The Star Wars #2
September 21, 2015
A saga of heroes, of villains, and of punching people who won't do what you say.
(The AT4W title appears in the same font as the iconic Star Wars font, then the storyline is revealed in the style of a Star Wars description crawl)
THE STAR WARS #2
It is a period of hope and fear on the Internet. While fans remain optimistic about THE FORCE AWAKENS returning dignity and joy to the movie franchise, there are still three months before its opening in theaters.
Because the web series ATOP THE FOURTH WALL locks up what reviews it will be doing from October through December (mostly holidays and SECRET ORIGINS MONTH), D-list Internet celebrity LINKARA is forced to make a STAR WARS-themed in September instead of the more logical December. Fortunately, he also has something unique to review.
THE STAR WARS, a comic adaptation of GEORGE LUCAS' original rough draft screenplay of A NEW HOPE, features familiar names in unfamiliar surroundings as well as everybody wearing capes. LINKARA himself has only recently realized that he already possessed the cape that he had demanded in a previous review.
As for the comic plot so far, KANE STARKILLER has brought his son ANNIKIN to GENERAL LUKE SKYWALKER to be trained in the JEDI-BENDU (seriously) arts. Also a kid died, the EMPIRE plans to invade the world of AQUILAE, and a plague of NOUN CAPITALIZATION is sweeping over the galaxy.
Also Also: trade disputes...
(AT4W title theme plays; title card has Star Wars-sounding music playing in the background)
Linkara: (wearing a Jedi cloak) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. If the opening text crawl didn't spell it out, today, we're digging into (holds up today's comic) issue 2 of "The Star Wars", where silly names abound, Kane Starkiller is a cyborg, and Darth Vader is just a dude with scars on his face.
(Cut to the first page of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): We open where we left off last time: Aquilae apparently under attack and our heroes in the war room.
Luke Skywalker: Are you sure it's not a battalion?
Mace: It's a solid object-- big as our third moon!
Linkara: "That's no Aquilaean third moon" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Linkara (v/o): They don't think it's a station because it's so huge, but it's also too slow to be a comet. Luke goes to inform the King of what's up, telling Annikin to stick close so he can do the training. Aaand Annikin's face and body language do not imply that he's all that enthusiastic about this. Ah, the joys of semi-realistic.
Linkara: See, I don't just pick on horrible '90s artwork. I pick on even good artwork. Do the Annikin! (mimics Annikin's less-than-enthusiastic expression and body language)
Kane: May the Force of others be with you, son.
Linkara: (as Kane) I mean, let's face it, you're pretty bad at the whole "laser sword" thing. Just hope that other people's Force is better than yours.
Linkara (v/o): Luke meets with the royal parents, who are watching the double sunset of Tatooquilae. Aaaand Annikin is apparently in the middle of his skiing exercises. The King asks if Kane will be joining them for dinner.
Luke: He left for the spaceport at Gordon to visit an old friend-- Han Solo, the Ureallian.
Linkara: (stroking chin in thought) Isn't that the guy who worked with a grizzly bear?
Linkara (v/o): At dinner, Luke talks about how one of his agents has disappeared and that there's unusual military traffic going on, so he wants approval to start mustering his forces for war. However, the King says he needs to do this legally, with the approval of "the full assembly", which I guess is the Senate or something on Aquilae. And then Annikin interrupts to inform us, with a mouthful of space chicken...
Annikin: The General... has taken me as...Padawan learner...
Linkara: I'm starting to understand why Luke became the main character in later drafts.
Linkara (v/o): The dinner itself is interrupted by an officer [Mace] informing Luke that the asteroid or whatever it was has disappeared.
Linkara: Well, we shouldn't be that surprised. A ship that size can have a cloaking device.
Linkara (v/o): Speaking of, is there any explanation why the Death Star is called a space station, despite not being, you know, stationary?
Linkara: (listlessly) Ugh, this is gonna be like the whole "why only red lightsabers" thing in the comments, isn't it? (rolls eyes) Ugh, whatever. Only losers care about this kind of minutiae. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more important things to do, like cataloging every single time the number 47 appears in Star Trek.
Linkara (v/o): Anywho, back in the war room... Yeah, the thing has disappeared.
Luke: It's not possible. Something that size can't just disappear without a trace...check it again.
Mace: That's the tenth negative, sir.
Luke: I said check it again.
(Cut to a clip of Soul Whatever)
Lord Death: Check it again.
Death the Kid: Still dead.
(Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece appears next to Lord Death)
Lord Death: Check it again!
Death the Kid: Still dead!
Monkey D. Luffy: Check it again!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): He also wonders where the hell Annikin is. And where is he? Uh... apparently trying to kiss that redhead from last issue. And she doesn't exactly look happy that he's trying to do so.
Linkara: Our hero, everybody: a potential, sexual predator!
Linkara (v/o): However, Luke calling out for Annikin gets him to jump forward to attention. Luke is really not that supportive of sexual harassment, so he pulls a lightsaber on Annikin and swings it at him. Annikin manages to get his up in time to block.
Linkara: Enough what? All you did was swing at him.
Luke: You are well trained, but remember... a Jedi must be single minded...a discipline your father obviously never learned, hence your existence.
Linkara: (as Luke) Keep your lightsaber either in your pants or in your hands. And yes, I mean that both ways.
Linkara (v/o): Annikin has some questions, but once again, everything is interrupted, this time by the arrival of Captain Whitsun, the guy from last time who was looking for info at a cantina. He's on Aquilae now, but he's injured and suffering from exhaustion. With his last few breaths before going unconscious, he warns Luke that the Imperial Star Force are not far behind and that they have a giant space fortress. With that knowledge, Luke realizes that they'll be here before sunrise and gives orders to Annikin, probably to get him out of his hair.
Luke: Take the fastest landspeeder to Chathos. Pick up Princess Leia--and only Princess Leia.
Linkara: (as Luke) We've already got a lot of characters in this thing, and we don't need anyone more extraneous.
Luke: Return by way of the Great Reef. Most speed!
Linkara: (as Luke) Most get tickets for speeding, too.
Linkara (v/o): While Luke tries to contact the king... They must have finished up dinner quick, since now he's on his way to the assembly to get the codes to activate the war computers. Luke [sic] has already arrived at Leah's place to get her. He tells her to forget about her stuff, but she refuses to leave without them or her handmaiden. Acting superior – not unreasonably so, as this random dude just suddenly showed up and told him to go with him – she starts lightly hitting his back and demanding the handmaiden come. Aaaand he punches her.
Linkara: Annikin being a dick to his love interest! Interesting to see what did carry over into the movies.
Linkara (v/o): Luke is able to get in touch with the king and get the codes. The king himself orders his entourage to turn their cars around and fly back to the capital. We also see some... uh... hillbillies. I'm not even kidding.
Hillbilly: Strange, there's a morning star where there ain't no morning star.
Linkara: (as hillbilly) That's weird. Satan usually comes later than this.
Linkara (v/o): But said star turns out to be a blast that hits the king's entourage.
Hillbilly: Looks like we're going to have ourselves a war, Dad. Time to git our blasters and sound the alarm!
Linkara: (as hillbilly) The space South shall rise again!
Linkara (v/o): Appropriate for the "morning star" remark, Aquilae launches Devil Squadron, a group of fighters that I guess are the X-Wing equivalents here. It's an interesting design, more resembling actual planes, but still retaining a bit of an X-shape with the rear wings. Unfortunately, Devil Squadron is apparently the only squad on its way out, seeing as the Death Star has launched several bombardments on spaceports. You'd think, with an entire planet, that they'd have spaceports all over the place and, you know, on the other side of it, too, but no, only these six fighters were missed. After some technobabble about their gyros and their defense strategy, we get a good look at this version of the Death Star. Instead of the smoother-looking version from the final film, this one has all sorts of Griebel on it. I think it actually looks more menacing this way, especially with multiple beams firing out of it. Kinda reminds me of a Borg ship. Very cool. Surprisingly, we see the fighters actually do some damage to it, as a section of the thing is breached, and we see officers being blown out into space. See? It's so bad it even pulls the text from this word balloon up! However, they are still six tiny ships firing at a giant space fortress, so casualties are soon taken. Devil 4 is shot and collides into a tower on its surface.
Linkara: Man, this is a really short miniseries, seeing as we're having the final battle against the Death Star this soon. Darth Vader hasn't had a chance to choke anybody yet.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to the inside of the Death Star and meet up with, surprisingly, R2-D2 and C-3PO. R2 is largely unchanged in design, aside from an all-gray or white color scheme, plus a little coaster on his head and tiny little arms. Look at how small those things are. I guess the inspiration for him was a T-rex. 3PO's design, however, is more obviously inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis. More interesting than that, though: R2-D2 doesn't speak in beeps. I admit, I'm not entirely sure how to handle this. What sort of voice to give him for this recap. Hmmm... In keeping with the idea that R2-D2 is actually a salty, foul-mouthed droid if we could understand him, I think I'm gonna go for that same kind of crassness, kind of a stereotypical New York-Brooklyn cab driver.
R2-D2: The external bombardment appears to be concentrated in this area. The structure has exceeded the normal stress quotient by point four, although there is no immediate danger.
Linkara (v/o): And then the two get knocked to the side by an explosion.
C-3PO: "No immediate danger"?! You're faulty!
Linkara: (as R2-D2) Up yours, Goldilocks! I got a bad motivator!
Linkara (v/o): Outside, the attack continues.
Devil Squadron pilot: Great moves, Chewie.
Linkara: (incredulously) Chewbacca's an X-Wing pilot?!
Linkara (v/o): Someone named Babs is hit and collides with another tower.
Linkara: I bet the big change in this version is that Porkins actually survives.
Linkara (v/o): Back to the robots...
C-3PO: You overweight glob of grease!
Linkara: Can this marriage be saved?
R2-D2: You're a mindless, useless philosopher.
Linkara: Ah, yes, C-3PO, known for his "philosophizing".
(Cut to a clip of Star Wars)
C-3PO: This is madness!
Linkara: Truly, we are blessed with his wisdom and insight.
Linkara (v/o): Aaand they spot a dude hanging upside-down from the deck plate with half of his face burned off, causing them to scream.
(The Star Wars title appears)
Linkara (v/o): (dramatically) Star Wars: a fun space adventure! Robots, spaceships, mutilated dead bodies hanging upside-down! (normal) We cut over to Governor Hoedaack's command center, and given the location caption simply calls it "the space fortress", I guess that's what it's supposed to be called. Frankly, "Death Star" just sounds better, so we're going with that.
Officer: We have a report! All com-link power is almost out. Twenty-two transformers sections have been destroyed. The situation is serious, but not grave on all southern levels.
Linkara: You know, for all the flack that the movie Death Star gets for its one weak spot, at least it took a lot of effort to get to it. This Death Star is getting its ass kicked by less than ten fighters.
Linkara (v/o): Darth Vader reassures the governor not to worry about it.
Gov. Hoedaack: If it goes on too long, we'll run over budget, General Vader.
Linkara: (as Gov. Hoedaack) These models are not cheap, you know. We already had to skim the costume budget on the Stormtrooper outfits.
Linkara (v/o): Back in the war room on Aquilae, it's reported that the Senate has voted to end the war.
Linkara: Brilliant strategy, politicians! That'll put a stop to the giant space fortress invading you!
(Cut to the obligatory clip from Patton)
General Patton: (looking through a pair of binoculars) You magnificent bastard, I read your BOOK!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Luke says not to worry; the Senate needs the King's approval, and he's still out of contact. Annikin and Leia are overdue as well. Back in the battle, the remaining fighters attack the Death Star's reactor... which is on the outside of the station.
Linkara: Man, they really did go with the lowest bidder on this thing, didn't they?
Linkara (v/o): 3PO says he's getting the hell out of here in an escape pod, since, if the reactor blows, they're all dead.
R2-D2: We can't leave--it's desertion! These life-pods aren't for us!
Linkara (v/o): Aaaand then there's a loud explosion sound.
R2-D2: It's the end! Eject! Eject!
Linkara: (as R2) Screw this crap! The health care plan sucked anyway!
Linkara (v/o): And so they eject out of the Death Star as only two fighters remain. Vader predicts the battle is pretty much over at this point... and in this panel, he apparently put on twenty pounds. Weird. Hoedaack says they need to capture Leia alive.
Gov. Hoedaack: The Aquilae clan has ruled this system for over ten thousand years. The people will follow no other.
Linkara: (as Darth Vader, wearing his helmet and gloves) Fear will keep the locals in line, Governor. Fear of this battle station. (as Gov. Hoedaack) Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed, Lord Vader. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of political popularity.
Gov. Hoedaack: We have won a truly great prize for the Empire. They have a genetics treasure-- cloning!
Linkara: Begun, the Clone Saga has.
Linkara (v/o): Luke gets word that the King's convoy was destroyed, meaning it's likely the King is dead. He goes to speak with the Queen since she has authority now, but the local Senator enters and informs him that the Queen has already ordered them to make peace with the Empire... one that the Empire has now accepted. The guy asks Luke if he'll obey the surrender order. However, when the remaining fighters are recalled and begins retreating, the Death Star destroys them anyway. And so, our comic ends with Luke declaring that if this is the peace that the Empire has promised, then there's no way in Hell he's gonna stop fighting. The war has just begun!
Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic is... okay, but I have some problems with it.
Linkara (v/o): A lot of my issues are, admittedly, a bit nitpicky, but there are some major ones. As I joked about, this comic is just a lot of characters, especially since we've been introduced to the droids. I actually thought they weren't gonna be in this, since, well, the entire purpose of 3PO and R2 in A New Hope was to get the Death Star plans to the Rebels, but there's really no need for that, since the Death Star is so much weaker in this version. It's implied that if the fighters kept on with their attack, they actually would destroy the thing. Annikin is given more characterization: lacking discipline, being a bit of a horn-dog, and now punches royalty to get them to do what he wants. However, it's hard to call him the main character when so much of the action is focused on Luke, whose characteristics are just "wise guy who wants to mobilize for war". There's nothing especially wrong; it's space opera goodness. It's just it's not as well developed, probably because it's a first draft and all. Also, the weird poses occasionally by the artwork. What the hell?
Linkara: Next time, we're back to (holds up index finger) one more Patreon-sponsored review before October and sweet Christmas! This ought to be good. (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
No, seriously, the number 47 appears in Star Trek an inordinate amount of times.
...SHUT UP, I'M NOT OBSESSED!
Maybe a better name for this version of it would be "Fragile Star."
(Stinger: A panel showing a Devil Squadron member's helmet and a red cross symbol on it is displayed)
Linkara (v/o): So... the symbol for Devil Squadron is a Red Cross?