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The Road To Episode VII: News, BATTLEFRONT, REBELS S02E05 Review, STAR WARS #11 Review & #ForceforDaniel

Welcome to Forces of Geek’s bulletin board to a galaxy far, far away as we look at some of the newest bits of Star Wars news and information heading into The Force Awakens.

In video game news, EA released a teaser trailer for the Battle of Jakku, a DLC level for Star Wars: Battlefront available on consoles on November 17, 2015. The content will launch on December 1 for those who pre-ordered the game and December 8 for everyone else.

The crashed Star Destroyer that Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey, is rummaging through in the full trailer is the result of a battle between the Empire and the Rebellion that takes place 29 years before The Force Awakens.

According to the Lucasfilm story group, Battlefront is canon, and the desert planet has one of the most marketed elements for the upcoming film. The forty seconds of footage shown reveals a hectic battle that looks to be very challenging. It was cool seeing so many of the classic vehicles operating in different environments such as Imperial Walkers operating on a sandy terrain.

The teaser closes with a crashing Star Destroyer that was explained in Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars. This immersive experience reveals some much sought after back story of what looks to be a pivotal moment in the galaxy.

The closer we get to The Force Awakens, more and more information and promotion items will be released. On Wednesday, five all-new character posters were released featuring Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, Han Solo, and Princess Leia.

Each poster offers little clues as to what role the character will play in the film while the commonality they share is an all-seeing-eye theme. Leia appears to be surrounded by battle plans of some sort while there are small bits of fiery ash behind Finn.

Rey and her staff are ever so present in their poster. That staff though! It’s been featured prominently in almost every single piece of marketing material featuring the young scavenger. Rumors suggest that the weapon belongs to Darth Plagueis.

While that would be cool, it seems too easy of a given for it be the case. I’m willing to bet the farm, however, that the staff has some type of unique ability because if it doesn’t, a laser blast or a strike from a lightsaber will destroy it rather quickly.

Rebels Report: S02E05 –  “Brothers of the Broken Horn”

Hondo is back! That is all that really needs to be said about this episode. The space pirate from The Clone Wars series is a fan favorite that voice actor Jim Cummings has turned into something special. Quips such as, “At last, I meet the semi-famous Lando Calrissian” were conveyed with his unique smugglers wit, proving that he hasn’t lost a step.

While Hondo’s back story wasn’t deeply explored, quick mentions of his pirating days and along with his sideways reference to Obi Wan Kenobi was both informative and nostalgic.

Hondo’s antics and flamboyant personality were a nice counter balance to Ezra’s internal conflict that is strengthened by his growing responsibilities and Jedi training. We’ve all been there before: a teenager experiencing emotions that pull us in different directions. Ezra is relatable in that regard, but his ability to use the Force provides depth to the character that is interesting to explore.

Chopper using two blasters while in pursuit of Azmorigan was a firm reminder of Rebels beings a kid’s show. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can be a little jarring for older fans who crave Star Wars content.

Suggestions of pirate Jedis and the search for something more turned what appeared to be a filler episode into a fun adventure with a little something for everyone. Ezra’s conflicts has been focused on too many times now for it to be left alone. It could mean something more as the season moves forward while Hondo’s abundance of screen time fit like a glove and was worth every second.

“Oh, the stories I could tell. So many of them true.”

– Hondo Ohnaka
Star Wars #11
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Luke Skywalker has been captured by a Hutt who collects Jedi relics, Chewie gets into a fist fight with an opponent who won’t back down, and Han Solo looks to patch things up with an angry Princess Leia.

Jason Aaron is one of those comic book writers that can balance many different storylines without it being overwhelming, giving the theory that less is more a run for its money.

It was cool to see Chewie in a knockdown, drag out fight for a change. It so common to see him just wipe the floor with people, that it sometimes escapes the mind that he isn’t invincible.

Han is normally a smooth operator, but seeing him try to make amends for his wife’s sudden appearance showed a vulnerability that we didn’t know the smuggler possessed. This moment was executed in a matter that showed strength as opposed to diluting his egocentric persona.

Luke’s predicament gets worse by the minute, he is forced into gladiatorial combat with a mechanically altered Rancor-looking creature as thousands of spectators look on hoping to see the death of the last Jedi. The mysterious hooded man shows some of his cards as his affiliation begins to come to light. The artwork and page layouts are wonderfully detailed and make use of every inch of every panel. Justin Ponsor Martin’s coloring brings an energy to the illustrations that makes this a fun book to look at.

Nar Shaddaa is the place to be as most of the major characters have converged on to this outer rim planet with some strong hints that more are on the way. The emotional moments coupled with the action throughout the book makes it a solid read that doesn’t let up.

I wanted to take some time to talk about the social media campaign regarding Daniel Fleetwood. Daniel was told in July that he has two months to live due to a rare form of cancer called spindle cell sarcoma. He stated that his dying wish was to see The Force Awakens.

#ForceforDaniel set out to gain the attention of Disney and J.J. Abrams to make this wish come true and garnered support from John Boyega and Mark Hamill. On Thursday, Ashley, Daniel’s wife, announced on Facebook that J.J. Abrams made the arrangements and Daniel got to watch an unedited version of the film.

It amazing when people from all walks of life share a passion for something and can come together and make a little noise in order for the right people to hear it. It was the right thing to do and we should all be happy that Daniel got an early opportunity to experience the magic that the rest of us will get to enjoy in a little over a month’s time.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, May The Force Be With You.

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