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Besides the Clone Wars, the Star Wars Comics Introduced Us to Talking Bunnies and the Dark Lady of the Sith

Star Wars Comics Introduced Us to Talking Bunnies and the Dark Lady of the Sith ” width=”560″/>

Nick Nadel’s Tuesday column examines the increasingly busy intersection between comic books and the movies.

Novels, comics, a new animated movie — the Clone Wars are one Tom Brokaw special away from being the most chronicled war since World War II. Ever since Princess Leia’s tantalizing hint in Star Wars that “General” Kenobi served with her father during the Clone Wars, fans have breathlessly followed the details of this crucial conflict across Lucasfilm’s multimedia empire. (Little did we know it would lead us to some convoluted business with the Trade Federation and the unfortunately named General Grievous.) Dark Horse Comics have added to the Clone Wars blitz, detailing the many, many battles in their Star Wars: Republic series and multiple Clone Wars graphic novels. But, then, comics have often uncovered lost chapters in the Star Wars mythos. Let’s take a look at a few of the stranger moments in Star Wars comics history.

Jaxxon: Smuggling Jedi Bunny
Marvel kicked off Star Wars in
comic book form in 1977, so it’s impressive that they were able to spin
stories (written and drawn by industry greats like Archie Goodwin and
Howard Chaykin) with only one film to go on. But that doesn’t excuse
the existence of Jaxxon, a smuggler who palled around with Han and
Chewie during space battles, who was also a talking rabbit. Jaxxon was
so important in the early issues of the series, he scored more cover time
than Luke. In its own quaint way, Marvel’s light-hearted series managed
to capture the rollicking space opera Lucas initially conceived…
before bogging it down with Midi-Chlorians and endless Jedi Council
meetings.

Anakin’s Rattail Gets Animated
Based on the first animated Clone Wars series, Clone Wars Adventures is
a fun, all-ages read. But that doesn’t make cartoon Anakin’s rattail
any less comical. It’s hard to take Anakin’s action-packed exploits
alongside Obi-Wan and Kit Fisto seriously when he looks like the
lovechild of Johnny Quest and Billy Ray Cyrus. Thankfully, through the
magic of CGI, Anakin has been given his slightly more respectable Revenge of the Sith hairstyle for the new film. Clearly there’s a reason why he began hiding under the mask.

Lady Darth Vader
Remember
those old comics where Superman and Batman would travel to another
dimension and meet their female counterparts? This is pretty much the
same idea, only with way more complicated backstory. Lumiya was Vader’s
evil-Jedi-in-training and defacto “Dark Lady of the Sith” who swore
revenge on Luke, despite the fact that she was granted cybernetic parts
by his father. (Must’ve made for some pretty awkward space elevator
conversations.) But Lumiya had the last laugh — in 1986, she was featured as
the villain in the final issue of the Marvel Comics series.
(Darth had long since moved on to the short-lived spin-off, Darth Vader: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.)  

Ewoks Ride Elephants, Fight Ice Demons

The Ewoks and Droids
cartoons of the mid ’80s set the franchise back further than an army of
Jar Jars, so one would assume their respective comic books couldn’t do
any more harm. But whether traveling via rainbow bridge
or battling sludge monsters, the Ewoks in Star Comics’ short-lived
series behaved more like Care Bears than the reliable Rebel Alliance
pals we know and love. (Ironically, they went on to meet the Care Bears.) Even stranger, the Ewoks comic crossed over with the slightly superior Droids. Not since The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones had young minds been so thoroughly blown — then crushingly disappointed.  

When not writing, Nick
Nadel is in line at the comic book store alongside the other geeks, er,
fans of speculative fiction. His most prized possession is a 1960s
Batman comic wherein
the Dynamic Duo are trapped inside a fortune cookie factory. He lives
in Brooklyn and updates his aptly named website (nicknadel.com) with comedy writing and videos.

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