Posts Tagged ‘Listen to me all of you space freaks’

It’s not easy being green

Sunday, August 26th, 2012


When Dark Horse started publishing Star Wars comics in the early 90s, it seemed to be editorial policy to bash the earlier Marvel run as an embarrassment. Their comics, they assured us, would be more in the spirit of the movies. That didn’t quite pan out, as anyone who ever read The Hunger of Princess Nampi would attest.

The attitude towards the Marvel run was one I never quite understood as I had really enjoyed them, and took them pretty seriously, when I was growing up. I recently reread the entire run and they’re as I remember: (mostly) good, (occasionally) bad and (in one or two cases), brilliant. In addition I’ve been listening to the commentary for the series on the excellent Two True Freaks podcast, so it’s fair to say I’m a little bit obsessed with them at the moment.

It seems that the only reason the Marvel comics were ever considered to be to be “goofy” and “camp” was the fact that a couple of the early issues featured a six foot tall green rabbit mercenary called Jaxxon.

OK maybe a gun toting, sarcastic bunny wouldn’t have worked in the movies, but comics are resolutely a different medium. Those early issues were a little crazy, but that was their charm. To an entire generation of Star Wars fans Jaxxon is not only the saga’s weirdest denizen, but also the symbol of a more innocent time. Hats off to you Jaxxon, and May The Holy Hutch Be With You.

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Quixotic Jedi #1

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Don Wan Kihotay was another of Han Solo’s “Space Freaks” in the “Eight For Aduba 3” storyline, in the first post movie issues of Marvel’s Star Wars series. As the name (and the triple pun, which went straight over my head) would suggest, he was a Jedi Knight. Or, more accurately, he was a crazy old man who thought he was a Jedi.

He has two looks, which is pretty exciting. Firstly he appears as a mad eyed bedraggled cross between Catweazle and a thin Michael Bentine. Those are some pretty archaic references right there, but I’m talking about thirty four year old comics, so fuck you. The second look is straight up Don Quixote, in full plate mail armour. I think he even had a lance at one point. Obviously they really wanted you to get that “clever” parallel, but as a six year old I wasn’t too familiar with seventeenth century Spanish literature. Kihotay seemingly gave his life fighting the Behemoth From The World Below, except it was revealed that he didn’t, he was just injured. He may not have gone off to have an auspicious career in the expanded universe, but Marvel would later introduce a very similar character.

Their joint legacy continued in the Star Wars role playing game from West End Games, which had a set of character templates that included “Quixotic Jedi”. I don’t know anyone who wanted to play as a crazy old coot but it was one of the only ways to get your hands on a lightsaber.

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