Note: The following blog includes SPOILERS to “The Assassination of Darth Vader.”
“I have lived through assassination attempts in the past. If those responsible are not dealt with in a fashion both immediate and ruthless and very, very public, it only emboldens others.”
Dark Horse has included a special Boba Fett and Darth Vader story in this year’s Free Comic Book Day giveaway, with “The Assassination of Darth Vader,” a story written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Ryan Odagawa.
Taking place shortly before the events of A New Hope, we are immediately aboard Darth Vader’s Devastator. According to the narration, he is well aware what is about to unfold. Captain Torn orders a “robust” escort of Stormtroopers to accompany Vader to greet bounty hunter Boba Fett in the ship’s hangar.
Torn had his own agenda though, the escort is only a guise, part of a plan to overwhelm Darth Vader and take him out – motivations being, the thought that with Vader out of the picture, he could rise in the ranks of the Galactic Empire quicker.
Torn dispatches Tie Fighters to fire upon Darth Vader – an attack easily deflected with his Lightsaber, one fighter even crushed via the force. Boba Fett was arriving for “routine matters,” but as Vader remarks, the bounty hunter easily adapts to the situation and knows he’ll be compensated for an assist.
Boba Fett takes out the remaining fighters with the cannons on Slave I.
This story is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s fitting for a four page mini-adventure. It also provides another note in the tale of these men’s relationship. The respect and appreciation for events like this explains why Boba Fett is allowed to speak to Vader the way he does in the films – without suffering reprisal.
This title will be available at your local comic book store on May 4 in celebration of Free Comic Book Day. Also included in this comic is “Captain Midnight.”
The second volume of “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” will be released in trade paperback on July 31.
The second story arc, documenting Johan Cross’ adventures as an Imperial agent heavily involved Boba Fett and hinted at a past between the two men – a plotting staple in most of John Ostrander’s writing.
If you’ve read my reviews of the comic, you’d be familiar with my love for this story. I felt the story was smart, introduced fresh aspects to the Star Wars Universe and delivered major payoff at the end. I recommend picking up the trade paperback, because I imagine the payoff is experienced twofold if read in one sitting – rather than spread over five or six months.
In the latest episode of Star Wars Beyond The Film, podcast #67, the team at The Star Wars Report Network give their insights into Hard Targets.
Co-hosts Mark Hurliman and Nathan Butler both praised and critiqued the story arc – giving valid points on both ends – even though I didn’t necessarily agree with all their conclusions.
If you haven’t caught this episode yet, it’s defiantly worth a listen. Both the hosts are well-read and avid fans of the Expanded Universe. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to invest in this title when it’s released, their insights will help with that decision.
Beware though; if you’d like to avoid spoilers concerning the plot and character development, listen to this podcast after you’ve read Hard Targets.
You can download it for free on iTunes. Agent of the Empire has been one of Dark Horse’s strongest titles the last couple years – let’s hope it comes back with a third volume this year – and maybe we’ll see another appearance of Boba Fett, too.
A little over a month ago the team at The Star Wars Report Network launched a new podcast, “Star Wars Bookworms.”
While they’ve released only three episodes so far, I recommend this new podcast to any fans of the Expanded Universe – whether you’re a casual reader or hardcore completist.
Designed to review, analyze and discuss the happenings in the Expanded Universe, the team hosted by Teresa Delgado and Aaron Goins show great promise in being not only an informative podcast about Star Wars comics and literature – but they demonstrate a natural skill set for interviewing creators.
The hosts and guests approach each topic in a casual manner, not overwhelming listeners with an overabundance of timelines and facts. It’s much more like the discussions you’d have with fellow friends at your local comic shop or in your living room.
Bookworms released a two part episode in March, where they breakdown both volumes of Blood Ties – the multi-generational comic book that dives into the familial story of Jango and Boba Fett.
One of the most enjoyable and well written Boba Fett stories to be published over recent years, the team at Bookworms give some great insights into these volumes and make a number of interesting points.
If you’d like to hear their thoughts on Blood Ties, along with a fascinating interview with Alexander Freed, writer on the Old Republic video games.
You can download Star Wars Bookworms free on iTunes
Note: This blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #5
We were brought full circle in “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #5, finally learning what prompted the fight between Johan Cross and Boba Fett in the first issue.
In the previous issue, Cross and Candra Tymon rescued Bron Dooku, but their escape was interrupted by the arrival of Boba Fett – who was hired to bring in the young heir. The standoff is quickly joined by Lord Borgin’s forces, which receive immediate fire by Boba Fett.
Cross contributes firepower to Fett’s attack on Borgin’s men, giving Tymon and Bron opportunity to escape. Chief Jorrick and his men are gunned down, leaving the bounty hunter and imperial agent standing. It’s realized the first few panels from “Hard Targets” #1 are pulled from this faceoff.
What I found even more interesting was Boba Fett’s aside that he and Cross had battled before, and Fett had won. Is this a hint from writer John Ostrander that the two characters share a past, which we may get to see in future stories? Perhaps they’ve even worked side-by-side – Fett often being hired by the Empire, and Cross being an agent of the Empire?
The fight cumulates with Boba Fett’s firing an ion missile, which hits the Tymon and Bron’s escape vehicle – resulting in an explosion, destroying the ship. Boba Fett is baffled; the ion missile should have only shut down the engine, not creating a high explosion.
Cross presses Boba Fett for an explanation as to why he would kill the target he was paid to capture alive. Boba Fett pushes back just as hard, reasoning that he could not have been responsible for the explosion. They come to the epiphany that Boba Fett was set up to take the fall – his employer would benefit from the boy’s death.
As far as Fett’s concerned, this is the second time in weeks he’s been set up for a murder that benefited Lord Borgin – the man who hired him – or was it? Last issue, Boba Fett said once he discovered the individual who set him up, he’d deal with them. Now is time for reckoning.
When we next see Cross, he is waiting for Borgin in the politician’s study. What we find out, could poissibly be the most complicated and surprising endgame I’ve ever read in a Star Wars comic.
Boba Fett was not hired by Borgin, but by Cross, through a third party. Fett was led to believe he was being hired by Borgin, to bring him Bron to give him political leverage. Cross discloses to Borgin that he planned to be confronted by Fett once rescuing Bron, and Tymon willingly sacrificed herself in the explosion that she set off herself.
Bron was taken into safekeeping until he comes to age. Borgin is ecstatic that Cross is on his side, but then becomes wary when the agent reveals that the entire operation was not to benefit Borgin, but to make Boba Fett believe the lord had set him up – marking him for death.
The Empire made Orom Malvern, the brother-in-law of Borgin, the new count, because he is not as politically hungry and easily malleable to do the Empire’s will.
Echoing panels from the first issue, Borgin is shot dead from sniper fire through the window. Cross’ plan worked perfectly, although he knows if Boba Fett were to ever figure out the ruse, he will also be killed. However, in his line of work, by the time the bounty hunter learns the truth, when Bron surfaces as an adult, he most likely will already be dead.
This story arc ended with great payoff and left me stunned. Some of the best writing coming out of Dark Horse is in the pages of “Agent of the Empire.”
From “Star Wars Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead #2.” Word has spread the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett, was slain by a team of mercenaries. The only problem is those mercenaries are being systematically cut down, leading to an order to destroy any familial connections to Boba Fett, specifically his half brother, Connor Freeman, who was placed at the scene of the most recent retaliation. When Freeman’s cantina is blown to pieces, Freeman narrowly escapes the carnage thanks to a mysterious stranger. Freeman does not escape unscathed, though – he awakes in a medical tank, the new owner of a cybernetic arm.
From “Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction.” While recovering from escaping the belly of the Sarlacc, an imposter named Jodo Kast has been posing as Boba Fett in order to land higher profile bounties. However, toying with the reputation of the most infamous bounty hunter in the galaxy can quickly catch up to you, as Kast finds out when he comes face-to-face with the real Boba Fett.