Published: September 29, 2021
Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-4 & 19-20), Derek Charm (Pages 4-18)
Colourist: Francesco Francavilla (Pages 1-4 & 19-20), Derek Charm (Pages 4-18)
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
The epic five week event miniseries Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle continues!
In issue #2, Lina searches for the now missing Milo and Crater and runs into… Jaxxon! He reveals that he, too, has been having nightmares, but of vicious Wookiees bigger than mountains! It seems the GHOSTS OF VADER’S CASTLE are haunting everyone’s dreams…
Francesco Francavilla is not only being kept busy with Ghosts of Vader’s Castle, but he’s also creating both the ‘A’ and ‘RI’ covers for Star Wars Adventures at the moment. The cover for this week leaves me ready to scream one thing… JAXXON!!!!!!! Yes, everyone’s favourite Lepi is back and standing tall on the cover, surrounded by officious looking Wookiee’s. After her stunning artwork in issue 1, Megan Levens gets the ‘B’ cover and it’s my pick of the week. A brilliant depiction of a giant Chewbacca cradling Jaxxon in his paw, or is it hand, I’m not sure.
Jaxxon is liked by many and disliked by just as many, I think. He’s a bit like Jar Jar Binks, misunderstood. I remember him as a key character from the early Marvel years in the late 70’s and grew to love him all over again when I reviewed those releases for our Lockdown Legends feature last year. Cavan Scott can’t resist giving him another outing since his welcome return to the pages of our comics. But we start by looking at the story that links to the tale of our space hopping Lepi.
Milo and Crater have mysteriously gone missing, and Lina Graf is pleading with Mon Mothma and Leia to help in her search for her brother. Understandably they won’t grant her request for a ship to search for her brother, but Leia sympathetic her request and gives her the details of a spacer that will be able to help… Jaxxon. It’s a great idea to bring Mothma and Leia into the story. They give the story a bit of a grounding that it needs. While the recited stories are tongue in cheek, it adds authenticity to the overarching story line. So, onto the story that Jaxxon is sharing with his captive audience in the cantina.
Jaxxon is telling a tall tale, pun intended. Attack of the 50-Foot Wookiee takes place during the Festival of Bounty on Kashyyyk. Jaxxon is rubbing the Wookiee’s up the wrong way and wants to leave with a shipment of saava berries to Glutta the Hutt, but it is bad luck to take goods off the planet during the three weeks of the festival. In his usual arrogance, Jaxxon ignores the advice of Han Solo and heads for the Rabbits Foot and takes off much to the dismay of the Wookiee’s, especially Chewbacca.
The Rabbits Foot is stopped in it’s tracks by a morphed Chewbacca who is now akin to the size of King Kong! With the Rabbits Foot now destroyed, Jaxxon manages to escape and partners with Solo to talk Chewie down from his rage induced form. Solo pleads with his best friend, but the Wookiee grabs him in his hand. That leaves Jaxxon to save the day. A Wookiee priest gives him a berry that also see Jaxxon enlarge to the scale of Chewie. They go toe to toe and slug it out.
The priests plan works, and the pair return to their normal sizes to discover that the Millennium Falcon has been badly damaged during the melee. Solo is fuming and reaches for a berry from the priest. Solo is transformed and Jaxxon flees the wrath of the supersized smuggler.
Back in the cantina, Lina explains her desperation to Jaxxon, but he’s through with helping Leia and her friends, but something tells me that he may yet succumb to her request. We are then transported to Mustafar where Vader’s cohort Vaneé is taking a delivery of Milo from the possessed Crater.
In the early days of Star Wars Adventures, I always saw Derek Charm as Cavan Scott’s partner in crime and yet again, they deliver an issue which exudes fun. Yes, there is the horror element, but I just feel that the balance is there between seriousness and the wild tales we are given every week. Scott and Charm always work so well together and it’s great to see that chemistry is still there. I’m sure they have an absolute blast concocting these tales. Francavilla perfectly captures the mood with his art as well, and alongside more stellar work from Shawn Lee on layouts and lettering, it makes this a really well put together issue. And as far as Scott is concerned, The Postman only rings twice, but be sure he will ring 3 more times and deliver yet more ghoulish Star Wars fun!
As usual with our visits to Vader’s Castle, we’re up again next week with issue 3. Next time we catch up Hudd and Skritt for a story of ‘The Spirit of the Swamp’ on Dagobah.
Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #2 is the first issue in a 5-part mini-series. Published by IDW on September 22, 2021, it retails at $3.99 and is available from your local comic book store and online retailers. In the UK, it is available to order from Forbidden Planet.