, however, while Luke’s emphasis is on right and wrong. Therefore Han isn’t committed to the Rebellion, but loyal to his friends. Continue reading
Before & After the Special Editions:
Han and Greedo (Part 1)
Change is a part of life. It’s a part of growing up. Seasons change. Feelings change. Even friends change as we move from school to school, job to job, town to town, or even simply through the natural progression of events. But until the end of the last century, there were some things we took for granted would never change. Then came the Star Wars Special Editions, and even our presuppositions changed.
In truth, Star Wars has been changing since the first releases of the original film in 1977. There were different audio mixes with various voices in familiar roles even then. Most fans are aware that “Episode IV” and “A New Hope” were not in the opening scroll of the original cut; these were added in a later release. These changes, however, are usually overlooked (quite possibly because the earliest copies available on home video already included these early alterations).
Why Star Wars Rebels is the Closest Production to the Original Trilogy in Many Years
Disney XD’s latest show Star Wars Rebels officially aired last week, and fans tuned into the show not really knowing what to expect from this new chapter of Star Wars. With a completely new cast of characters and stories, we were uncertain of the outcome of this show. I think it’s safe to say that most fans were pretty blown away with what was witnessed on-screen.
Setting up a new chapter in the ever expanding Star Wars universe was a bold and dangerous move, one that Disney executed wonderfully with this new series. This new adventure takes place in a dark period of Jedi history, following the attacks of the Jedi council and the rise of Darth Vader. These unlikely Rebels come together to rebel against the Imperial army and fight for justice and freedom. Even though Darth Vader and the Emperor exist in this timeline, there have been no sightings of either of them yet, but they have left their mark on the galaxy at large, and this new show shows the effect that it had on a much wider spectrum, and on a larger scale. It’s not quite as dark as The Revenge of the Sith set out to be, and it’s been toned to appeal to more of a family audience, but it still gets the message across well enough. These Star Wars television series are so fantastic, it makes me wonder why Lucas didn’t move from the original trilogy straight to the television series.