You kids today have it too easy.
When I was in high school, many, many, years ago, I remember there were three main ways to get a Star Wars fix.
- The movies, released on VHS in poor, low res quality.
- The excellent novel series from Bantam, of which I owned and read all of and
- Comic books.
Now while Marvel did take the first crack at the Star Wars comic universe, for a lot of fans, myself included, the Dark Horse line is where Star Wars really shined. It was in that series where we got excellent stories like Heir to the Empire, Star Wars Tales, numerous Boba Fett stories that didn’t have him running around as an elderly gangster on a backwater planet, and some of the best expanded universe material ever made.
For me, those comics were Star Wars, and in many ways I came to love them a lot more than even the films. They had depth and dimension to them, and they were able to expand Star Wars as a visual medium in ways that movies, and even TV sometimes struggled to do.
While Marvel Comics now publishes the main Star Wars comics, they also license out the franchise to Dark Horse, which brings us to Star Wars: Tales from the Rancor Pit.
Does the old magic still work? Let’s dig into this trade and find out together.
Here’s the blurb:
A galaxy of fear!
It’s a dark and stormy night on Tatooine as Jabba the Hutts victim hangs perilously above the rancor pit with only his collection of scary stories to save him. New York Times bestseller Cavan Scott (Star Wars: The High Republic, Tales from Vaders Castle) teams up with with fan-favorites artists Nick Brokenshire, Juan Samu, Rafael Pérez, and Puste for a trio of terrifying tales just in time for Halloween. Experience clanking droid ghosts, explore the chilling wampa caves of Hoth and go monster hunting with Saber-For-Hire Ty Yorrick.
Star Wars: Tales from the Rancor Pit is a treat. Written and drawn by a fantastic group of Star Wars alum and hot up and coming artists, this collection is Star Wars the way I remember it.
Premised around a captured victim whose life is dependent upon entertaining Jabba with increasingly wicked and vile stories, each one of these tales delves deep into the darkness of Star Wars that seems to have been scrubbed out in recent years.
The collection jumps around through Star Wars history, from the age of the Old Republic to the Rebel occupation of Hoth, with a stop in between for a story of the Clone Wars, Star Wars: Tales from the Rancor Pit is a nice tour through some of the most fondly remembered moments in the film, comic, and TV history of the series.
Fans of Star Wars comics will recognize author Cavan Scott from his excellent Tales of Vader’s Castle series, and if you enjoyed that, there is a lot in Star Wars: Tales from the Rancor Pit to enjoy as well. Scott is clearly a deeply devoted Star Wars fan, and you can tell he is having a lot of fun running around in this sandbox.
And the art too is top notch. Artists Nick Brokenshire, Juan Samu, Rafael Pérez, and Puste each do a masterful job of constructing a trio of tales, and a fun series of bookends, giving each work it’s own unique flavor and flair.
This is the Star Wars I remember, dark, gritty, and fun. If you’ve been longing for some of that classic Star Wars feel, Star Wars: Tales from the Rancor Pit is the book you’ve been looking for!
Alright friends, that’s it for me. Next week is Thanksgiving, so make sure you take a moment to think of all the things you are thankful for, then check out my column next week to see all the things you have to look forward too!
Until next time, Stay Safe!