So, what did everyone think of the first issue of the "Darklighter" story arc? Personally, I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, and it didn't live up to my already iffy expectations.
The thing that bothered me the most was that it was way too crowded. Like Kevin J Anderson's "Jedi Academy" trilogy, there were way too many characters and critters popping up. "Hey, they're outside; what a great excuse to draw some scurriers running around! That rock there looks like a great place for some Tuskens; never mind that they won't actually do anything."
Two of these completely pointless cameos were really annoying. Why in the name of all that's holy is there a freakin' X-Wing fighter in the Anchorhead garage in the last panel? Maybe the artist was trying to be abstract, but it didn't work.
And can anyone in the Star Wars galaxy not know about the Death Stars? Seriously, how did Tarkin rise to be Grand Moff if he is constantly blabbing, even to Academy graduates, about the most powerful (not to mention top secret) weapon the galaxy's ever known? His speech, and every single reference to the Death Star afterwards, was completely ridiculous. "Hey, Dad, the governor of this sector's got a thing called a 'Death Star' that blows up planets. Tell your friends." It's worse than everyone but the Rebels knowing the second Death Star was operational in the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy.
But those complaints don't even compare to my big problem with this story. We're told Biggs is lying to Luke in the classic cut scene where he tells about some friends planning to defect to the Rebellion! And it gives the impression that the next few issues will fill in what really went on during those "several eventful months" the story refers to just before Biggs' return to Tatooine.
Can the Expanded Universe writers ever leave well enough alone? Seriously. This should be an Infinities tale, because in my book, Biggs is telling the honest truth to Luke and knows nothing about the Death Star prior to his joining the Rebellion (which occurred just after the droids landed on Tatooine).
I was disapointed with the initial story and I would have wished that bigs didn't return to meet up with luke on Tatt.
In the special editions luke is suprised to see bigs there, and now with bigs back on Tatt. Sort of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was hoping the story line would have been when they were younger and how they became friends and end when bigs goes off to the academy...but hey...they ain't paying me to write, draw or color.
And yea, what's up with the X-wing in the scrap pile...
Here's another question: On page 7, Luke and Biggs are sitting on the dome roof. Panel 2 shows somethings flying thru the air. Mynocks? Why include them? L and B don't notice them, aren't frightened by them?
Overall i liked the story w/ Biggs. I also liked seeing some Imperial cadets questioning the "morality" of the Empire and if they're doing the right thing. Biggs and Klivian were really sweating it out when they received their ship assignments :).
Liked seeing Luke get called Wormie!
As for knowledge of the DS... It's already been established that a bunch of Imp's know about it (in the Radio show). Remeber, that by the time ANH starts, it is fully operational, staffed w/ about a million people. I think that they went too far in the way they had Tarkin refer to it, but the part where he was talking about establishing order thru fear felt pretty close to his character.
As for the X-Wing, it was just foreshadowing what was to come w/ biggs joining the Alliance. I thought I had heard about Biggs' ship, the Rand Ecliptic, defecting to the Alliance, but maybe it was just individuals that jumped ship. Anyone know for sure?
I thought the issue was pretty descent, although I didn't care all too much for all the 'Wormie' comments.
Luke getting put down too much, and the feeling of the hopeless farmboy seemed to be more for the makings of a disney movie than SW. I was just waiting for him to belt into a musical number about how his friends don't think he can fly.
I'm not a fan of musicals, but as long as it's better than the SW Holiday Special I'd go see it :) .
The Imperial Academy turned out a bunch of regular SW characters that are hot shot pilots.
In an upper class, Baron Soontir Fel was classmates with Lt. Han Solo.
Solo graduated possibly above Fel in their class, I think Han was second, Fel third perhaps.
Solo was court-martialed a year after being sent on active duty for attacking his superior officer and freeing a Wookiee Slave.
Fel became a flight instructor.
Fel was later demoted due to the hijacking of the Imperial cargo freighter Rand Ecliptic, and he became the Executive Officer of the worst TIE Fighter squadron in the Empire under Evir Derricote - the One-Eighty-Worst, and after some time, he turned the 181st into the best and most-feared Interceptor squadron in the galaxy.
"Instructor" Fel had many students, men approximately 4-5 years younger than him, as he began his career. After not long, he got 3 interesting cases amongst his pupils:
Derek Hobbie Klivian - from?
Biggs Darklighter - from Tatooine
Tycho Celchu - from Alderaan
There might've been 1 more.
As far as I know:
Jek Porkins was from Bestine and never attended the Academy. They wouldn't let him in because of his weight.
Zev Senesca was an older pilot, possibly an Academy graduate, but likely from a class before Fel had even been enrolled.
Wes Janson is a mystery to me. He may or may not have had Academy training.
Luke Skywalker was from Tatooine and never had formal flight training of any kind.
Dak Raaltir was possibly younger than Cmdr. Luke Skywalker.
Wedge Antilles was 1 year younger than Luke Skywalker, hailed from Corellia, and never had formal flight school.
I don't think it was an X-wing. If you look closely the ship only has two engines - not four. Could be the ship that precedes the X-wing. Wasn't it the Z-95 head hunter?
yeah, I was thinking that when I saw the picture, but I recall it still looking like it had 4 engines and was a functional X-wing.
To me, EITHER SHIP, is too over-the-top and it was a poor choice for the otherwise talented artist. I think omission is also expression. We know these two grow up to be the Alliance's top fighter pilots, and I also like the way Luke checks out the ships like he'd never seen a new T-65 starfighter up close before - kind of like us visiting a military airbase and all the "ooos" and 'aaahs'.
But it sure was great to have more Biggs!
It's over. Thankfully.
Altogether, this story has sucked pretty hard, as did the pointless interlude about some cornball Rebel I don't even care to remember. Pretty nice art overall, even with the weird abstractions and foreshadowing.
As with the unfortunate additions to the SE (which, not givent the context of the Tatooine scene, makes Biggs look like a pompous jerk IMHO), this makes me sorta glad when Biggs eats it in the end.
Keep the artist, lose the writer!
Empire has sucked next to Republic, and it doesn't have to. Either era is equally appealing, but what they're doing with Empire....nah.
It should be a larger on-going story. If new characters are added, they should stay in the picture. If older ones are used, like Hobbie, they should be continuously developed - and grow their heroics.
My critique is almost irrelevant because I don't have the time to be anything but vague at the moment. But feelings count as well - and I feel I can't wait for the next issue of Republic, but Empire could take a year's hiatus and I wouldn't care.
I do buy both, as most of us do, but I hope that doesn't mean Dark Horse doesn't care about how much we're enjoying our purchases.
But some writers like John Ostrander (Republic, Jedi) have it going on and they know how to write great stories. More like John, less like what's been happening with Empire.
Heck, give Kevin Rubio a serious story to write. He's good a comedy, but he has a great grasp of the Imperial era and knows what's cool to do in Star Wars. At this point, I'd ask him over to develop more serious stories for Empire (and leave his comedy out of that series).