Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Lesser-Known EU: Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back


This is another guest post from amara z on the Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back comic. Enjoy!

And now we are on to the Infinities version of probably my favorite movie The Empire Strikes Back. I really liked this one as well, but for different reasons than the version for A New Hope. The art is just about as good and since this is Empire, we actually do get some nice Han and Leia goodness in this one. Evidently a lot more than I originally thought because I ended up scanning quite a bit for this one. Unfortunately, this is probably the saddest of all three of the Infinities series and there a couple of moments that just really get you.

* SPOILER ALERT * – this contains spoilers. So if you were planning to read these for yourself, then nothing to see here. Move along; move along.

The big twist from the movie is that Luke dies on Hoth. It is really sad. The comic starts out like the movie. The Rebellion is on Hoth, Luke is out on patrol, and meets up with the wampa. He does manage to escape, but he dies just as Han finds him. Before he passes on, he mumbles about going to Dagobah and training as a Jedi. For some reason, Han believes it’s a message is for him.

Here's the page from Luke's burial.

And here’s an image of one the covers from the individual comics that composed this version of the series. I just thought it was cool.

I do like the fact that Han comforts Leia. Very sweet. And before all of this goes down, we do get just a taste of Han and Leia’s fight in the south corridor about him leaving. That was kind of nice.

The rebels barely get Luke buried before the Imps attack.

I dunno about anyone else, but seeing TIEs flying over Hoth just seems wrong to me. It just looked so odd that I did a double take.

From here, things progress like the movie. The Imperials get the upper hand, start overrunning the base, and Han has to drag Leia out of the command center. Han, Leia, Chewie and Threepio make it off the planet in the Falcon, but have trouble outrunning Imperial ships. And in a totally hilarious jab at the movie, we get the following scene.

Yeah, that’s a good one.

At this point, Han attaches to the side of the Destroyer's bridge, they drift off with the garbage, and make their way to Bespin with Fett following them. Unlike the movie, though, they get a friendlier welcome on Bespin and the Empire is not laying in wait for them. Han does tell Lando that he is with the Rebellion and that seems to smooth things between them. He also tells Lando about becoming a Jedi. Lando laughs at that and Leia comes to Han's defense. Awwww.

Boba Fett also makes it to Bespin and informs Lando that he is there for Solo and that Fett's employer is on his way to collect him. Lando sets Fett up, there is a huge fight between just about everybody, and Fett is knocked unconscious. This time someone else ends up as a carbonite decoration.

Yep, that's Boba Fett in carbonite and being used as Lando's desk. Another good one.

Han, Leia, and Chewie take off for Dagobah once the hyperdrive is fixed. But, unfortunately, everyone assumed that Boba Fett was working for Jabba. He was really working for Vader. Angered when Lando can't produce Fett, Vader destroys the city.

That page actually choked me up to see the city going down and Lando's cape fluttering by. Way harsh.

They eventually make it to Dagobah and when they find Yoda, it comes out that Leia is the one that's supposed to be trained as a Jedi. Han got protective of her once they landed and here's one of the sweeter moments after they find out she's the one to be trained.

We get another cute moment when Han leaves to settle his debt.

This was after Yoda ribbed Han for being a “death-marked scoundrel.” Funny.

Months later (it's not clear if it's many months or just three months), Leia is almost a Jedi. To me, she looks a lot like Jedi Leia from the books (or at least what I've seen on wookiepedia). Looks like she can kick some butt too.


Meanwhile, Han has made enough to pay off Jabba and arranges for someone to deliver the money. But they double cross Han and he and Chewie end up prisoners of Jabba and are forced to fight nexus. Sounds an awful lot like ROTJ, right? They even take a poke at ROTJ. Han and Chewie escape, but so do the nexus. After the creatures tear up his palace, Jabba says that he needs something more controllable like a rancor.

Vader, unaware that Luke has died, has been looking for Luke this whole time and traces him to Dagobah using Threepio. Leia no sooner leaves Yoda to retrieve the crystal to build her lightsaber that Vader shows up and confronts Yoda. Yoda invades his mind and in one of the cooler series of scenes, Vader fights every major Jedi he knew when he was Anakin. Yoda also tells him that Luke is dead. Eventually, Vader is reduced to the small child he used to be but with a twist.

Wow, that is one creepy Anakin. But I thought the whole thing was a neat metaphor for fighting his personal demons. Vader and Yoda start dueling and Leia returns to see Yoda struck down. He eventually dies. Leia fights Vader herself and he gets the upper hand. He tries to convince her to turn to the dark side, but Leia's having none of it. Two laser blasts come out of nowhere and kill Vader. It's Han. He came back to get her and because he misses her. Again, awwww. And it's very obvious in the end they are going to be together.

I did find this one fairly enjoyable even though it was much sadder than the first comic. I really liked all the sweet moments between Han and Leia. Glad they didn't deviate from them caring for one another. And there were some really nice wow moments like Boba Fett in carbonite that easily kept my attention.

Thank you, amara for the in depth review and for taking the time to scan these pictures for us!

55 comments:

  1. This looks pretty cool. Big shock that Luke died right at the beginning, wouldn't have expected that at all.

    I'm pleased that even in this AU Han and Leia end up together and bicker and banter just like they did in the real ESB. The artwork of them also looks really good, unlike a lot of comic depictions of them (Dark Empire, I'm talking about YOU!!)

    I love Leia's hair towards the end, that's a good look for her.

    Haaa, and I love the Boba in carbonite desk!!!

    Thanks for the review Amara, I really like the look of this one, and think I'm going to go find a cheap copy on Amazon!

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  2. Yeah, I think you can only find this on amazon any more. It was one of my Christmas presents and glad to get it. Han and Leia are so cute in it.

    Does it make me a total techie geek that I had fun scanning these? :) There's something about making things look pretty, except my house that is.

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    1. I found it on Amazon but it's not cheap. It costs more to buy a used copy than a brand new hard back book. Hmmm, ok, time to try eBay, and if not, just wait and hope it gets cheaper!!

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  3. Thanks again for this! I am really surprised that they went with killing off Luke right away if only for the fact that taking him out would probably alienate some of your potential readers. I'm so glad that no matter what Han and Leia end up together :) Also of course I love Lando's desk. It's almost crazy to think about all of the different directions they could've gone with this so it makes it interesting that they chose this. And yes, the artwork for Han and Leia is also pretty decent. Thanks again!

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  4. That was awesome. I so want to go read that now! I love the twists they put on the plot n these things - like the asteroid field and the carbonate desk. And Han becoming a Jedi...

    Amara, I do the exact same thing with making things look pretty... Thanks heaps for this!

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    1. Yay! It let me post! For some reason my computer wasn't letting me post...

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  5. Yay! Glad people are excited about this one too. I still love the scene of Han telling Yoda to take care of Leia.

    I would probably spend your money on this one if you have to choose. Have to warn you that the one for ROTJ is pretty bad; at least I thought so.

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  6. At least with Luke dying so early on we didn't get as far as the med centre kiss!!

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    1. Lol! That's a good one. Very true.

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  7. Wow, that was really interesting. I like how Leia and Han are portrayed. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  8. I was thinking, Han thinks Luke was trying to tell him that he needs to train as a Jedi, and from the bits shown here it looks as though Han is pretty cool with that. Would he really be so accepting of that? Hokey religion and all? I don't know whether he questions it more, but to me that's not something Han would be eager to do.

    Also the bit towards the end sort of reminded me of the South passage argument, whereas Leia tells Han "We need you", in this version the dialogue is reversed, and Han is telling Leia that the Alliance "needs" her. But he also adds "I need you", which of course Leia DIDN'T say in the movie, but we all know that is what she wanted to say deep down.

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    1. He was pretty accepting of it. I'd have to check back to his initial reaction. But he did tell Lando about it. I would agree that I don't think he would be so accepting of it.

      I love that particular part in the comic. Very sweet. I can't believe he admitted it! They seem much more open to each other in this version. Maybe Luke's death got them to stop fighting and brought them together.

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  9. This does look pretty awesome. If I'm able to find it cheap anywhere, I might get it. I love that last page, and the burning Cloud City is beautiful, though sad.

    I have to ask what is going on with Leia's hair on that first page? It shrunk!

    Some of this reminds me of the extra levels in The Force Unleashed 2. Leia becomes a Jedi and she mentions something about Luke dying on Hoth...although it's because he fights a sith. Anyway, thanks for the review Amara! Do you mind at all if I use some of these scans on F--Yeah Han and Leia? Linking them to here, of course.

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    1. Two stupid questions...how do you get them on tumblr? I'm a newbie with it and curious. And second, will Dark Horse be super pissed with me? Yeah, I know. Such a dorky question, but I have an honest streak a mile wide. It can be quite annoying. :)

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    2. To get them on tumblr just involves uploading a saved photo from your computer. And about issues with Dark Horse, I personally haven't heard of them coming after anyone (unless someone else has?). I know I've even seen some of these specific pages before while searching the internet, and really, comic pages are all over the place. Not that it justifies it. If you're worried, I don't have to link it. Or I can not post them at all, it's not a big deal. I'm just scrounging for material. ;D

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    3. Nah, it's just me being me. Kind a little late worrying about it now. :) Go for it.

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    4. Cool. And I'm sure links to this blog wouldn't be unappreciated. ;) Will be curious to see what you up there.

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    5. Oh and check out the April Fool's post. I found some more clips of Star Wars Kinect dancing on YouTube.

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  10. Elivagar, is F*ck Yeah Han and Leia your site? If so, you are the greatest, I love that site!

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    1. Agreed! Find all my good stuff there.

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    2. Yup, thanks! I'm happy you guys enjoy it. :)

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    3. She's also an incredibly talented artist so you should all go to her blog linked on the right there, Star Warsy Art Dump.

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    4. Elivagar, love your sight. Where do you find all those great pictures. I have your site book marked and visit it often. I love going back into the older pictures and just looking.

      Zyra thanks for the info about the Art Dump. Plan on visiting soon.

      Great job.

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  11. I love that you guys do reviews of the lesser-known EU. Some of the best H/L are hidden in the depths of the lesser known, and I've amassed an enormous collection to make up for the painful lack of good moments in the more widely-known EU. (If you're ever open to guest reviews, I have some fairly obscure stuff I'd be happy to send in! Though I am a newbie here. But judging by the current poll standings, there's a comic for that and I've got it...)


    Unrelated note--as a newbie, I love reading these reviews and seeing how other shippers do exactly the same things I did--add "tabbies" to all the same places, remember those one lines (ex. I remember reading the review for Cryatal Star and seeing the line about "the one thing we all remember" and just about shouting "the white rug scene!"). Ah, camaraderie.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. And this right here is a guest review so if you've got something, or several somethings, that you'd like to share with us please feel free to write it up and we will post it here. We love to get others involved. It means less work for us ;) And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'd love to hear about any Han and Leia goodness that I've never seen before as I know it exists.

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    2. I agree! Is there a comic where the kiss interrupted? Do tell!

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    3. Or maybe she means a comic where they are NOT interrupted? I don't know but I'm certainly intrigued. I thought I knew most of the Han and Leia stuff out there, but if there's things I haven't seen then I'd love to hear about them. So do share with us!

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    4. Lol, yes. That is what I meant. :)

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    5. You ladies probably do--I'm used to spending my time around other Star Wars fans who know way more about stuff like clone wars and Old Republic and garbage like that, so I've gotten used to thinking of certain stories from SW Tales as obscure because the circles I move in never know what I'm talking about. *sigh*

      I will see if I can't get my scanner up and running tonight though, and get that particular comic series mentioned before done.

      Who can I send the review to once I'm finished writing it up?

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    6. Oh Star Wars Tales, ahh yes, I am familiar with some of those.

      Han and Leia wise, top of the pile is probably A Wookiee Scorned, which is very cute, despite the manga style artwork.

      Also, The Other is good too.

      I've got Volumes 3 and 4 of Tales, so don't know if any other goodies in the rest.

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    7. Now I'm really curious and feel a google search coming on. I'm a comic newbie, so this will be interesting.

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    8. You can send the scans to me. zrm17 "at" yahoo "dot" com

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    9. Will do! Sorry I'm running so far behind, I've been battling the dregs of a flu and bronchitis. I'll try to scan a couple of comics that I've got and review them on top of the one I mentioned.

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  12. Great review. I think this one is my favorite of the 3 infinities stories. Luke's death was a surprise but it really carried the dark tone of ESB, and you get the feeling Luke would be 'force walking' or whatever it's called like Obi-wan does, in the future.
    I honestly *cough*acquired*cough* most of the Star wars comic books just the get the infinities series, so it's awesome that your including them. I'll take a look and see if I can find any other take on the kiss in the asteroid field. Their are a lot of great H/L moments in the early comics, but some of those comics are just plain bizarre.

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    1. Thanks! I would love to see an uninteruppted kiss if there is one.

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  13. Preferably an interrupted one where they end up doing it against a bulkhead!

    I remember some of the early marvel stuff, with He-Man Luke and Leia with her big pouty lips and enormous boobs!

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  14. Lol, Claire. Now I have both visuals stuck in my head.

    That would be some kiss. Even them just agreeing to meet later in his cabin. I'm not picky if we get more kissy, sexy time.

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  15. I noticed something interesting today. There is a preview page on the web that does not match the comic. It's page 3 in the link below. On the web page, Leia asks Han if he's seen Luke. She has a bad feeling he's in trouble. But in the comic, this page is a partial scene of their fight in the corridor about Han leaving. I kind of like the way it's on the web.

    http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/Previews/12-346?page=3

    I noticed too that you can buy a digital copy of this, but would have to use the Dark Horse web site or android/apple app for Dark Horse. But wasn't an awful price.

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  16. Ok, so that page is kind of like a deleted scene then? Interesting.

    I do really like the art in this comic, it's one of the better depictions of them out there.

    I may check out the digital version. Thanks.

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    1. Yay! I just found a reasonably priced copy of this on amazon. I'd rather have a physical copy than a digital one, so I've ordered it.

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    2. Nice!

      I think that's the best description of it - a deleted scene. I thought I was going crazy at first. I was looking for that scene when doing the review and couldn't find it until I was looking through photos on my iPad.

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  17. Comics are a new world for me. I might have to check these out. I am glad to see information posted about them. I knew they existed but had given them little consideration. Looks like I need to expand my Han and Leia universe.

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    1. Speaking of comics, do any of you have Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom? It's part of the SW Adventures series, which is fairly recent. This one is set between ANH and ESB and has Han and Leia on a mission together. Just seen it on amazon, and then looked it up on wookieepedia. Could be worth a look I think.

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    2. I have it. I borrowed it from the library for my son and then bought a copy. It's for young kids. The art is not superb, but not awful. And it's a cute story. Han and Leia are at their nagging best. I've already informed my son that particular book is mine. :)

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    3. Yep, I have it, too. I should probably review it here. It's cute. And it's super cheap, isn't it? Worth tossing into your next Amazon order. The artwork doesn't so much look like them but at the same time there are some facial expressions in some of the panels that are just great. Really conveys the emotions. Mostly Leia being really, really mad ;)

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    4. Oh I'm so getting it!!! That sounds good enough for me, and yes, it is really cheap. Thanks ladies.

      I dread to think how much money I spend on this stuff.

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    5. Are we just the biggest nerds for collecting a book for kids? :) Or maybe just obsessive.

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    6. Sometimes I wonder if I should have a kid just as an excuse to buy this stuff, but at least this way I don't have little ones with their grubby hands on my nice comics, smudging and ripping the pages.

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    7. This is why I hide mine. :) I do let my son enjoy the Lego Death Star. He loves it.

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  18. Yay, my copy of this just arrived, and it's brand new. I thought I was getting a used copy, but it doesn't look like its even been touched!

    Had a flick through, and it looks really great. Have to get reading later!

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    1. Oh, wow! Hope you like it.

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    2. Now I've got this I can appreciate that "deleted scene" you linked to earlier, yeah, I see what you mean!

      I like how there are still echoes of the movie, even though the scenes are changed. For instance, on arrival on Dagobah, Threepio says Artoo senses something, and Han says "come on, Chewie, let's check it out", and then Leia says "I'm coming with you". Which of course is the same as when Han decides to go check outside in the space slug. There are other similar bits that remind you of different scenes in the film. Thought that was clever.

      It's a really good comic, I recommend it!

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    3. Oh, yeah, I liked the deleted scene much better. Just a taste of the corridor fight isn't near as good.

      I totally missed that part with Threepio and R2. I'll have to check that out again. Geez, even in an AU Han has to put up with Threepio? That sucks. :)

      Did you read Royal Ransom yet? It's cute.

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    4. No, haven't received it yet. Although apparently its on it's way!

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