Lit Star Wars #20: A Shattered Hope, part 2 (of 2) - The End Of Star Wood & Of Our Suffering

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The2ndQuest, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    [IMG]


    The end of an era!
    Star Wars #20
    Brian Wood (W), Carlos D’Anda (A), Gabe Eltaeb (C), and Hugh Fleming (Cover)
    On sale Aug 13
    FC, 32 pages
    $2.99
    Ongoing

    Leia risks it all for a friend she hasn’t seen since childhood! Han, Luke, and Chewie risk it all for Leia!
    Brian Wood and Carlos D’Anda say farewell to that galaxy far, far away before they send our heroes to an unknown fate!

    “This is a great read and has been each and every issue.”—Comics List



    Little known fact: Comics List loves reviewing things on opposite day.
  2. Rogue Five Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2014
    star 2
    I love the title. Of the post, not the comic.

    At least this series had pretty covers.
  3. DelRiego Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2
    I bet people will buy back issues of this thinking it's Star Waaron xD
  4. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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  5. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Star Waru!

    Yeah, so, sue me, I don't understand all this Waaron or Warvel stuff. :p
    DelRiego likes this.
  6. darkchrono Force Ghost

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    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    Was this supposed to be an ongoing series but got cut short when the EU got rebooted. Or was it always just planned to be a 20 issue series?
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Brian Wood's run on the series was also going to be finite (though I think there were indications his run would have gone for another arc's worth of issues, no?) but it was intended to be an ongoing series. So, had DHC retained the SW license, then you would have had another writer (or writers) come aboard after he was done.
  8. DelRiego Force Ghost

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    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2
    In retrospective, this series was a proto-EU reboot [face_sick]
  9. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    I've never really been able to get a straight answer on this: what was so bad about Star Wood anyway? I never bothered with it, but that was mostly because I thought it was unnecessary.
  10. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4

    I could be absolutely wrong on this since I never read the comic but from what I gathered from the posts and descriptions of it on this forum is that it was basically just a Han...Leia....Luke go on an adventure this time and next time they go on a different adventure. It doesn't sound like there were a whole lot of serious plot lines going on. It was more or less just a popcorn movie type of story.
    Vthuil likes this.
  11. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    Let's just say it... wasn't very coherent. For instance, the first arc involved Leia setting up some sort of, um, what was it, elite stealth squadron for some reason or another. You had Luke flirting with random girl pilots, but after an arc or two, they're just gone. Same with this other recurring character, killed off-screen after accomplishing nothing but getting a lot of page time for some reason. A lot of other plots were also very... random and hard to follow, not because they were convoluted (well, some were) but because they were nonsensical. That combined with the (formerly) busy time period after Yavin and before Hoth, the same old tired storylines (find a base that's not Hoth), and it just felt like such a waste of a series. There was also some outside controversy about the author, but I try to steer clear of that. Also there was this plot where Boba Fett chased Han across Coruscant in a starship battle... for three, four issues? Chases are not supposed to last that long.

    About the only really good thing was this one cover drawn by Sean Cooke, but other that, best to avoid this series.

    At last, its almost over. If this series had been printed about five years ago, it would have just been forgotten and only brought up as a warning of what a good Star Wars story does NOT look like. Now, unfortunately, its part of an end of an era. Though it was probably part of Dark Horse's strategy of mostly playing it safe (with a few exceptions like Legacy) as there were probably negotiations over the license and the general state of the EU post-Disney buyout, but we got the most likely outcome, unfortunately (no more Dark Horse license, no more EU).

    At least the series had nice covers. Too bad Dark Horse couldn't see a few books made up of nothing but their Star Wars issue covers (since their TPBs usually don't have all of them).
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Mostly what Nobody said above (though the Han/Boba chase lasted 6 or more issues, often with only 2 panels per issue). It was just very poorly structured and told with lots of build up to payoffs that happened offscreen and revealed offhandedly. And the few reveals that actually did happen onscreen had convoluted twists that made no sense in the context of events leading up to them. The few attempts to retroactively add relevance to some events also made no sense.

    Additional characters would be built up as having some importance over the course of several issues, only to be killed off, once again, offscreen and mentioned offhandedly. The visual storytelling was often confusing due to the "only a couple panels from another subplot" popping in and out of existence (one example I often mention: if you read the first few issues and, at one point, wonder why Boba Fett is working for Mon Mothma, well, he isn't).

    Add to that some cliched and overused plots (particularly the awful arc running between #15-18), the wobbly continuity/chronology placement (its supposedly set only 2 months ABY, despite the rebels being off Yavin which didn't happen until 6 months ABY, but even accepting that, there's a constant amount of confusing information, setting tone and utilized elements- Vader knowing Luke's name, Luke hearing Ben, stuff like TIE Interceptors, the Executor, a near-complete DS2 plus Hoth gear/outfits/attitudes that either suggest a placement much closer to ESB or actually closer to ANH than even what they claim) and repeated missed opportunities to capitalize on the few concepts that held interest and potential to explore and it's just a total mess- one could potentially forgive poor continuity if the story held up, but it doesn't even have that going for it.

    The only redeeming feature of the series, other than the cover artwork, is that Wood would often get one or two small, but absolutely spot-on, great character moments in every issue or so. It's just that they're strung together with uninteresting filler.
    Last edited by The2ndQuest, Jul 31, 2014
  13. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    I wonder if the series would have been entirely different had Disney never bought Star Wars. Although it wasn't publicly known that the EU was going to get re-booted until a few months ago people like Brian Wood would have had to of known (likely almost from the beginning) how the situation was going to turn out. I wonder if he really had his hands tied about what he could tell stories about due to the Disney purchase.

    Of course that is still in no way shape or form fair to the fans making them pay for a watered down piece of work but it still makes you wonder if Lucasfilm/arts was restricting him over what stories he could tell
    Last edited by darkchrono, Jul 31, 2014
  14. DelRiego Force Ghost

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    Mar 12, 2002
    star 2

    I don't think they were that open about the reboot (especially since DH wasn't gonna be in it) but there definitely was a directive to do OT-related stuff, like with the latest novels.
  15. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    IIRC, Randy said DHC was informed of the license loss back in Oct or Nov but held off on announcing it until after the holidays.

    Which means the first 12 issues or so of Star Wood was already printed or in production. The Marvel announcement could only have theoretically affected the final 8 issues. So, at best, it might explain the truncated plots as they potentially regeared the series towards a larger scale arc (albeit one that wasn't worth that sacrifice).

    However, given that Wood's run was either complete or close to complete, I don't think much was changed other than "end the series, don't set it up for the next writer".
  16. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    So, essentially, a bunch of unrelated mini-series under the guise of an ongoing series, that sums up all that reasons why keeping comics "easy to jump into" by not having later arcs refer back to earlier arcs doesn't work and just makes it bland.

    Good to know that next year we're therefore going to have exactly the same thing all over again! :p
    Riv_Shiel likes this.
  17. jafo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Easy to jump on points don't work because they are used as 'status quo' changing events. Rather, comics should adhere to the Jim Shooter 'every comic is someone's first comic' philosophy. Every issue can be seen as a jumping on point. Couple that with the illusion of change rather than change and you have a formula that worked for decades. Constant reboot / renumbering just provides sporadic spikes in sales but the general curve is downwards.

    I imagine we will have lots of relaunches under Marvel, which I guess is not a million miles form what Dark Horse did with things like Darth Vader or Dark Times.
    Zorrixor likes this.
  18. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Sep 8, 2004
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    Agreed.

    It may take more effort to ensure every issue is a "jumping on point", but it definitely is so much better when an author can still maintain that illusion, even while still keeping an ongoing narrative progressing. That's where I feel a lot of the mini-series in recent years went wrong, as either they just kept up the status quo and nothing worthwhile happened (see Star Wood), or they weren't jump on points, and the numbering may actually have made it harder to get into things (take DOTJ, would someone have had any clue what that series was about if they started at #1 of Force Storm?).

    Agent of the Empire is a good example of what works, I think, as it had an ongoing story, and did develop between the arcs, and yet Ostrander simultaneously managed to make the second arc perfectly accessible to a new reader. A shame it didn't do very well, but... I guess the masses wanted more laser swords. [face_sigh]
    Valin__Kenobi likes this.
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Do you really believe that Zorr?
  20. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Jan 3, 2013
    star 4
    The poor sales on that one always confused me. How can one not want more Imperial James Bond?
    Last edited by Vthuil, Aug 1, 2014
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  21. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    Or maybe it wasn't only poor sales.

    Maybe it was Dark Times.
  22. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4
    I don't know about the philosophy of allowing each comic to be a jumping on point. There is nothing like reading through a grand story where each issue constantly builds off of the previous one. Take TWD for instance. The actions the characters have in issue 31 directly reflects what happened to them in a comic made two years earlier.

    As long as they make previous comics readily available for people to get and read I don't think there is any problem with having a series like TWD where each issue builds off of the previous ones and you have to be familiar with the previous issues to understand why characters are acting the way they currently are.
  23. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    In an age of trades and digital content, jumping on points have less relevance than they did. So long as there is good signposting, people will jump on board at the start and go from there - DVD boxset sales prove this.
  24. darkchrono Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 4

    Agreed. I could understand the need for jump on points in the pre internet days or the days where you couldn't just go to a bookstore or comic book store and pick up a compendium or whatever. Why limit your storytelling abilities because your constantly concerned about letting new readers jump on at any point they want to? Why adhere your comic series to people who are too lazy to go back and read past issues anyway? Obviously people who refuse to go back and read past issues are people who aren't that incredibly interested in the series anyhow.
  25. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Depends how Marvel does things, though, surely?

    From what people have been saying in the main Marvel thread, they don't keep trades in circulation for very long, which would... make life awkward to get into a story later on. I'm hoping they don't behave like that with their Star Wars products, due to the "completionist" mentality of the Star Wars fanbase, but.. if they do do things that way, then that'll be the end of getting stories that run on for years that require you to go back and start at the original #1 to properly appreciate, no?