Posts Tagged ‘Quixotic Jedi’

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.


Quixotic Jedi #2

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

And now, more Marvel Star Wars comics stuff. Jedidiah, like Don-Wan Kihotay before him, was another crazy old dude who thought he was a Jedi. The story involves Luke and Leia rescuing some alien Prince, and then assuming the identities of his entourage, for reasons that I’m sure made perfect sense at the time. Leia gets off with the Prince, which makes Luke have a hissy fit. Luke takes an uncharacteristic dislike to the bug faced loon, until said loon takes a bullet (laser) for him, and then he’s all like “Truly he was The Last Jedi”. I’m doing this from memory, you might have guessed.

By this point, Carmine Infantino had left the title, and The Empire Strikes Back had been released. We were into an era of new creative teams, as well as new story dynamics. Walt Simonson may have made some idiosyncratic choices with his art (wheels on a Y-Wing? Call the Continuity Police!), but his fluid and dynamic work took the series into a new realm. While Carmine Infantino is to be commended for a lot of great stuff, a lot of his stuff feels slightly old fashioned. It was, perhaps, consciously aping the old sci fi comics, movies and pulp adventure books that inspired Star Wars originally, but lantern jawed hippy Luke, fifty year old Han and muscle bound Threepio never quite recalled their movie counterparts. Simonson’s characters, on the other hand, captured the essence of our heroes. The writing in the post Empire issues, was also a lot better. I guess having twice as many movies to draw on helped.

As great as Simonson’s (relatively brief) run was, the secret weapon (the goalkeeper, if you will) of the entire Marvel comics series had to be inker Tom Palmer. His work brought a consistency to the art that really gave the book a real character all of its own. I suspect that on many issues, he did most of the heavy lifting (and as such was often credited as “Finisher”). Well done Palmer, you beautiful bastard.