So this particular edition of Star Wars Summer Reads is pretty special, because this is the first time I’ve written one on a graphic novel — and the first SW graphic novel I’ve ever read at that!
I know… you’re probably thinking I’m nuts for never having read Star Wars comic books before. It’s not that I didn’t want to! When I first got into SW, I was overwhelmed by how many were out there and didn’t know where to begin. I thought it would get easier after the canonicity rule came into play, so just like with the novels, I could focus primarily on 100% canon stories. But then there have been so many and they keep coming out so fast! I still wasn’t sure where the best place to start was.
I actually was intending to do a regular young readers’ novel for my SW Summer Reads this year, but the author’s name on this book’s spine caught my attention. With Henry Gilroy of TCW and Rebels aboard, it surely would be a good story! And even though it was written long before the Legends designation, Mr. Gilroy would definitely know how to keep it true to Star Wars form (an issue that’s made me hesitant to read other Legends-era Star Wars stories). Plus, I haven’t watched Clone Wars reruns in a long while, so a tale with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex at the center was sure to be a balm to my prequel-era-loving soul 🙂
And I was right ultimately on all accounts! Filled to the brim with action, drama, heart, and bright spots of levity and laughter, Shipyards Of Doom captured that Clone Wars magic I was craving. It also delivered a nice sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the very earliest TCW adventures with some of my favorite heroes taking center stage — even Admiral Yularen, Plo Koon, and Saesee Tiin got some to shine! But it’s certainly not magic and nostalgia alone that make this such a great book. It really does feel like Star Wars, as we see the Jedi faced against an adversary who knows well their “weaknesses” — their ideals — and doesn’t fight fair. And it’s special seeing Anakin and Ahsoka working through their master-padawan struggles and learning respect and honesty with each other this early on. It’s just a great, satisfying blend of some of my favorite Clone Wars elements, and a perfect first SW graphic novel for anyone ready to step into in a larger world! No doubt I’ll seek out other titles from Mr. Gilroy in the future!
Yeah, there’s definitely something to this whole newfangled novel-with-pictures thing… 😛
(Contains spoilers from Episode II, Shipyards Of Doom, and other story elements from The Clone Wars seasons 1-6.)
– I gotta say, the idea of Yoda and Jabba The Hutt forming any sort of alliance sounds like a truly awesome story. I need to know if that ever happened! Or ever could have happened!! That one panel is a whole new story right there!
– Ghost Squadron is an epic name! Hmm you wonder if that name possibly inspired the Ghost in Rebels later on…?
– “You say something, Master Obi-Wan? I can’t hear you over all these enemy fighters being destroyed!” That’s so Anakin XP
– Ah, a classic Clone Wars moment with young Ahsoka pining away to join the fray! It’s so fun and special revisiting this side of her after all these years :3
– I love that the Invisible Hand (or whichever one of Grievous’s ships this is) looks kind of like an angry shark in this panel on page 10.
– “Is anything in this war ever easy?” “It is for me, master.” Classic! Can I just bottle up this fantastic writing here?! *Feels nostalgia feels*
– Interesting, I don’t remember this sort of theater seating in the Temple before. It makes sense that it’s not the council’s chamber since only a handful of the councilmembers are actually here. But yeah makes me wonder, since this was a 2008 book, if some sets hadn’t been designed for the show yet and the illustrators had to try some new stuff.
– Ah yes now we’re getting into some shades of the “Citadel” arc in S3! If this particular rescue actually happened, it would make sense why no one questioned the carbonfreezing process in the later episode. But then, it does bring up a question as to how Ahsoka could pull the same “tagalong” stunt all over again… and ultimately learn somewhat of the same lesson, too. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the S3 arc was rooted in some of this novel’s ideas.
– “Don’t worry, Rex, we won’t be frozen long enough for [hibernation sickness] to take effect.” So this confirms my earlier assumption that time has a major influence on how the body reacts to carbonfreeze. Fascinatinggg.
– I love that Ahsoka goes into the freezing chamber oozing confidence with her arms crossed! I’m not sure I would be so brave. I mean, from what we know from Episode V, there’s some inherent risk in carbonfreezing. That’s actually a good question though… how come it’s such a worry-free process in TCW, but something worth Boba Fett’s concerns twenty-odd years later? My theory is that there’s a bigger risk if the person being frozen is ill or injured, like how Han had been tortured shortly before. If you’re healthy and strong, perhaps it’s not such a shock to the system. Yay science!
– “The greater our navy, the longer the war will go on, and the more Jedi will die.” Hmm is that really Dooku’s endgame here? Come to think of it, what is Dooku’s endgame, actually? He knows “the Sith control everything”, and wants to destroy this Sith, but what after that? Galactic domination? Retirement on Serenno? I don’t know! Man I can’t wait to read Cavan Scott’s backstory for this guy. Back on-topic, I guess it’s possible that this desire to eliminate the Jedi might be more of Palpatine’s plan than Dooku’s. Not that he’s a fan of the Jedi or anything, but he’s never struck me as wanting to outright purge them. That’s more of Grievous’s thing. I would love to sit down and chew on this with a= fellow SW nerd sometime. Dooku’s a complicated guy.
– Is “plunk droids” an insult or just another word for GNK droids? Pfft battle droids are so high and mighty.
– Separatists don’t give out medals, Juhm! At least, not when you’re working under Count Dooku and Darth S…
– I love how Mr. Gilroy captures R2-D2’s voice. Artoo talks like Artoo should talk, with very specific lines and reactions. more of a “VWOoo-bwee” than “beep-boop”.
– But disobeying direct orders is just what Ahsoka do! It’s her thing! 😛 I like what Mr. Gilroy did here, though… it’s easy to assume immediately that it’s a good thing Ahsoka tagged along, just like in the Citadel arc. But truth be told, Artoo could’ve helped Anakin, too. We see later on that Ahsoka ends up playing an important part, but at this point, she doesn’t really have a good excuse for what she did. That’s OK though Snips, her inability to stay still and sit quietly on the sidelines is why she’s so awesomely relatable!
– I would’ve loved it if Juhm hadn’t recognized Ahsoka as a Jedi at first and instead thought she was some kid making prank calls XD
– It’s really interesting watching Rex learning to trust Ahsoka here, and it gives me many feels. Such precious buddies!!
– Saesee Tiin is both a daredevil pilot and a math nerd! Boi got skillllll.
– “Shocker sticks”? Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, muun? I think Juhm legit doesn’t know what they’re actually called.
– Wow Juhm is not good at this. First he tells the slaves that the Jedi are murderers, than he tells them the Jedi wouldn’t risk innocent lives in sn attack. You’re just asking for a revolt, dude. He’s such a terrible (as in, terrible at his job) villain and I love him XD
– This is brilliant. Anakin and Ahsoka are having a deep meaningful conversation and learning lessons while being tortured! Reminds me kind of that scene in The Incredibles.
– The running gag with the clones betting drinks got me thinking about a TCW element I haven’t thought about in a while: 97’s. I always knew it was a clone bar run by clones, but I only just considered how amazing it is to see these guys becoming businessmen and cooks and bartenders! It says something, perhaps, about their creative ability. Not entirely unheard of (don’t forget fry cook Gregor!) but just kind of cool to me. Maybe these business-clones were army rejects? Or maybe the small business is just a hobby. Have to take some notes next time I watch season 6.
– Real men (or should I say muuns?) wear pink! XD I love muuns you guys, they’re such cartoon characters!
– Also Juhm has a goldfish and for some reason that cracks me up. Yet he can’t keep his slaves from running out on him…
– “How about the Force backed up by laser cannons?” Wow, Saesee Tiin can be SASSY Tiin! *Respectfully bows to his superior burn*
– OH SNAP. VENTRESS JUST SHOWED UP AND KILLED THE GUY. Seriously, I didn’t realize she was even in the panels until she was center stage. Good job, artists!
– It’s interesting that Palpatine cares about even the length of the war. He’s got every dark detail down-pat and it kind of scares me.
– Nah we can’t have Obi-Wan and Ahsoka thinking too deeply about the moral nature of this war, Anakin makes sure everyone remembers “We’re the good guys! The Republic needs us!” Welp, they’re something said for his enthusiasm…
Keep the peace,