The term “Emperor’s Hand” is canon again. Should Mara Jade follow? (I’m not so sure.)

Yeah, we all heard it: “Emperor’s Hand” in Saturday night’s Rebels, ‘Legacy of Mandalore.’ The Hand in question is Gar Saxon, governor of Mandalore, a character who’s appeared on Rebels before.

So no, it’s not Mara Jade, the first and best known “Emperor’s Hand” in the no-longer-canon Star Wars Legends timeline. Per Dave Filoni himself, it was just a reference. He told ComicBook.com it’s “probably just a little sly nod to a character type.” Probably:

I think it would probably be meant more innocently, but the minute you say it I’m like, ‘Good grief.’ I know exactly where everyone’s going to go with that,” Filoni told us with a laugh. “I know, with the hopefulness of it all, but I wouldn’t dwell too much on that. It’s more of a generic reference to that type of character that exhibits in history of the world, like the emperor has a hand, there’s someone who’s always sitting at the right hand that’s gained great power.”

Yeah, Filoni could be playing games. But I’m willing to take the comments at face value for now… Even though giving the title to both a man and a Mandalorian seems particularly tone-deaf.

But the fact is, I’ve been rather wary of Mara returning to canon and would prefer it not be on Rebels – if at all. (Rebels is fine for what it is, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Take all the Thrawn you like, but I’m selfish and want more for Mara.)

But, you know… It’s complicated. Continue reading “The term “Emperor’s Hand” is canon again. Should Mara Jade follow? (I’m not so sure.)”

Hey, doubters: Let’s give the Han Solo movie a chance

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Well, of course the Han Solo movie is rumored to be about Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. Of course. It’s only the most iconic Han and Lando story, the bare outline direct from The Empire Strikes Back.

That said, the rumor does come from a tweet by The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, who claims to have heard it from “a couple of sources” – though not, apparently, enough for an actual story. Still, it would be bigger news if the film didn’t involve the Falcon.

Now, we’re all a little (a lot, truth be told) sick of people complaining about how this film is going to be “predictable” or “boring.” About how people would rather have an Obi-wan movie, or whatever. (No, you’re not the first person to say it. You’re not even the thousandth.) And this rumor isn’t going to help matters, I’m sure. But the film is in pre-production. It has two key roles cast – Han and Lando – with a third that probably isn’t far behind. (Not to mention Chewbacca is probably locked in, as we know Ehrenrich tested with either Peter Mayhew or Joonas Suotamo.)

han-lord-miller-falconMost importantly, It also has a pair of directors who are best known for taking “horrible” ideas and actually making great films out of them. If you somehow managed to miss Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie or 21 Jump Street remake, please give them a try. And remember Lawrence Kasdan? He co-wrote the thing. These are not a bunch of random dudes off the street making a fan film. They, and everyone else at Lucasfilm, have a clear concept of the character and the film – check out those Celebration Europe clips again.

What do we, the audience, have? Hints and rumors and speculation – not the most solid ground for judgement.

I’m not going to discount the possibility that the movie could still turn out so-so. Hell, I’m still a little wary about the whole spinoff concept myself.

Fact is, this movie is happening. You don’t have to like it, but that’s not going to change at this point. But it’s far, far too soon to write it off. Give Han Solo a chance, just like you’re going to give Rogue One a chance. Hopefully, they both manage to surprise us.

Inside the Star Wars generation gap: Why we still care about Mara Jade

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I had a lot of mixed feelings the other day watching the new video on Ahsoka Tano.

I’m not in The Clone Wars generation by any means – I’d been active in fandom for more than a decade when Ahsoka came around – hell, this blog was four years old in 2008.

But what Ahsoka is to that generation, Mara Jade was to mine. She was, back in the day – or at least to some of us – just as big a Star Wars figure as Leia. In fact, she was only the second female in the whole franchise to get anywhere near that much development. For nearly a decade – before the prequels – Mara Jade was the second-most important woman in Star Wars. But she’s not canon any more. And though I don’t really care about that, I have to admit it hurts to see her effect ignored. Oh, I know that to mention her in that video would just muddy the waters, but so much of what you see with Ahsoka and fandom right now mirrors what was happening with Mara and fandom back in the day.

Continue reading “Inside the Star Wars generation gap: Why we still care about Mara Jade”

On Star Wars spoilers, and how I treat them

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I’ve avoided saying much about my spoiler policy here on Club Jade, mainly because I firmly believe in taking these things on a case-by-case basis. But there is one hard fact here: I will not treat officially released material as spoilers.

That doesn’t mean I’ll spoil something that’s in The Force Awakens novelization or art book, on the chance they come out before the film does. But any officially released publicity material is fair game. That means trailers, commercials, press releases and anything else that Lucasfilm very clearly wants people to know.

Continue reading “On Star Wars spoilers, and how I treat them”

Last of the old Jedi, first of the new: The Force Awakens’ Jedi shouldn’t be the same as their predecessors

spoilers-swirl-helmetFirst it was ‘why aren’t stormtroopers clones?,’ now it’s ‘Luke Skywalker’s Jedi should be carbon copy of the Old Republic Jedi, right?’

Over at /Film, and in light of the latest rumor regarding possible Skywalker offspring, Germain Lussier gives his view on the rumors, and Jason at Making Star Wars has a response as well. (Possible spoilers at all those links, though I’m trying my best to avoid them here.)

I don’t agree with ether of them entirely (okay, I really don’t agree with Lussier and, full disclosure, went a-ranting on Twitter this morning over it) but there’s something kind of funny about all this: The old arguments never die, do they?

Continue reading “Last of the old Jedi, first of the new: The Force Awakens’ Jedi shouldn’t be the same as their predecessors”

Marvel puts Star Wars comics up on comiXology, but…

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If you’re a digital comics fan, the news of the day is pretty big: Star Wars comics became available on comiXology today under new licensee Marvel. Most of the big publishers use comiXology for digital these days, but Dark Horse has stayed an outlier, maintaining their own app, so this is the first time these works have been available through the more popular service.

That’s all well and good – or at least, inevitable. This is the way the comics license works: All or nothing, no matter who actually produced the work.

Okay, this one is a touch ironic.
Okay, this one is a touch ironic.

But one thing: Everything you see in ‘Marvel’s’ Star Wars store is reusing old Dark Horse covers, sans Dark Horse logo. The only changes on any of them are a Marvel logo and the Legends banner. Other than those three things, they are using the Dark Horse covers verbatim.

And, honestly? It looks a bit crass.

It’s not the biggest issue in the fandom, and it’s certainly not without precedent – Dark Horse reprinted all the old Marvel stuff, probably several dozen times a piece. But they also started long before digital comics and the ability to publish several dozen collected editions at the drop of a hat. By the time digital came along, all the old Marvel stuff had Dark Horse covers ready to go.

I don’t expect Marvel to have artists whip up completely (mostly?) new covers for digital, the way they’re doing for print. But surely a quick general ‘Archive’ template and text treatment (Well, maybe two, given the omnibus layouts) would make this look a little less skeevy.

There’s nothing wrong with the Dark Horse covers, and certainly Lucasfilm owns the typography just as much as they do the art. I’m sure there are a lot of factors I’m unaware of here. I don’t even know if they have access to the original art (surely Lucasfilm does?) I don’t know Marvel’s staffing situation or the amount of time they had to throw this all together. And I certainly have no objections to Dark Horse’s big last minute sale: They produced most of it and lost the license to the biggest fish in the pond through no fault of their own – why not get in those last few sales?

But I know, as a fan – and not even a fan who Dark Horse showed much interest in catering to outside of a brief period in the ’90s – this just doesn’t look right to me. And for that matter, why is Marvel is putting up some of Dark Horse’s most popular Star Wars comics – Dark Empire, Legacy, etc. – it only a week before their first new comic even hits? An attempt to reach out to the rabid Dark Horse fans? Will it over-saturate the audience? Can you over-saturate the market for comics fans?

It all comes down to money, yes. Of course it does. And I’m sure Marvel and Lucasfilm made a nice chunk of cash today off all this, to go with their brand new 1 million record. I just wish they’d been a touch classier about it.