08 January 2016

Star Wars: From the Continuing Adventures of Rey and Finn

So I saw Star Wars, but I'm sure you knew that already. I'm not going to review it, because who needs that-- maybe when Episode VIII comes out, I'll revise my rankings.

What I am going to say is that I really liked the new characters: Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8. They're all made for me: Rey was amazing and is justly getting a lot of praise; Finn is an ordinary guy who decides to do the right thing (eventually); with that haircut and jacket, Poe Dameron looks like he walked right out of the the 1970s, which is perfect; and BB-8 is the cutest. They all feel like Star Wars characters without being overly derivative of what's gone before. And, I think, that as a group they'll work well together and with the preexisting characters.

What disappoints me, as a result, is that I suspect we're not going to spend any more time with them until Episode VIII comes out. Back in the day, Marvel Comics filled the void between Episodes IV and V with all sorts of comics featuring Luke, Leia, and Han on wacky space adventures. Plus there was Alan Dean Foster's novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the altogether weird children's picture book The Maverick Moon. Many of these stories... aren't great, but they are more adventures with our favorite space heroes, and in the years since, more and more adventures have filled in the times in and around the original trilogy.

But tie-ins don't work that way anymore, at least not with Star Wars. Disney released very little before The Force Awakens that gave anything about it away; apparently the closest the official "Journey to The Force Awakens" comic series got to the film it was ostensibly tying into was having Luke Skywalker meet Poe Dameron's parents when he was an infant (infant Poe doesn't even appear!). Now, I'm sure before long we'll have prequel series like: Han and Leia: The Parenting Years and Admiral Hux: The Evil Academy Years and Old Guy Who Died at the Beginning: The Beard-Growing Years and Poe Dameron: The Sexiest Secret Agent/Pilot Years, but what I suspect we won't get are any stories taking place after the movie we just saw, because they would come before the next one, and clearly Disney's approach is not to give away the game like that.

Until Episode VIII shows us exactly what happens when Luke finally says something, there's no room for adventures featuring Rey, Finn, Chewbacca, and BB-8 tearing around the galaxy getting up to hijinks on the Millennium Falcon, occasionally running into Poe Dameron and getting missions from General Leia and being chastised for their recklessness by Admiral Ackbar. I liked these characters a lot, and I want more adventures with them-- lots more-- but I suspect I'll be waiting a long time to see them.
These guys deserve adventures!
fan art by Ron Chan on Tumblr

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