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Star Wars—Free Comic Book Day Special
posted June 7, 2005

Creators: Miles Lane, Nicola Scott, Michael Atiyeh, Michael David Thomas, Michael Sutfin and Dan Jackson
Publishing Information: Dark Horse Comics, 32 pags, Free, May 2005.
Ordering Numbers:

I saw the third Star Wars movie the other day at a matinee and in the words of Master Yoda, "Suck that movie did." My problem with it wasn't the bad acting or even the bad dialogue -- something the original trilogy had loads of -- but that it failed first and foremost as an action picture. Maybe two out of thirty action set pieces had a clear sense of story-driven purpose: communicating what needed to be done, what the obstacles were and how they needed to be vanquished, and then showing people working at the top of their well-defined abilities to get these things done. Action just sort of happens in Revenge of the Sith. What's weird is that this is what the first movies did in spades. Go into the trench, shoot this, blow this up. Engage the enemy, distract them while the shields go down, escape. Take out the force field, attack the new Death Star. And so on. The lack of this kind of fundamental action moviemaking values results in the feeling of someone following a script in order that everything can be in place for Mark Hamill and the gang to take over, like they were being hustled offstage and into positions. When Yoda suggests to Senator Sifuentes it's time to go into exile because he got bruised a bit in a fall during a pretty close fight with, you know, all that's evil in the universe, logic dictates the puppet might attempt a round two rather than go sit in his own shit on some swamp planet for twenty years. It's that kind of movie, though. Bring on the next effects shot, the next story point, the next continuity tweak. It may be the first self-important piece of art, as opposed to art from a self-important artist.

This free comic book offering from Dark Horse comics features the characters of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi attempting an attack on a fortress where the dreaded Count Dooku is believed to be arriving. The story builds okay, the characters look mainstream-company presentable and are competently depicted and dialogued, and there are hints at fundamental characterization that I would have approved of as a nine-year-old. I can't imagine a real die-hard Star Wars fans would ask for too much more if all they're looking for is a continued pass into this thinly-realized world. The story does just kind of end, without a out of nowhere save that fails to take into account all of the problems that would logically be in play as a result of the two heroes' actions. At that point it reminded me of the movie, and I wanted no more to do with. Fortunately, by that time, the comic was over.