Star Wars #21
By Arch Snite
August 14, 2016 - 20:16
Writer(s): Jason Aaron
Penciller(s): Jorge Molina
Something is rotten in the Galactic Empire. Or the New Republic. Or the First Order. Or whatever we’re calling it these days.
I’d love Star Wars #21 if it weren’t a Star Wars story. The action is terrific, the art is attractive, and the layout’s in perfect step with the pace. The problem? This issue misses the spirit of the franchise, even more than Attack of the Clones.
However, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. And not the amorphous, original trilogy kind.
Kreel’s character development is an example of how Star Wars is ceasing to be Star Wars under Disney’s control.
Kreel loves the Empire because of their brand of order. “The Rebels want you to think they’re fighting for freedom. Don’t believe a word of their lies. I never knew freedom existed until the Empire came. Freedom means law. Freedom means order. All the Rebels want is chaos.” Why does Kreel love an “order” that, despite this, destroyed Alderaan? The Empire liberated his planet from a corrupt and violent caste system, and gave him a chance at a better life.
Two problems with this.
Second, the way Aaron’s humanizing the stormtroopers is out of line with how the original Star Wars works. Not that Star Wars doesn’t have room for nuance or humanized villains (like Vader’s transformation in Jedi). Aaron’s story is confused because Star Wars isn’t about politics. At no point during the original trilogy do you see a stormtrooper’s face. The Imperial officers whose faces you do see are were always hidden behind a convincing mask of arrogance. In either case, that “mask” was there for a reason.
Star Wars isn’t about reality, be it physical or political. If it were, the dismemberments (Luke’s hand, Qui-Gon’s stomach hole) wouldn’t be so clean. The blasters would leave burning holes in people. There wouldn’t be noise in space.
Lucas famously called Star Wars space fantasy. Not science fiction, not political fiction. The universe of Star Wars is closest, if anything, to fairy tale or myth (the sterilized, Americanized type that makes the Grimms less, well, grim).
A shoutout to anyone listening at Marvel, Disney, or Lucasfilm: please stop altering this franchise. We had one franchise-altering event with the prequel trilogy, but that at least had the creator’s stamp of approval (thank the maker…sort of?). Please don’t drag this story and this universe any further from its roots.
On the other hand, universes change. Franchises change. It happens. Before I get any further depressed, I’m going to go read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and put the wilhelm scream on loop.
Worth the money? This isn’t the comic you’re looking for.
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