In praise of Star Wars Rebels

I'm changing the name of this blog, and #WeWantLeia is why

I spoil it for Siri

Guest Post: How I came back to Star Wars action figures by YASWB

Beatrice and I watch Star Wars together

[Review] William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich


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Entries in marvel (11)


Touring Marvel Star Wars

I'm really enjoying Brett White's "Touring Marvel's Star Wars" series on White (@brettwhite) is reviewing the old Marvel Star Wars comics, starting at number one. He does it with a lot of humour and also a lot of knowledge of the artists that drew, wrote and coloured those first comics. If you're an old-time Star Wars fan--and if you're not, why are you here?--you'll enjoy this.

Here's a sample from White's recent review of Star Wars #4:

The middle panel features a line from Han that was presumably added in by Thomas: "Y'know kid—getting back to the Falcon's going to be like flying thru the Five Fire Rings of Fornax!" Doesn't sound like Star Wars, does it? It sounds a lot like something out of a Flash Gordon serial or a pulp sci-fi novel, right? "Star Wars" is weird in that it both took heavy inspiration from that type of science fiction, but it also grounded it in reality—a reality set in a galaxy far, far away, but still a reality. You don't hear words with a lot of gratuitous Xs and Zs in "Star Wars." You get words like "Jedi" and "Wookiee," words that sound alien but lack any of the alien signifiers usually used. For example, George Lucas came up with "Kessel Run" and Roy Thomas came up with "Five Fire Rings of Fornax." Both are made up, but man, they really sound different.

It's great stuff. My only complaint is the needs to put up a page with all White's "Touring" posts in one place. If you want to start from the beginning and read them all (as I suggest you do), it's a bit of a hassle right now. Touring Marvel's Star Wars #4--Explodey-Wan Kenobi

For the first three parts of "Touring Marvel's Star Wars" click herehere & here


A fond look back at Marvel Star Wars on

Writing for, Jennifer Heddle has a nice appreciation of Marvel's original Star Wars comics run. From the post:

Only part of it is nostalgia. Yes, for a long time they were the only Star Wars fiction I could read, period, aside from my well-worn novelizations, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and the Brian Daley novels. When I discovered the comic books in a magazine shop, sometime between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it was a revelation. I eagerly devoured every issue I could find. And I was convinced that eventually there would be an issue where they would find Han Solo and rescue him from Boba Fett! Ah, the innocence of youth.

But it’s not just fond memories that make me a defender of those 107 issues. There was some meaty stuff in there, especially from a character perspective. As a Princess Leia fan, I loved that the comics actually took the time to explore her feelings about Alderaan being destroyed — I’ll never forget this one gorgeous full-page shot of her sitting in a chair, pensively thinking about her former planet. (I looked it up; it’s the first page of #53, “The Last Gift from Alderaan.”) Or the issue after Return of the Jedi (#81) where Han finds himself out of sorts and out of place and actually deals with the fact that he was frozen in carbonite for years, which was just what I wanted to read as a fan of that character.

There were great original characters, too. The Marvel comics gave us Fenn Shysa, a legitimate rival for poor frozen Han’s affections, and our first hint that Boba Fett was not the only one who wore that cool armor. There was Shira Brie, the spirited redhead in the Rebel Alliance who shared a bond with Luke but turned out to be an Imperial spy, and then resurfaced later as the vengeful Lumiya (who resurfaced again, even later, in the Legacy of the Force book series). There were the Nagai, truly chilling villains, an alien race that provided an opportunity to examine what it means to be human.

Marvel Star Wars was a big part of my Star Wars infatuation, and my childhood nerdiness generally, from about 1984 onwards. Click here for more of my blog posts about Marvel Star Wars, or pick up a copy of A Long Time Ago for the full story--in which Marvel Star Wars comics feature prominently starting at page 2!

Follow the link below for more of Heddle's reminiscences, and spend some time with the comments, too. Marvel's Star Wars Comics: More Than Just a Big Green Rabbit


Carmine Infantino has died

Carmine Infantino's glorious cover of Marvel Star Wars #14Celebrated comic book artist Carmine Infantino has died. He was 87. There is a review of his long career in the comic book industry on IGN here. What I knew him for was his work on the early Marvel Star Wars comics, which I began collecting in the mid-1980s, six or seven years after his contributions. Wookiepedia lists Infantino's artistic credits on Marvel Star Wars in its usual fanatical detail here. He pencilled nearly every issue between numbers 11 and 37, from 1978 to mid-1980, and drew a few more after Empire. His depictions of the characters did not often bear a close resemblance to the actors that played them in the films, but they were full of style and charm.

Infantino's renderings of Princess Leia really caught my attention. Today the "Slave Leia" cosplay phenomenon has turned Leia into something of a sex symbol, but there was really nothing sexual about her in Star Wars or Empire. Under Infantino's hand, however, Leia was smoking hot. Her figure did not quite reach the absurd proportions found in comics today (or even the mid-'80s) but George Lucas's gaffer tape was certainly removed. What really made Leia sexy, however, were the magnificently arched eyebrows, high cheekbones and full lips Infantino gave her: 

And here: 

And especially here:

Now that's sexy. I'll take Infantino's Leia over Slave Leia any day.


Marvel to re-acquire rights to Star Wars comics

No surprise, of course, given that Disney now owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm. A report from Blue Sky Disney claims that Marvel will regain the licence by 2015.

New Star Wars movies, new Marvel Star Wars comics. Weird.

Blue Sky Disney: A Marvelous, Dark Horse


In praise of Jaxxon

The above picture, and this homage, from Hope For the Future (@hf_tf): 

When Dark Horse started publishing Star Wars comics in the early 90s, it seemed to be editorial policy to bash the earlier Marvel run as an embarrassment....

The attitude towards the Marvel run was one I never quite understood as I had really enjoyed them, and took them pretty seriously, when I was growing up....

It seems that the only reason the Marvel comics were ever considered to be to be “goofy” and “camp” was the fact that a couple of the early issues featured a six foot tall green rabbit mercenary called Jaxxon.

OK maybe a gun toting, sarcastic bunny wouldn’t have worked in the movies, but comics are resolutely a different medium. Those early issues were a little crazy, but that was their charm. To an entire generation of Star Wars fans Jaxxon is not only the saga’s weirdest denizen, but also the symbol of a more innocent time. Hats off to you Jaxxon, and May The Holy Hutch Be With You.

Follow the link for more, including a full-sized copy of the pic.

Hope for the Future: Archive: Marvel Star Wars: Jaxxon


New Star Wars comic coming based on the original trilogy

My comic book reading days are mostly behind me, though I have picked up the occasional book from time to time (e.g. Y: The Last Man a few years back). I've never been interested in Dark Horse's Star Wars line of comics because, as far as I can tell, they always seem to be set in the prequel era or some other Expanded Universe setting that doesn't interest me at all.

But yesterday brought news that Dark Horse is introducing a new comic book in January, simply called Star Wars, which picks up the stories of the characters from the original trilogy immediately following the destruction of the first Death Star. From io9:

First off, what differentiates Star Wars from previous stories we've seen in the Expanded Universe? And why now for this series?

Randy Stradley: We — the Dark Horse editorial team and the folks at Lucas Books — felt that the time was right to rack focus back on the core characters of the Original Trilogy. It has been a few years since there had been any comics stories set in the era of the OT, as it's called, and the time was just right. Both we and Lucasfilm had ideas for how to return to the classic characters, and all told it took us about a year to work out a plan with which everyone was happy.

As for how this series is "different" from past entries in this time period, I guess the answer would be that we're trying very had to keep everything fresh — as if Episode IV had just come out in theaters. This is the Star Wars series for everyone who has loved the films, but has never delved into any of the comics or novels. There is no vast continuity that a reader needs to know beyond the events in A New Hope. This is the beginning of the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie.

It sounds like a sort of relaunch of the old Marvel Star Wars--but probably without Jaxxon the giant green rabbit. If any Star Wars comic might appeal to me, this would be it.

io9: A First Look At The Brand New Comic Star Wars (With Darth Vader Illustrated By Alex Ross!)


Marvel Star Wars bow tie

By Michael Johnson. Check out his other Star Wars bow ties here and here. Only US$20.

Etsy: Star Wars in Living Colour Bow tie


Cartoon Art Museum to host Marvel Star Wars night

If you're in the San Francisco area, mark this on your calendar. On Tuesday, 15 May, at 7 pm, the Cartoon Art Museum welcomes penciler Howard Chaykin and inker Steve Leialoha for a presentation on the origins of the Marvel Star Wars comic book and their experiences in creating the official Marvel Comics adaptation of the film. Admission is $7 for the general public and two-for-one if you're a member of the Cartoon Art Museum.

Cartoon Art Museum: Celebrating 35 Years of Star Wars Comic Books


McQuarrie's cover art to the original Star Wars novel

Neato Coolville has put together this animated GIF of Ralph McQuarrie's original cover art to the novelization of Star Wars which appeared in December 1976 under the name of George Lucas (although the true author was Alan Dean Foster). I hadn't seen this original cover before.

(If you want to see a non-animated version, click here.)

Neato Coolville: GIF Giving: Ralph McQuarrie's Star Wars Paperback

Also of interest: 30 Years Ago... (background on Star Wars novelization and comic book adaptation)


Retro Star Wars décor in my son's bedroom

The other day I posted an article from Apartment Therapy showing some attractively framed photographs of Kenner Star Wars action figures. About ten years ago now I decorated my bachelor suite in a somewhat similar fashion, but instead of displaying action figures I carefully selected six Marvel Star Wars comics from my collection and had them mounted and framed. The resulting piece is very colourful and has attracted a lot of attention--mostly positive!

Somewhat to my surprise, my girlfriend--later my fiancée and now my wife--especially liked the piece. But when we bought our first house we had trouble fitting it in with the rest of our décor. So it sat in our basement for a year or so until we found out we were expecting a boy. That news prompted us to dust off the piece and hang it in his room, awaiting his arrival. That was about eighteen months ago.

Jump ahead to three weeks ago. My wife wanted to spruce up the boy's room (he is now 13 months) and suggested we dip into my Star Wars collection again. She cleared a space on a shelf and invited me to put out some of my Kenner figurines. I began dreaming up an elaborate diaroma of Vader's duel with Obi-Wan, as Luke watches on helplessly. My wife quickly shot that idea down. "This is meant to be cool not nerdy", she explained. So I opted for a simple line-up of ten of the original twelve figures. My wife then combined these with some funky robot paintings she had picked up in a local shop. 

Star Wars corner (the rest of the room is SW-free)Marvel Star Wars ##7, 13, 15, 57, 60, and 97Kenner Star Wars: collect all 12!Close-up on Obi-WanWhat do you think? Mostly I really like it, but I have two reservations. Firstly, those are my actual played-with-for-hours-as-a-boy Star Wars figures. They have been safely in storage for the last twenty years. It makes me a little anxious to have them standing there on a shelf, exposed to who knows what disaster might befall them.

But I have a greater concern: I am not sure I want my son to inherit Star Wars from me. My childhood mania for the phenomenon--I don't say the movies because it was so much more than that--was excessive. While I have many fond memories of it all, I am not sure, looking back today, that it was entirely healthy. It wasn't terrible, of course. It was not a vice, it did not make me a bad person. But speaking as a father, I would prefer my children to have a wide variety of interests, without being singlemindedly obsessed with any of them. I almost feel I should keep Star Wars from my son, thus giving him a chance to discover it for himself, or even not to discover it at all and to develop his own interests instead.

But there is no hiding Star Wars. It's everywhere. I might as well try to conceal the moon from him. So I'll leave these Star Wars decorations out for now. If the little guy decides one day that he's not interested in reliving his dad's childhood, I'll be proud of him. But if he tries to pull my action figures' heads off, I'm putting them straight back into storage.