The Dinglehopper

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Star Wars Saturday: Review of Star Wars Issue #4

Star-Wars-004-coverIt’s good to see Jason Aaron perfectly following the pacing of the original films. In the first three issues he presented the opening mini-mission, quick on the action, pulling the reader into the story and establishing the story’s tension. In this case, the Rebel Alliance trying to seize their advantage after the destruction of the first Death Star and the realization in Luke that he’s not quite the Jedi he imagines himself to be.

But that mini-mission concluded at the end of #3, and in #4 we pick up with the character-building second act. Han and Chewie rebuilding the Falcon, Leia negotiating with Ackbar and Mothma about resources to continue striking out at the Empire even as the Rebels are on the run, and Luke dealing with the volatile teammate he is as he attempts to grow and learn to control his use of the Force. Aaron, with Cassaday’s evocative art and spot-on likenesses, develops what fans already know about these characters while also adding new insights, especially with Leia’s role in the Rebellion and Luke’s Jedi growing pains.

But that’s not all! Issue #4 also brings together two villains–Vader, now doing the Emporer’s resource-gathering negotiating, and Jabba the Hutt. Their interaction is largely humorous thanks to the personality clash and the off-kilter observances of the Hutt, who loves the smell of freshly slain Bantha in the morning. And we get a mysterious new player on the scene in Tatooine and the surprise appearance of an old favorite. jabba issue 4

The young woman working at my local comic book store on Wednesday reported that every person who had come in that and bought comics had picked up the new Star Wars. Here’s why: issue #4 continues to deliver the characterization, pacing, and tone of the original trilogy films we love so dearly. I thank Aaron and Cassaday for filling in this time period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back with deep insights and a light touch.

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Children’s Book Review: Star Wars Colors

Star Wars Colors

Apparently this novelty board book is the third in a series. Star Wars ABC and Star Wars 123 with some of the friendlier characters from a galaxy far, far away adorning their covers were huge hits. If they were anything like Star Wars Colors I can see why.

Our toddler found the cover attractive and learned Darth Vader’s name immediately. Lets face facts here; the Imperial folks and the ancillary baddies just look cool. But there’s a good mix of original recipe, prequel, and special edition imagery inside.

All of it’s geared toward making the particular color both obvious and fun. Better yet, since you’re probably getting this ’cause you’re a Star Wars geek raising another Star Wars geek, chances are you’ll have an experience like we did.

Chewbacca

“Oh! Where’s my Chewbacca? I have to find him!” Cue scampering and digging and a breathless race back to the book. “They match!”

I checked this out from the library. I’m probably gonna have to buy it. Is there a higher compliment?


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Star Wars Saturday: Toddler Unimpressed with A New Hope, Hope of Parents Dashed

starwarsdvd

The only legitimate DVD print of the original theatrical version of A New Hope – Thanks, George.

No, not Space Jam!

Gretchen, stop trying to make Star Wars happen!

Just a brief record of our first attempt showing our 2-year-old Star Wars: A New Hope. He was attentive but unengaged. It has gotten less discussion than Space Jam.

First, let me assuage any concerns you might have about the situation and version presented. We have the Original Theatrical Release, made through digital transfer from the laserdisc printing and appearing as a special feature on an early DVD limited edition set. So Han shot first. There’s no stupid digital Jabba scene. And there’s no explodey ring coming from either Alderaan or the Death Star. But the color is more subdued than the special editions, and there are fewer bells and whistles (and stupid, throw-away dewbacks) that might appeal to a very young child.8196908975_f618af9074_z

Watching it with a toddler, I was struck by how talky and languid the film is. I don’t see that as a bad thing–I think the prequels are a chaotic mess and could take some good cues from the slower pacing of the original films. But it was clear that it wasn’t action oriented enough, and the dialogue was largely over the toddler’s head.

He did get excited when Chewbacca showed up, calling out for his Chewbacca action figure and repeating: “My Chewbacca!” And he was pulled in by the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. But that was the most response we got out of him.

Clearly Star Wars needs more musical numbers. Are you listening, Disney?

We’ll try again next year. It’ll capture his imagination and passion next year, right?… Right?