SH S5E07: Ranking Star Wars at Planet Comicon

SH S5E07: Ranking Star Wars at Planet Comicon
Screen Heroes

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It’s our big Planet Comicon live episode! This past weekend, we were at Kansas City’s largest comic convention, Planet Comicon and we put on a live episode during a panel. In this episode, we, along with the audience, rank the live action Star Wars movies. Our list only includes live action and theatrically released films.

What is your favorite Star Wars movies? Which do you think is the worst? Was our list totally off?

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A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

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SH S5E07: Ranking Star Wars at Planet Comicon

Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC

This past week marked the arrival of the third Star Wars: Battlefront DLC, “Death Star.” Releasing two weeks early to season pass holders, this DLC allows players to fight inside the infamous battle station, finally dogfight in space, and make the famous trench run from A New Hope. The Star Wars: Battlefront “Death Star” DLC comes with an all new mode in multiplayer, Battle Station, new star cards, weapons, ships, pickups, and new heroes and villains to play.

Here we take a look at the three new phases presented in the new mode, Battle Station that was specifically created for this DLC.

Phase 1Battlefront DLC

The first phase is where you attack a Star Destroyer preventing one of the rebellion landing craft from entering the Death Star. This is where the dog-fighting in space comes into play. As the Rebels you must attack four key hard points on the Star Destroyer in a limited amount of time in order to break the blockade and allow your shuttle to pass through. As the Empire, you are trying to prevent your Star Destroyer from being blown up and allowing the Rebels access to the Death Star. During the space battles you get new pickups as you’re flying around. This allows you to call in wing-men to help assist in the battle. The Rebels get Y-Wings and B-Wings while the Empire get TIE Bombers and Defenders (a fighter previously in the EU). Think of them kind like probe droids in space; they hunt enemies down while providing you cover and giving you more points.

Phase 2star-wars-battlefront-death-star-dlc

The second phase is where the Rebels make their way inside the Death Star to retrieve R2-D2 who has the stolen plans for the station. In there you fight along the halls and hangers of the Death Star and try to retrieve R2 before the Empire stops you from doing so. New heroes come into play during this mode as well, Chewbacca for the Rebels and Bossk for the Empire. Both have unique special abilities than can aid in the battle for their side. Along with new heroes and villains you get new skins for the Rebels and Empire. Ranging from the classic Tantive IV Rebel security uniform to a Death Star gunner’s uniform there is a lot to pick from. Also included in the map is, of course, the Death Star layout itself. This map is one of the bigger maps. It is beautifully designed and has callbacks from the original Battlefront games back in the early 2000’s. Here you utilize the new star cards and blasters that EA and DICE have developed.

Phase 3Trench Run-Death Star

Once you retrieve R2 or if you stop the Rebels from doing so it will lead you to the third and final phase which is the trench run. Similar to how it goes in the movie, you must either defend three fighters going into the trench from TIE Fighters and give them time to destroy the Death Star, or try and prevent the Rebels at all cost in doing just that. If you play as the Rebels and are chosen randomly by the game to destroy the Death Star then you must navigate through the trench and hit 12 checkpoint markers. The trench isn’t just a straight line, it’s a lot of twists and turns through narrow gaps to try and reach the exhaust port. You will need to use speed, timing, and your power-ups if you want to reach the objective on time. If all three fighters fail, then a new batch is picked to try and do another run until the Death Star is blown up or time runs out. As the Empire you are trying to protect the Death Star no matter what. The same pickups from the first phase are available to both sides to try and protect one another. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker return as the heroes for this phase in their ships. Luke in his X-Wing with new abilities and Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced X1.

So far this is the last of the Original Trilogy themed DLC we are going to get. The final DLC, “Rogue One: Scarif”, which will tie into the new movie, will be released sometime this December.

How are you all liking Battlefront so far? Are you satisfied with all the DLC to date? What DLC would you have wanted to see or game modes you want to see in Battlefront 2? Let us know in the comments below.

Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC

Marvel’s “Princess Leia” Fails to Impress

Marvel’s five part series, Princess Leia, isn’t perfect—despite how much I wish it was. As the industry sits, there aren’t an overwhelming number of female protagonists in the well-known Star Wars canon. A comic centering on women was a welcome, refreshing tide to the often stagnant diversity pool.

If you haven’t read it, the comic portrays Leia’s life between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” It details her grief over losing Alderaan, and her struggle to keep her culture alive. (A responsibility she takes very seriously as the princess, yet one she seems to blow off once she’s ready to move on.) Through the story, Leia is accompanied by the ever-faithful R2-D2 and a new face, Evaan. That’s a 2/0/1 ratio of women to men to droids. It was a little bit exciting, to say the least.

Marvel's Princess LeiaPerhaps that’s why I had such high expectations. After all, if you’re going to do something, you need to do it well. It’s evident that a large amount of planning went into the storyline, but there are moments when it falls short. As your eyes grace certain pages, it’s almost as if you can hear the makers debating the plot.

“How do we get them out of this situation?” they say. “What if we included yet another last-second, un-foreshadowed, confusing rescue sequence?”

That, paired with the lack of panels depicting what and how many of the rescues actually happen is almost inexcusable. Instead, the story opts to flash forward to after the battles. In one of the worst instances, we’re given a single panel of Leia, summarizing what happened with dialogue that sounds unnatural. Disappointing much?

The character arc of Evaan was severely underdeveloped from what I had hoped. Her personhood and ideals changed in a single panel, as she sits and explains to Leia how exactly she has changed, and what’s even worse, how the reader can go back and see it happening over time. Apparently, the change should’ve been apparent through Evaan’s beginning to call Leia by her first name. That plot device would’ve worked on a mediocre level, if the authors hadn’t pointed it out to us with a strobing road sign. Evaan had such a strong potential, and I was so excited to see how her character would grow. Unfortunately, the integrity of the arc was compromised in favor of anything and everything else.

Marvel's Princess LeiaThe comic does have strong points, however. The world-building and exploration of Alderaanian culture brought a fascinating element to the story. Watching the destruction of the planet on screen, with no cultural background, it’s sad and a crime against humanity. After learning about the way Alderaan society operates, the ideals its people hold dear, and the deeply ingrained traditions, the world came alive to me, and I found myself mourning its passing in a deeper way.

Additionally, we were provided with some colorful and sweet insights into Leia’s childhood. Though the series did seem a little flashback-heavy, the flashbacks were all events I wanted to see.

If the comic’s purpose was to enlighten the reader on Leia and the culture of her homeworld, it did a rather decent job.

However, if the comic aimed to illustrate a story of a race finding their way to each other, it was shoddily done. A more focused story goal would have benefitted the series, as the completion of this goal is brought about in a hasty, awkward way through a group of people that the reader has seen very little about. In fact, the large group of Alderaanians that join Leia are not introduced as a story concept until the last issue. After escaping by the skin of their teeth through yet another rescue, Leia decides to return to the Rebellion. As she leaves, she  gives Evaan little information on how to proceed with the large group of Alderaanians seeking guidance on rebuilding their culture.

Marvel's Princess Leia with Chewie, Han Solo, and Luke SkywalkerIt was too vague and far too shallow to buy into. As a reader, I suspend my disbelief enough as is when reading science fiction. I know these things are not possible, but, if the events cannot really happen, the characters need to live, breathe, and feel as real, humanistic beings. I need to relate to them because their changes and emotions ring true.

Princess Leia failed me on that front, though I am very open to seeing any future works that center on her work with rebuilding Alderaan’s spirit.

Marvel’s “Princess Leia” Fails to Impress