Thursday, September 17, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Star Wars #9

Every iconic romance is kind of like a twisted form of porno. But instead of sex and nudity, it’s full of these crazy passions that are about as unrealistic as Jenna Jameson taking it up the ass from a pizza delivery boy. And like porno, it’s because it’s so unrealistic that it’s appealing. And it’s for that very reason that the romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia is so refreshing, even over three decades later.

There was no instant attraction with these two. In fact, they hated each other’s guts when they first met. It was a long, strange process that took them from hating each other to bumping uglies. It involved carbonite, exploding battle stations, and chain mail bikinis. But we already know how it ended for Han and Leia. They do eventually have their moment at the end of Return of the Jedi. However, Marvel has decided to make the journey to that moment a bit more difficult and fucked up.

Enter Sana Solo, who claims to be the wife of Han Solo. She entered the picture in Star Wars #8 and for pretty much that entire issue, Han kept denying it. We don’t know if this was just some drunken romp in whatever the galaxy’s equivalent of Las Vegas is or if Sana is one of those creepy stalkers that only Justin Bieber fans can understand. Well, Sana is making it exceedingly difficult to rely on a restraining order because she basically get the Empire to get Leia out of the picture. Now, in Star Wars #9, this rather fucked up complication in the eventual romance of Han Solo and Princess Leia takes another turn. It’s a complication that fans of both romance and porno can appreciate.

But fucked up romance isn’t the only plot of this story. There’s something else for those who are less interested in swapping body fluids and more interested in watching Luke Skywalker navigate Nar Shaddaa, a planet-sized version of Mos Eisley. So yeah, there’s something for everyone. Rather than fighting an ex-wife, Luke is just fighting to get his light sabre back after some thief in a bar swiped it. Is it as tense as fighting with a pissed off ex-wife? No. But it’s the basis of nearly every James Bond movie ever made so it’s still awesome.

Luke shows in his pursuit of this thief that he’s not so much a Jedi at this point as he is a reckless space redneck from a desert planet. And this thief just stole the equivalent of a redneck’s truck so of course he’s going to chase him down in the most reckless way possible. Reckless or not, he still succeeds. He manages to catch up to the thief before he can get on a ship. Sure, he ends up doing some property damage and falling into a pile of garbage. But he saved his light sabre. I think that’s more than worth sacrificing a little dignity, hygiene, and self-preservation.

Moreover, it’s a nice reminder that this Luke Skywalker is nowhere close to being the Luke Skywalker who defeats Darth Vader. Sure, he can use the Force to help him destroy the Death Star. But he’s still a long ways away from being a legendary Jedi and that’s how it should be at this point. A big part of what made Luke Skywalker an iconic character was the process he went through to become a Jedi. Right now, he’s at a part in the process that lands him in piles of garbage. I think that’s as fitting a context as any.

While Luke did get his light sabre back from the thief, he did find out he’s more screwed than he previously thought. What kind of thief would be crazy enough to steal a light sabre anyways when it would surely attract the attention of the Darth Vaders of the galaxy? Well, how about someone hired by Grakkus the Hutt? And yes, these are the same huts that enjoy extorting smugglers and putting women in chain bikinis. This one in particular is interested in Luke’s light sabre. So yeah, Luke is just that fucked at this early stage of his Jedi training.

As much fun as it is to see Luke obsess over retrieving his light sabre, I’m sure there are way more people interested in the bonerific love life of Han Solo. He probably hates his penis right now because his ex-wife called the Imperials on his future wife to collect the bounty on her head. That’s more than enough reasons for Leia to add another lock onto her panties. It’s all part of an elaborate plan for Sana to collect the bounty and get Han back, presumably so they can start making Solo babies or consolidating their debt with the Hutts.

There’s just one major problem with that plan. Han is also wanted by the Empire. Shooting at Darth Vader’s tie-fighter and helping someone destroy the Death Star will do that. Apparently, Sana didn’t get the memo, which effectively derails her plan because the Imperials start shooting at him as much as they shoot at Leia. Naturally, Leia fights back, probably by picturing Han’s face underneath those helmets.

But it now forces Sana to help them both. If she gives enough of a fuck about Han to marry him and piss off his future wife, then she cares enough to get him away from the Imperials. It’s a coherent yet hilarious twist of fate, one that forces Han to be stuck in close quarters with Leia and Sana. And honestly, who wouldn’t want more of that at this point? Two pissed off women and a man dumb enough to try and bone both of them? That might make for shitty reality shows, but it makes for awesome Star Wars comics.

The tension for Han and Leia couldn’t be worse right now. While Han’s dick probably hates him, I imagine Luke hates the Hutts almost as much at this point. One ruled his home planet with an iron fist and bikini-clad women. Now one wants to take his light sabre. He’s got plenty of motivation to tell him to fuck off like the piss-stained snail that he is. But again, this is not the same Luke Skywalker who can take on Darth Vader. This is a Luke Skywalker who will still get his ass kicked. He can beat Stormtroopers, but advanced droids paid for by a Hutt with enough money for bikini-clad women? That’s more of a challenge. And while he makes a noble effort, he still loses.

But when Luke wakes up, he’s not in a prison cell or in the digestive tract of a Sarlac. He’s not in a metal bikini either. He’s still a prisoner, but Grakkus the Hutt reveals he’s a different kind of Hutt. Sure, he’ll send thieves and thugs to fuck with people, but he actually has a different reason for doing so other than to find more women to put in bikinis.

It turns out he’s a collector of Jedi artifacts, so much so that he’s gathered everything that remains of the Jedi temple. Grakkus still freely admits that he enjoys the company of bounty hunters, smugglers, and corrupt bureaucrats as any other Hutts. However, he’s got more sophisticated tastes. That alone makes him more likable than any Hutt in the galaxy. But don’t add him to any Christmas list just yet. He still proves that he honors the Hutt tradition of being ruthless assholes.

The whole reason he hired someone to steal Luke’s light sabre was to lure him to his collection. That collection includes a holocron, something that any Star Wars fan who endured the prequels can recognize. It can only be opened by a Jedi and since the Hutts repel the Force like a nun from a gay bar, he needs Luke to open it. And he’s not willing to ask politely either.

It puts Luke in a difficult position. Either open the holocron or get shot. And he still hasn’t passed Jedi 101 yet so he’s not even sure he can do it. But as inexperienced as he is at this point, he still destroyed the Death Star. That more than qualifies him to open a fucking holocron. And that’s exactly what he does. He succeeds in opening not just one but every holocron in Grakkus’ collection. He gets his first real look at Jedi relics and records. It’s not complete. None of them contain a warning about how his father is kind of an asshole. But it’s a nice feat that shows this is the same guy who is destined to beat Darth Vader.

But despite this success, Grakkus is hardly content with Luke’s contributions. He’s still a Hutt and it’s been more than 10 minutes since he screwed someone over. I imagine that’s like me going a month without booze. While he doesn’t threaten to put Luke in a bikini, he makes it clear that Luke is now his prison bitch. And he intends to find other ways to make money off the last remaining Jedi. It’s cruel and sadistic, yes. But it’s also a smart business decision. If people come far and wide just to see a few baby pandas, how much do you think those same people would pay to see the last Jedi?

So Luke is still pretty screwed at the moment. Han, Leia, and Sana are slightly less screwed. They’re on the run, being chased and shot at by Imperials. For Han and Leia, that’s basically Tuesday. For Sana, I’m sure that’s the kind of shit she usually goes out of her way to avoid. None-the-less, they are able to avoid getting shot down. And the two women even manage to tell Han to shut the fuck up. At this point, I’m certain Han’s scrotum has collapsed on itself.

While there’s plenty of tension and danger, not much else is added to it. The story with Han, Leia, and Sana really doesn’t move forward all that much. It’s just the Imperials show up and they have to run. That’s about it. There’s no further insight into who Sana is and how she ended up married to Han Solo. Granted, they don’t have much time to chat because Imperials are shooting at them, but there’s not much else that happens here other than making Han feel more awkward.

There might be nothing more that can be done with that plot until the Imperials stop shooting, but there’s still plenty that can be done with Luke. He’s not in a position to do much as a prisoner of a Hutt. However, he still has R2-D2 with him and R2 tends to find a way to help his master when he’s done too good a job of screwing himself over. This time is no exception. He gets a distress signal out to the Rebel fleet. While they claim they can spare no resources to save one kid from a Hutt, they do leave the door open for volunteers. But who would possibly volunteer to go a planet of smugglers to rescue just one guy? Who could possibly be daring/crazy/ballsy enough?

Enter Chewbacca. That’s right all you Furry fetish folks. Chewbacca happens to not be doing anything at the moment. And since I doubt he wants to be around Han when he’s bickering with his ex-wife and future wife, why not kick some ass on a planet of thugs and save Luke in the process? Hell, that’s probably Chewy’s idea of a fun Saturday night.

Well I think it’s safe to say now that both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are having a pretty typical Monday. Get chased by the Imperials? Check. Get caught up in crime syndicate run by the Hutts? Check. Unlock ominous secrets of the Jedi? Check. Stay stuck between an ex-wife and future wife? Okay, that’s not on the list, but it damn well ought to be. Every element in this story fits perfectly within the greater Star Wars mythos. It doesn’t try to do anything too crazy. It doesn’t introduce any Gungans. It doesn’t try to make Hayden Christiansen likable. It just sticks to what makes Star Wars awesome.

As a result, this issue is awesome. It effectively continues the ongoing plot involving Luke and Han Solo. Granted, it doesn’t move the plot forward a great deal, but it never becomes chaotic or contrived. It remains consistent in every important area and in an era where little consistency exists outside of a Big Mac, that counts for a lot. There’s still not much that is going to blow anybody’s minds or soil anybody’s panties, but it’s still as fun as a Star Wars comic can be. I give Star Wars #9 an 9 out of 10. But if anything can lead to brain stains and wet panties, it’s throwing a Wookie with a blaster into the mix. Nuff said!


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