Note: The following blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars” #9.
We’re now nine issues deep into the first story arc of Dark Horse’s “Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin.” The story by Brian Wood is superb and continues to capture the spirit of the Original Trilogy, the art is stunning every issue and the book keeps a swift pace – however, I feel this is a story better read in trade paperback.
Having to wait a month between each issue is frustrating, because Wood checks in with each subplot every time. While it’s nice to provide face time to each fan favorite, it’s like watching three minutes of a movie each day – sure, we’ll get to the peak of drama eventually, but its sure taking a while to get there. Each week I keep hoping the next issue is where all the subplots will meet for a giant payoff.
In “Star Wars” #9, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Atilles escape custody and are maneuvering toward the data core to bug the communication system. We get a tie in to The Clone Wars, with Princess Leia receiving contact by the Audacity, a ship from the wartime era. The most staggered storyline, though, continues to be Boba Fett and Han Solo.
At the end of Issue #8, a long-awaiting gunfight was teased between the smuggler and bounty hunter. Promotional images further promised an engaging encounter, as we saw images of Boba Fett ejecting from Slave I to pursue Han Solo face-to-face.
The dialogue written for Boba Fett is great, stating that Jabba pays more for his bounties to be turned in whole, rather than blown to smithereens. However, we’re denied a decent gunfight, as Perla crashes a platform, quickly evading the bounty hunter. Also, we see Bossk hot on the tail of the Falcon, being piloted by Chewbacca.
In the previous issue, there was a passing comment about bounty hunters not usually crossing into Imperial compounds or stations. Unless we see it in the forthcoming issue, I think this was a missed opportunity. All the chaos and destruction and Imperial agents aren’t swarming onto scene?
Woods could have had Imperial Troopers arrive on scene, and that, in my opinion, could have been a better distraction to allow Perla and Solo to escape. Also, more chances to show Boba Fett in action. Once again, we continue to watch the cat-and-mouse game between the two men – which I continue to have faith will result in a payoff in the end.
"Star Wars" #10 will be available Oct. 9.
Note: The following blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars #8
In “Star Wars” #8 we finally get more than just a handful of panels dealing with the subplot of Han Solo on the run from Boba Fett and Bossk. The chase began in issue #2 and we’ve been building to a hopeful conflict – which writer Brian Wood delivers in this action packed issue.
While Luke Skywalker and Wedge sneak aboard a Star Destroyer, the real action takes place on Coruscant. We are treated to a massive dogfight, that highlights the cunning evasive skills of Chewbacca and Han Solo – as well as showcases the hunting skills of Boba Fett.
When we last left Han Solo and Chewbacca, they had hired garbage-barge pilot, Perla, to aid them in an escape from bounty hunters Boba Fett and Bossk, who tracked them to Coruscant. The smugglers are forced to split up as Slave I engages them – navigating the Falcon as Han Solo and Perla remain aboard the barge.
The tactic worked, as Boba Fett hadn’t planned on a firefight above the Imperial Center. With Chewbacca’s counterattacks on the Slave I, Fett is forced to allow the Garbage-barge to gain distance – the risk of killing Solo in the dogfight is too high, and he attends to capture him alive to collect on the dual bounty, one from the Hutt Cartel and the other the Empire.
Han Solo tells Perla he is surprised to see the bounty hunter in an Imperial Jurisdiction. Unfortunately for Perla and Solo, the space battle put them on the Imperial security radar, blowing their cover in the process. Once catching up, the Slave I continue to attack the garbage-barge, but aims for its cargo, resulting in Perla to lose large portions of her cargo and jeopardizing their ability to maneuver.
Meanwhile, Bossk chases down Chewbacca in the Falcon. The bounty is on Solo’s head, so Bossk is intent on destroying both, the Falcon and Chewbacca.
Han Solo crashes the barge into the Imperial Center. He believes it’s a calculated risk, which will payoff in their escape, but the plan comes up short as Slave I hones in one the smuggler and Perla, with them outgunned and without a ship on the ground floor of the Imperial Center.
There are several items of note in this issue: first, Wood emphasizes that it’s unusual for Boba Fett to engage his prey in Imperial borders. This must be foreshadowing for the next issue, why are these areas off limits to Boba Fett? Could his saving grace be Imperial Security Forces stepping in right as Slave I closes in on the marooned Perla and Solo?
Ryan Kelly’s art goes above and beyond in this issue. The most haunting image, in my opinion, are the skulls and bodily remains decorating Bossk’s cockpit seat.
We’ve still yet to be told how Boba Fett and Bossk became a team in this issue. Or are they building on the rebooted relationship between the two, which has already been expanded upon in The Clone Wars?
The confrontation will continue in “Star Wars” #9 will be released on Sept. 11
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.”
Note: This blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #4
Once again, Dark Horse Comics has delivered an issue with amazing artwork and a rich story. John Ostrander and his team of writers cease to amaze readers how much plot content his can fit in the panels. The art by penciller Davide Fabbri also produces some of the best illustrations being produced in Star Wars titles, today.
Four issues ago we discovered the assassination of Count Dooku was politically motivated, a power play by Rodas Borgin to regain his families interest in the Galactic Empire. Agent Jahan Cross pulled the trigger, disguising himself as the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett.
Over the course of the last several issues, Cross has wrestled with his task. While never questioning his allegiance to the Empire, it ruffled the agent’s feathers that Imperial resources were being used to position the House of Borgin toward their liking.
Not only had Borgin pressured the Empire to take out Adan Dooku, but Cross learned he also orchestrated the kidnapping of Adan’s heir, Bron Dooku, who Borgin is now the caregiver of. Even though Cross has been told to leave things along, he can’t allow harm to come to a young boy, so he plans to recruit Candra Tymon to help him in a rescue mission.
This is where we find ourselves in the beginning of “Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #4, at a cantina near the Serenno Spaceport. Candra is in the bar, drowning her sorrows at the bottom of a glass. Little does she know the man across from her, Cross, was the assassin in Mandalorian armor she failed to catch, and her former employer, Borgin, was the man responsible for Bron’s abduction – incidents which led to her unemployment as a body guard.
Cross is honest with Tymon, unveiling his part in the recent fallout – however, omitting his part in the assassination, even blatantly lying about it – and manages to sign her on to the rescue plan.
Meanwhile, floating idly in space is Boba Fett, aboard the Slave I, when a hologram transmission is received. A woman who represents the Count of Serenno offers Fett a job. We learn the bounty hunter was questioned following the assassination of Count Dooku, but an alibi freed him from being a primary suspect. Therefore, he is in the clear for accepting a job on Serenno.
Side note: Boba Fett warns he will soon learn who the imposter was and settle the score. Obviously, he does not know it was Cross – leaving questions floating over their confrontation at the start of the story arc. Since that encounter was noted to happen a few weeks after the assassination, we can only conclude that confrontation occurs sometime after this issue and upcoming events.
Cross learns Bron’s whereabouts via his father, Ambassador Davim Cross, and concocts a plan. Cross and Tymon sneak into Otoh Dooku, the families undersea retreat in the Belsallian Sea, where Bron is being held captive until the Imperial Navy arrives.
They succeed in rescuing Bron, escaping the hot pursuit of Borgin’s men. They rendezvous at the docks and ready the next stage in their plan – until they are interrupted by an unannounced visitor, Boba Fett.
The stage is set for disaster, as Cross has placed himself, whether by design or accident, against the man backed by his superiors. The Empire may question where Cross’ loyalties lay, or even consider him a traitor for acting on his own assignment.
“Agent of the Empire: Hard Targets” #5 will be released Feb. 27.
The first “Star Wars Insider” of 2013 presents a behind the scenes look at the audio play, “Smuggler’s Gambit,” which took fans by storm at Celebration VI this past August.
The piece includes concept art from Paul Bateman, putting a face to the characters of Ro Kurotora and Ryder Thorne. As previously reported on The Boba Bounty, the performance included a minor role of Boba Fett, voiced by The Clone War’s very own, Daniel Logan.
Director Kyle Newman shares his thoughts about the production, walking us through the stages of development and reminiscing about the radio plays he listened to as a youngster. It’s reinforced “Smuggler’s Gambit” is a work of fan fiction, but it showcased the power of fandom and what we can create together.
If you haven’t had a chance to plug into the audio play, visit www.StarWars.com/SmugglersGambit for the full audio and some behind the scenes footage.
Issue #139 also highlights the trade paperback release of “Star Wars Blood Ties: Boba Fett is Dead.” The second volume of comics further delves into the genealogical consequences of the Fett family.
Dark Horse writer Tom Taylor created a stellar story of Boba Fett’s fate at the hands of a vengeful figure from his past – or so it is reported through the galaxy. The story expands on the relationship between Boba Fett’s half-brother, Connor Freeman, and Boba’s back story as a Protector.
Quite honestly, the tale is too riveting to go into further plot points, but I highly recommend picking up the book, which was released Jan. 23.
Also, look forward to Issue #140, which teases news on the development of Episode VII. Let’s hope we hear mention of our favorite bounty hunter.
It only took 24 hours for Dark Horse’s new series, “Star Wars,” to sell out during its debut on Jan. 9. Set in the original trilogy era, the happenings of the story arc, “In the Shadow of Yavin,” document the fallout from the destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance.
Within a few days of its release, Dark Horse staff announced a second print would be made available on Feb. 6, featuring a cover stripped of any text, so fans can revel in the cover art by comic legend Alex Ross.
The same day as the first issue’s release, a blog entry by the comic’s writer, Brian Wood, was ran on StarWars.com, and a few days later re-posted on Dark Horse’s website. Wood shares he aimed to capture the tone and feel of the original trilogy and feature a story that transpires only days after the final events of “A New Hope.”
Wood teases the series will be, “heavy on space battles and snubfighter dogfights. A series that gets into the emotional states of our post-Tattooine, post-Alderaan, post-Yavin characters who have lost so much yet press on in their fight for freedom.”
If there were any doubts that Wood would deliver the space battles and tales of peril he promises, fans were rewarded with a four-page preview of “Star Wars” #2 through the digital pages of Entertainment Weekly.
What is guaranteed to entice another sold out issue is the reveal that the second issue features the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett. In the preview, we see the Millennium Falcon avoiding fire by Slave I as the smugglers navigate space debris.
Scheduled for release on Feb. 13, the second issue hones in on Han Solo and Chewbacca as they attempt to evade the capture of Boba Fett; we’ll also see Darth Vader carry out a secret mission assigned to him by the Emperor.
While the Empire doesn’t formally issue a bounty for Han Solo and company until “Empire Strikes Back,” it is already known after Solo’s encounter with Greedo in “A New Hope” that he is wanted by Jabba the Hutt.
Hiding in space debris, Solo believes they’re safe from being found, however, a ship appears on their radar. When identifying the ship, Solo realizes the immediate danger once they see Slave I fast approaching. Why is this interesting? This tells us Solo and Boba Fett have a history before the happenings of the original trilogy.
The chase between Fett and Solo is a common trope in Star Wars comics, so the challenge for Woods will be to make it fresh and new. How will Han Solo escape, or will he? I’d be interested to see what story unfolds if Solo and Chewbacca are actually captured – and later escape, of course.
Whatever happens though, this story needs to expand on the relationship between the bounty hunter and smuggler – besides the tired “cat and mouse” angle to their encounters. Unlike other bounty hunters, consider his run in with Greedo at the Catina – the films illustrate Han Solo having a genuine fear toward Fett.
I’m crossing my fingers we get a tale that explains why Solo takes the threat of Boba Fett more seriously than other hired guns.
Last year was a renaissance for Star Wars, once again moving to the forefront of popular culture.
Collectors saw plenty in the vein of new comic titles, novels and action figures. Film buffs got excited upon hearing the Saga would be return to theaters in 3D. We received expansions to the Hasbro toy line and LEGO sets. We even saw a mash up of Star Wars and Angry Birds.
The coup de grâce, of course, was the announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the dawn of a new era of movies. The Disney buyout meant the franchise would move away from being merely nostalgia, experienced through the Expanded Universe by devoted fans, niche publications and conventions.
We’ll soon be seeing Star Wars seep into the mainstream. We won’t have to hunt down Star Wars related materials in the corners of the web or comic stores. Instead, bounty hunters and Jedi will pop up on cereal boxes, on magazine covers at the check-out lane, illustrated on Pepsi bottles and every other marketing avenue.
This also means we’ll be seeing a lot more of our favorite Mandalorian bounty hunter. Earlier this month the retail favorite, Target, introduced a large line of Star Wars products to its bargain bins – ranging from mini puzzles and yo-yos, to notepads and water bottles. The most prominent character splashed across these items? None other than Boba Fett!
These items are official Lucasfilm licensed products and manufactured toward the end of last year. There’s a collapsible water bottle, featuring the helmet of Boba Fett, a play pack that includes crayons and a 24-page coloring book and a 48 piece puzzle that shows Boba Fett launching into action – the image of Darth Vader illustrated over his left shoulder.
Perhaps its wishful thinking – but I have to raise an eyebrow over the high number of Boba Fett merchandise suddenly coming out of Lucasfilm. The bounty hunter, while massively popular, has always been treated like as a background presence as far as merchandising is concerned. He’s the mail-away offer, one of many in a collage, one chapter in a book.
I will hesitate analyzing this too much, but I am sure 2013 will be a big year for Boba Fett. He’ll be a player in two upcoming Dark Horse comics, inside the pages of “Agent of the Empire,” and the new “Star Wars;” his ship re-emerged recently in “The Clone Wars;” and I have a feeling this is just the beginning.