Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Star Wars #8

With the kids going back to school soon, I imagine everyone is having nightmares about their least favorite classes. I’m sure even healthy adults still endure horrible cold sweats when remembering calculus exams. For Star Wars fans, there are certain parts of the prequels that induce the equivalent of 10 calculus exams. Mediglorians, Gungans, and Hayden Christiansen come to mind. Granted, the inclusion of Yoda, Natalie Portman, and pod racing more than made up for it, but it’s still one of those darker eras in an otherwise iconic mythos. And since Marvel’s new Star Wars series is exploring stories in ways that don’t require bringing Peter Mayhew out of retirement, it’s only a matter of time before some of those stories are revisited.

The previous issue proved that revisiting these eras can be pretty damn awesome. It can actually remind us that Obi Wan Kanobi was once more than just Anakin’s shitty babysitter. Now, Luke, Leia, and Han have other pressing conflicts that may or may not require them to visit these dark areas that many Star Wars fans wish they could forget with the Jedi Mind Trick. Star Wars #8 acts as the bridge that will expand these conflicts. One involves learning more about the history of the Jedi. Another involves Han Solo’s ex-wife. Honestly, I think Han Solo would prefer a prostate exam by a Sarlac, but it’s still way more interesting than another Gungan War.

If Star Wars had Jerry Springer, this would be a classic episode that would rank right up there with midget strippers. Han and Leia were already on a mission to a planet in the Outer Rim that looks like a set for an Elton John concert. Then, before Han can do anything to make Leia loosen the lock she has on her panties, his “wife” shows up. I put “wife” in quotes because if I had a spider-sense that responded only to crazy psycho bitches, it would be going haywire right now.

Her name is Sana. She has an ass that’s basically on the same level as Leia, but she carries herself like the kind of woman who keeps a jar of men’s testicles under her mattress. Han, clearly looking around for Jerry Springer, is probably wishing he kept his balls in a carbonite safe. She hints that this planet was the site of an epic, sci-fi honeymoon that could’ve easily spawned three more Hangover movies. But still, even my penis is wary about this woman.

The awkwardness and tension here is just too entertaining. Like every Jerry Springer fight that involves strippers and midgets, it’s impossible not to laugh. First, Sana kisses Han. Then, she slaps him. I’m not sure if that’s love or foreplay. It might be a mix of both for her. Leia is understandably confused and more than a little pissed. I imagine she’s adding extra locks to her panties at this point.

When Han finally manages to get a word or two in, he claims this woman is not his wife. She’s only his wife in the same sense that N’Sync fans claimed to be Justin Timberlake’s wife. It’s a strange, but intriguing situation. That or Han just had a really shitty divorce lawyer. And while Leia is plenty inclined to put a few light years of distance between herself and Han, Sana reveals something else about herself aside from being Mrs. Solo. She’s a bounty hunter and as it just so happens, the Empire still has a big fucking price on her head. So she gets a chance to screw over her husband and make a lot of money. For crazy psycho bitches, that’s like Christmas and a birthday all rolled into one.

The tension here keeps escalating and so does the yelling. Even Jerry Springer would stop them at this point. Sana continues making some pretty bold claims that would make Leia rip off his dick and throw it into the nearest black hole. Sana claims that Han likes to run con jobs where he seduces rich princesses and cons them out of rewards. Leia, having seen how much Han loves money, isn’t too inclined to reject this. It’s one of those arguments that makes sense, even if it is coming from a crazy psycho bitch. It’s why Ann Colter is a best-selling author.

Han, to his credit, tries to explain himself. I doubt Leia will respond in any way that doesn’t involve a kick in the balls. But Sana saves her the trouble by revealing that she could give two squats from a Sarlac’s ass about any con Han is running. She’s not just there to make Han wish he were being devoured by a Sarlac. She’s there because she intends to deliver Leia to the Imperials. In fact, she’s already got a deal in the works and she blows up their transport ship for good measure. Why? I’m guessing this might also count as foreplay for her, but she just might be that big a bitch.

There’s a lot of entertainment value to watching Han, Leia, and Mrs. Han Solo fight and argue. But there’s another plot unfolding in another part of the galaxy. It’s not nearly as entertaining as a galactic version of a hillbilly feud, but it still follows an ongoing story that has been unfolding for a few issues.

Luke, having retrieved Obi Wan’s dairy from Tattooine, is on a new mission now. He didn’t get what he wanted from that dairy other than proof that Obi Wan wasn’t always just a strange old man who occasionally talked like he was on LSD. But he’s still determined to learn more about the Jedi. To do that, he’s going to travel to Nar Shaddaa. What is Nar Shaddaa? Picture the worst parts of Somilia, Afghanistan, and downtown Detroit. Then, turn that into a planet. That’s Nar Shaddaa.

Why does Luke want to go here? Well, he’s searching for more information about the Jedi. Since the Empire gave the Jedi the Tony Soprano treatment, they can’t exactly live in the civilized parts of the galaxy. So that means traveling to the underground butthole of the galaxy. It’s a fucked up kind of logic, but it’s still logical none-the-less.

Following this logic, Luke makes his way into the seediest bar he can find that doesn’t involve alien crackheads. But just like we saw in A New Hope, Luke sucks Wookie dick when it comes to dealing with seedy bars. He could barely handle himself at Mos Eisley without Obi Wan as his wing man. So it’s laughably predictable when he starts getting his ass kicked. They don’t even have the courtesy to let him get drunk. It’s pretty pathetic, but it shows just how inexperienced Luke is at this point. He’s nowhere near the kind of Jedi who can go up against Darth Vader. That said, it’s still as entertaining as any bar fight can be without strippers.

Then, at one point in the battle, Luke breaks out his light sabre. This forces everyone in the bar to sober up much faster than they probably would’ve preferred. They’ll happily beat the shit out of anyone who stumbles into their bar looking like they just got off the bus from Montana. But if he breaks out a light sabre, then that’s cause for concern, even among these assholes.

Once sober, the bartender gives Luke at least some of the information he’s looking for. He says that if he wants to learn more about the Jedi, he needs to go to the temple on Coruscant. I’ll give those who hated The Phantom Menace a moment to cringe. The bartender even offers to smuggle him there since the Imperial still have a standing kill-every-Jedi-and-piss-on-their-corpses order. The problem is, he wants the light sabre as payment. Luke understandably refuses and just like that, these assholes are back to kicking his ass.

But before another galactic bar fight can break out, some mysterious guy/girl/alien of ambiguous gender enters the picture. Like a mystery guest in a bad spy movie, this cloaked figure kicks any lingering bit of sobriety in the balls by stealing Luke’s lightsabre. This mystery figure even seems to use the Force or something similar. Does that mean there are more Jedi that survived the order? More that could warrant shitty prequels? We can only speculate because the details are lacking. All we know is that someone is interested in Luke’s pursuit of all things Jedi and if they’re not trying to kill him, they might be worth talking to. The lack of details are a bit troubling, but it still makes for an awesome bar fight and I’m okay with any fight that doesn’t involve me getting my eye-socket punched in.

Bar fights are fun and all, but I imagine most are more interested in learning about Han’s psycho-bitch/wife. She still has Leia and Han at gunpoint and she’s negotiating with a Star Destroyer in orbit, hoping to collect on that big ass bounty. Leia is still understandably pissed and Han is doing his best to salvage what’s left of his balls. At first, he attempts to try sweet-talking Sana. It’s not an unreasonable approach. Hell, he got her to marry him. He must know something about loosening a woman’s panties, even if that woman is a crazy psycho bitch.

However, Leia isn’t willing to place that much faith in Han’s panty-loosening skills. She opts to just kick Han in the ass, pull out a blaster she had hidden in her boot, and hold them at gunpoint. Whereas most princesses would resort to whining to her daddy or calling on her knights, she sticks to blasters. Now that Star Wars is owned by Disney, she’s making it clear she’s not like those other whiney princesses. I can’t help but respect that and be turned on by it.

Leia doesn’t just point that blaster at Sana either. She lets Han know that she’s done putting locks on her panties. Now, she’s more inclined to shoot him rather than deal with any more of his bullshit. There may or may not be a reasonable explanation, but she’s not taking any chances. The problem is Sana didn’t leave much room to negotiate in her deal with the Empire. They’re already on their way and regardless of the bounty, they still want her head. She can be as pissed as she wants at Han. It’s still not going to protect her from the Empire. Sana made sure of that because she’s just that big a bitch. If she admitted at this point she pleasured herself when she found out Alderan had been destroyed, I wouldn’t be shocked.

At this point, I think two things are clear. One, Luke Skywalker sucks at dealing with smugglers and criminals. Second, Han Solo is the unluckiest son-of-a-bitch in the galaxy right now. Usually, when a series diverts into two unrelated stories, it tends to fuck up the narrative. It’s like having a sandwich that’s half bacon and half kale. One part may be awesome, but the other part keeps that sandwich from being a complete kind of awesome. However, on rare occasions, both stories turn out to be awesome. In that case, it becomes a sandwich that’s half bacon and half chocolate. Both are inherently awesome on their own. Put them together and they’re extra awesome.

I can’t say both stories are on an equal level. As much as I loved watching Han Solo’s balls retreat into his rectum, not a whole lot happened with him, Sana, and Leia until the end. The tension was great, but it took a while to make something of it. For those of us who read comics stoned, that counts for something. The plot with Luke was much more concise. It captures that naïve innocence that made Luke so lovable in A New Hope and so jaded in Return of the Jedi. There’s a lot to like about both stories, even if they lack that special ball-busting impact. They both have all the elements that make Star Wars so awesome and so absurdly profitable for George Lucas. I give Star Wars #8 an 7 out of 10. If at this point someone told Han that he’s going to get frozen in carbonite, I’d think he’d prefer the carbonite. Hell, most men in his position would dive in head first and give the ex-wife the finger just for good measure. Nuff said!


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