Friday, April 17, 2009

The Force Unnessarily Unleashed!

Ahsoka © Lucasfilms 2009
By Corey Breen
Prisma Color Markers, Pen & Ink, Pencil & Photoshop

For Christmas this past year, I got the book and the video game, Star Wars Unleashed. Much like Shadows of the Empire, this was a multi-media release of a story set within the Star Wars chronology. The book was based on the game, and tells the story of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, named Starkiller. It takes place after the Clone Wars and order 66 after Revenge of the Sith movie. In it, Vader is hunting down the Jedi that fell through the cracks, and upon killing one of them, realized he now orphaned a small child strong in the force. Instead of killing the child like he did the Younglings in Revenge, he decided to take on this child as his apprentice, hidden from the Emperor.

Now, I have to say, I love ALL things Star Wars, and try to read as many expanded universe things, because I usually enjoy all of it. My favorite being the Heir to the Empire Trilogy, and the Hand of Thrawn books by Timothy Zahn. But this book, upon reading it, was just plain AWFUL! It's made me go off on a complete nerd rant, and I thought I would share why.

First of all, the main character in this book is named Starkiller. Starkiller?! Come on, that is the WORST name ever. My favorite character is called Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, so why name this idiot Starkiller? So contrived. Second, why in the world would Darth Vader take on a SECRET apprentice? It makes no sense, because there is the rule of two with the Sith, and Vader just went through all the prequels to become the Emperor's second, so why take on a third? He is Darth Vader, he doesn't need a secret assassin. He can do the job himself.

The book sets it up so he can use Starkiller to hunt down Jedi and kill them for him, so he doesn't have to. Would he think for a second that this would not work out? Oh well. Anyway... turns out, he betrays the apprentice after he tells him he wants to take out the emperor and take over the galaxy with him. He betrays him because the Emperor finds out about Starkiller. This is fine, whatever, since there is 200 more pages in the book, we know he lives. So in secret again, pretends to join the newly forming rebel alliance under Vader.

But turns out in the end Vader and the Emperor used him to get the new alliance out in the open to crush it. They kidnap Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, and others and take them to the under construction Death Star. But struggling with the dark side, Starkiller tries to save them. THIS IS WHERE THE AWFULNESS REALLY MAKES ME MAD! He proceeds to kick the CRAP out of Vader, AND the Emperor! WHAT?! Come on! No WAY! It's bad enough that Vader has this "son" that he raised to try and take over the galaxy (hello- that's the whole point of Luke Skywalker later on- why do the same story, and lessen the point of his REAL son??). UGH. So this loser is stronger then the both Vader and the Emperor? No way! Then, he saves the alliance, and they flee, but not before he sacrifices himself in doing so by throwing himself in front of the Emperor's Sith lightning. Stupid death scene. Could have been better if it was Vader, since this book just made Vader a weakling, where Vader should have been, "look kid, you have failed me, I will destroy you," and put a lightsaber though his chest. UGH! Then it ends with the alliance honoring this tool, and they use his family crest as the freakin' symbol of the Rebel Alliance. WHAT? So dumb.

This book spit in the face of Star Wars history, and I hope to god it is not recognized in the real chronology. I've read some bad Star Wars books, but this one is completely unnecessary, and dumb. It made Vader a weak loser, and the Emperor a fool. And the creation of the Rebels is because of this tool? And he is never mentioned ever again? Please. The problem I had the most is that the entire Star Wars story rests on the idea that Anakin Skywalker went from hero to fallen soldier to death bringer, and that he needed to be resolved of his sins by his son. His REAL son. The point of Star Wars overall, was his redemption through and by Luke, and that is what holds the most meaning. It is all about his downfall and redemption. With this new character, you completely lessen those ideals, and make everything with Luke redundant and makes it have less impact. Also, why did the new Rebel Alliance not do anything about the Death Star, or tell anyone for that matter? It took them 15 more years to finally talk about it? UGH! LOL

Well, that's my rant. I will play the video game. Maybe that will at least be more fun then the book. But I am not counting this stupid series as in Star Wars continuity. It was a complete failure, especially compared to the AMAZING Shadows of the Empire, which besides the Dash character, completely worked within the time period it took place. I think that was the problem with this. It tried to create a story and jam it into the history. Shadows just filled in the gaps that were missing. Worked much better.

So, now you say, why did I draw Ahsoka, from the Clone Wars cartoon? Well, if you got this far in this post, there is a reason. Unlike Stupidkille-- I mean, Starkiller, I actually like Ahsoka. At first I hated the idea of Anakin having an apprentice. For much the same reason as Darth Vader not needing one, it seems forced. But the cartoon has been amazing in it's first season, and she has grown on me. I still think she needs to die a horrible death, and that will make it just one more reason that Anakin starts turning to the dark side. He never experiences a huge death of someone close to him, and this could be that person. Usually, the downfall of people reaching rock bottom is the death of someone they love. Ahsoka could be that person. And you can explain her not being mentioned ever again (one of the problems of characters like her and Starkiller), is that her death hurt so much, he told people NEVER to talk about her. It could be a complete denial thing, and something that is a painful inner psychological issue. Makes sense, right? Doubt they will do that but, I can hope, right? We'll see what happens to her, because something has to, because obviously, she is not in Revenge of the Sith.

Why do I even care? HAH

The drawing above was done in pencil, pen & ink, colored in Prisma Color Markers, and touched up in Photoshop. Hope you like it. You know... I just realized that the position of the arm is similar to the Snake-Eyes drawing I had done last week. That was by total accident. Oh well, just goes to show you how hard it is to come up with new positions to draw super-heroes in.

Below is the original inks and pencils.

Ahsoka © Lucasfilms 2009
By Corey Breen
Pen & Ink, Pencil

Ahsoka © Lucasfilms 2009
By Corey Breen

PS- I am still working on the HUGE Green Lantern Double-Page Spread! It looks amazing. I have finished the complete layouts, and now am working of finishing the pencils. It's gonna take a little while though. It has 35 characters. This is one of my biggest attempts at doing what someone like Ivan Reis and George Perez have done, fitting a TON of characters on one or two pages. I want to make it as good as I can. I'll keep you updated on it, and will post it as soon as I am done. It's the reason why there was no new drawings or Blog posts until I took a break from it to draw this Ahsoka piece. So if you don't hear from me for a little while again, this spread is probably why. But I'll try to post stuff in-between finishing it, must like I did today.

Time to read Satr War: Outcast, too. God I hope this book is better then the Force Unleashed.

Later all,


UPDATED - My biggest critic, my Fiance, Kristy, made me tweak a lot of the background colors because she didn't like them before. She said it was all clashing together, and you couldn't see the figure. I didn't agree, til I tried some color changes, and once again, she was right! Thanks Kris!


Swands said...

Geez man, thats a lot of words there, I ain't reading all of that--it's a perty picture though.

Corey Breen said...

HAHAHAhahaha, yea.
No one is ever gonna read that, huh?


Just skip to the PS then.
The other stuff is just a review of a Star Wars book, and I could talk for 100 pages about Star Wars, so I kept it SHORT! LOL

Thanks for the kind words and the comment, though!