Star Wars Adventures Free Comic Book Day 2019
IDW Publishing (May, 2019)
Tales From Vader’s Castle: “Droid Hunters”
WRITER: Cavan Scott
ARTIST: Derek Charm
LETTERER: Tom B. Long
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Elizabeth Brei
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
Two Rebels are walking around an old castle, Lina and her droid, Crater. Crater goes on about another member of their team they lost contact with and is sure he’s busy robbing the place again. Somehow this leads into a story taking place around the period of Solo: A Star Wars Story. (I think because I haven’t seen the movie.) Han and Chewbacca are relaxing in their favorite bar when they run into a man being chased by a pirate named Gwarm, who is after a trio of droids, one of which has a map to a great treasure and the other two booby-trapped. Of course they have to go through all three before finally finding the right one, but it turns out the other guy actually works for Gwarm, who was using him to set off the booby-traps. They’re all fooled because the “treasure” are actually other pirates who crashed on the planet and just want to escape. They take Gwarm’s but Han and Chewie manage to get away and disable their ship. In the present Lina doesn’t see the point of telling the story although she gets the message, both unaware that they’re being watched by Vader. As the title says, this is HIS castle.
What they got right: As I said, the story itself is fun and I do enjoy the artwork. It is nice to see Han and Chewbacca’s days before meeting Luke and Obi-Wan.
What they got wrong: I know the series or graphic novel this comes from is supposed to be some kind of Halloween inspired anthology book (the pirates in the stasis pods are some kind of cyborg zombies from their design) but it does seem odd that sneaking around an Empire-held stronghold is considered a good time to tell ghost stories. I also don’t know how Crater learned of this story, or how the pirate cyber-zombies got those droids out there to bring some sucker in…or why it took so long or how the droids got scattered to the various jobs, but admittedly none of this takes away from the story. It’s just stuff you need to think about as a writer if you want the story to make sense, and this is about improving my own craft and avoiding these kinds of pitfalls.
Recommendation: As I said, it’s a good story. While I don’t know why Disney/Marvel didn’t just let Dark Horse continue this series if they’re not going to do the kids comics anyway (outside of Dark Horse being responsible for much of that expanded universe J.J. Abrams tossed in the garbage compactor) at least they’re still making fun Star Wars stories. Worth looking into the full graphic novel or miniseries or whatever if this is a good example of what’s in it.
This was one of the two free comics I was able to get on Free Comics Day with my local store’s rationing policy on that special day (the other free comic I got that day was the Robotech one). The Star Wars Adventures free comic was fun to read as you noted. On the other hand, it didn’t really give me a strong impulse to seek further Star Wars Aventures issues. Fun and free, but not enough to make me want to shell out dinero for similar comics. The Star Wars related thing I really enjoyed about Free Comics Day was that I picked up two one dollar reprint comics (specially reprinted for Free Comics Day) of the first Ewoks issue by STAR and the last Star Wars issue by Marvel (the one from 1986).