You might think I live under a rock, and, sometimes, I think I do, but I came into this graphic novel cold. I’d heard the name before, and though I’m not a big fan of horror, I like to expand my horizons. I’m happy to say I was glad I chose this story.
Since 1983 when Return of the Jedi first premiered, Jabba the Hutt has been a character who has been (in my opinion) underutilized. Like Boba Fett, his demise came far too quick. Despite a handful of appearances in other Star Wars media, including a cameo in The Phantom Menace, a restored sequence in A New Hope, an ill-fated role in The Clone Wars movie, and a couple of episodes of the series (as well as a few flashbacks in the old Extended Universe and the Darth Vader comic published by Marvel), there has been far too little of the infamous Hutt.
When Star Wars premiered in 1977, it was - and still is - recognized as a reflection of many genres. Mythology, religion, and history all claimed a part of the construction of its narrative. So, too, did the American Western. In fact, in Mary Henderson’s book, Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, there is an entire section devoted to Star Wars’ relationship to the Western. While there have been several tips of the hat to the genre, including, most recently, the Disney+ series, The Book of Boba Fett, there has been no true direct reference imagery depicted… until now.
With Jayne charged with the possibility that his son is still alive on Earth That Was, the group coalesced around the plan to rescue Simon and find an available portal to take Jayne back to Earth That Was. You probably already figured this out, but there are… complications to that plan. When has it ever been simple with this crew? They’re the Grey’s Anatomy of space opera, I guess.
Here we are, like the main adventuring party, returning to the world of Die. And like the group of longtime friends turned adventurers, it was with hesitation and anxiety that I returned to a world that I loved so much after taking some time apart from it.
Can you say action? Cool settings? Magic that has nothing to do with European elves, wizards, and witches?
The journey home has brought Edward grief and much worse. His father - the king - is a vampire. As a young man, the king was determined to wipe out all the witches from his kingdom, but one survived long enough to offer the king everything he wished for: a throne and the power that goes with it.
While Edward learns how to control his ability to shift from human to unicorn and back again, a raven delivers a most unexpected message: His father - the king - is alive. And not only that, the king wants him to come home.
In a nutshell, this is a River-centric story that attempts to move River’s story into the future. Set ahead of the “Brand New ‘Verse” timeline, this book explores River’s damaged psyche and how she’s struggling with keeping her sense of self. Of course, since this is a Firefly story, high-stakes hijinks are part and parcel, in this case involving a caper with sheep. A LOT of sheep.