Welcome to Episode VII! It's been a bit of a wait, we know. The good news is we're moving back to our normal three updates a week - at least for the time being as we see how we can manage the writing schedule with our group not meeting up as often any more.
In reality, there was a ten-year break between Episode VII and the previously released Star Wars film, which was Episode III. And of course, when we started this whole comic back in 2007, we had no idea that there would ever be more than six Star Wars films. But here we are, and we're still going! Thank you for your support and we hope you enjoy our treatment of the next three films.
Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)
It started as a silly idea from an announcement; I'll just avoid seeing spoilers for Episode VII to write about my thoughts about the comics unchanged by the movie itself. It'll only be a year or so to wait, what could go wrong?
Over five years later, there's been the 3 main movies, Rogue One, maybe some other movies like Rogue One, and this Disney+ Mandalorian thing. All of which I've seen basically none of, and the things that I did catch from things have blurred together with old memories of Star Wars stuff from before Episode VII came out. Plus, life gets busy and goes in unexpected directions.
It turned into a game of "Avoid the Star Wars" at some point, probably around the time when the statement was made to wait until all the movies were out before seeing if they'd fit into the current comic. Things like mentioning to people not to tell me about the movies because I haven't seen them yet (giving a reason why optional), ducking out of theater showrooms until the previews are done, or just leaving/ignoring discussion about Darths & Droids, Star Wars, or spoilers in general. Now that it's finally starting, I'm going to make an attempt to try and write down my reactions to each comic.
That's likely going to be 4 years of writing, if not more, and will probably be one of the longest projects I work on in the end, if I make it. I'm not a great writer, and I'm probably not as amusing as Keybounce was for their entries. I'll probably end up with a couple sentence entries at times too. Whether or not I can keep on writing until it's done however, I'm still planning on waiting to see the movies until the comic has completed VII-IX. Then I can at least reread and give an overall thoughts at the end.
There are some spoilers I know (or think I know), which may become clearer as this thing progresses. So without further ado...
Huzzah! We're finally starting! I'm guessing that's the black stormtrooper guy, and Annie is already planning another big thing behind the rest of the party. Judging from the transcript (very helpful for telling speech bubbles apart at this point [Ed: memnarch saw the first strip online with the transcript, but from now on he'll be getting comics in advance like Keybounce and won't be seeing the transcripts]), his name is Finn. Maybe the different helmets mean it's a different bunch of clones, or perhaps this "First Order" had to start recruiting random people.
Ah hey, looks like everyone's in the same room again! I wonder if it's a short visiting trip, or if people have moved again for work. Sidenote, I thought Ben was missing again for some reason until I read the transcript. Not a clue why, but I somehow picked up on who everyone else without that. Corey got the line in my first read through.
Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)
So the Comic Irregulars forgot to send me the raw comics. This will not stop me. I have gone all these years, not watching the movies, and I am going to give you my feedback on these comics whether you want them or not.
Of course you want my feedback. Don't you?
I know, the real job of my feedback is to make sure that everyone is having fun watching me make guesses and try to figure out what's going on only to be completely in the dark.
So what's happening in this episode?
Looking only at the comic, without seeing the transcript (because normally I would get only the comic, and not the transcript), it sure looks like Annie is working with the GM to set up another character development plot twist. After all, the GM says, "what we pulled". And, when the door opens, it looks like we have somebody saying hello to the GM and Annie; apparently, Sally just entered the room.
The opening scrawl is not readable in the comic, I can barely make out "she is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy".
When I hear, "maybe I can salvage Artoo's dreadnought", I know that's Pete speaking, and one of the few things that I know of the new movie is that it has that bowling ball eight robot. Clearly, this is Pete's plan to pass his old belongings to his new character, just like some underwater breathing apparatus.
Now however, having the transcript, and able to read the opening scrawl, I can see how this is all about hunting down the last starfighter, I mean, the last Jedi. And, with the whole might of the Empire trying to hunt down ...
Hang on. I thought the whole point of Episode VI's ending was that they had taken down all the horror of the horrible Empire, and restored the freedom of the Republic. What was the point of all the work they did in the first (okay second) three movies to overturn the horrible Empire and restore the goodness of the Republic?
If the Empire was bankrupted by building two giant expensive machines of death that were destroyed (I will not get into the topic of whether or not the ecology of the forest moon was destroyed or not), not to mention all the public outcry against the war effort that the skilled propagandists of the Rebellion would have propagandized, then how can there be enough support for the Empire to generate a First Order able to force Luke back into hiding, and of all places in the galaxy on Tatooine?
Seriously, since everything revolves around this one planet, why not just take advantage of a spy network and infiltrate this one place? I mean, we know that the previous generation's spy network/Mafia was led by Shmi, a kind, peaceful lady; and the next generation was led by some peaceful desert nomads who were given some weapons. Clearly, the best way to get some information in this universe is from the one planet where the Hutts, the spies, the Jedi, ...
Weren't we also told there was somebody with a brand-new hyperspace drive system on this planet that was trying to avoid being destroyed in the background of the Rogue One, sorry, Butch Cassian and the Sundance Droid story?
I am wondering if there is really the hidden home of the Galactic Empire on this planet somewhere.
Finn: So, can I do it?
GM: After what we pulled with Anakin, it’s going to be tough for them to trust you.
Finn: Let me worry about that.
GM: I know you'll be having fun, but it’s my job to make sure everyone—
Sally: Hey guys! Annie!
Sally: Where’s Jim?
Annie: Getting some beers with Pete.
Sally: How’s married life?
Corey: Hi! I brought snacks. The others are right behind me.
GM: Annie, all right.
Ben: No, Pete, if the camera is 20 metres away, Iron Man’s rotation is that divided by eye separation.
Pete: I’m 100% sure you’re wrong, but I need a diagram.
Jim: Yay! The gang’s all here!
GM: Everyone ready? Here we go:
Opening Crawl: Episode VII - THE FORCED-AWAY KIN. Luke Amidala has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Amidala, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy. Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Tatooine, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts....
Pete: Tatooine? Maybe I can salvage Artoo’s dreadnought.
GM: The scene opens on the other side of the planet...