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Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel Paperback – October 24, 2017
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Pro...another fun evil Indiana Jones style aka Doc Aphra ....more background info on Luke good bonding with all the clasic charecters,
Star Wars: Volume 5’s Yoda-centric story ended up being my first real disappointment in Jason Aaron’s Star Wars run, so I had a ton of hope pinned to “The Screaming Citadel.” The fact that I ADORED the first crossover Star Wars event that Marvel did last year, “Vader Down,” and that this was being written by the same writers of said event, Aaron and Kieron Gillen-the latter of whom’s “Doctor Aphra” series I have seriously been digging-had me really psyched to see what this would be like.
Well. Now I know.
Things don’t start off terribly, which makes the story’s eventual fall into Syfy-channel-ish kitsch all the more disappointing. The one-shot that kicks things off has art by Marco Checchetto, whose work on previous “Star Wars” series “Obi-Wan and Anakin” and “Shattered Empire” rank as some of my favorite Star Wars art EVER. And he doesn’t disappoint here, mixing Gothic-horror with standard Star Wars visuals to create something that’s distinct, interesting, and utterly gorgeous to behold. The story starts off interestingly, too, with Doctor Aphra recruiting Luke Skywalker on an adventure to help her open up The Ordu Aspectum, the ancient Jedi thingamajig from her first arc. Their destination: the not-so-welcoming abode of the Queen of Ktath’atn. I won’t spoil the fairly obvious influences on the story, because that’s part of what little fun “The Screaming Citadel” ends up offering, but suffice to say, this is a story that wears its inspiration on its sleeve.
For the majority of issue #1, things click along well enough, and it looks as if the seeds are being planted for something genuinely interesting.
Then issues #2-5 happen.
It’s hard to dig into WHY “The Screaming Citadel” jumps the shark/screws the pooch/pick-your-“[VERB] + [“the”] + [random animal] metaphor as badly as it does without getting into spoiler territory, so I’ll just say this: there’s a thin line between fun, original, old fashioned Saturday-morning-sci-fi-serial storytelling, and tiring, derivative, schlocky Saturday-morning-sci-fi-serial storytelling. For the most part, both Aaron and Gillen have done an admirable job in each of their respective Star Wars series at keeping on the right side of that line. Unfortunately, in “The Screaming Citadel,” they don’t so much step over the line as they do careen over it.
And that’s really too bad, because the potential was there-as evidenced by the quality of the arc’s initial one-shot-for a Star Wars story that was truly different and fresh from anything else we’d ever gotten. You have to give points to Aaron and Gillen and artists Salvador Larrocca and Andrea Broccardo for trying to do something new within the realm of Star Wars…but when you don’t pull off what you set out to do, there’s only so much praise that deserves to be sung.
As a note though you will get more out of this if you've been following the Star Wars and Dr. Aphra comics. However you can get by without that knowledge as well.
There are at least three different main artists, and not only does it lead to a disjointed visual storyline, but the quality of has wild swings. The art in the first issue is by far the best, and then it takes a terrible nosedive. There are also different writers, so the characterization and dialogue is inconsistent.
I will give Marvel Star Wars books one more shot after this, and if it doesn't change, I'll be gone.