Comic Review: Droids – The Kalarba Adventures


Coming a few months after the first installment of Tales of the Jedi, we get an episodic, more comedic Star Wars comic, focusing on the comic relief of the original trilogy – R2-D2 and C3-P0.

Writer: Dan Thorsland
Art: Bill Hughes and Andy Mushynsky
Lettering: Bill Pearson
Colors: Pamela Rambo
Covers: Cam Kennedy (#1), Kilian Plunkett (#2-6)

Publication Dates: April 1st, 1994 to September 1st, 1994

This is available from Amazon.com either on it’s own, or as part of the Droids Omnibus (Kindle/Comixology, Print)

Plot Notes

Approximately 5 years prior to the Battle of Yavin, R2-D2 and C-3P0 are part of the household of Baron Pitareeze, a starship designer on planet Kalarba. The comic goes through a series of episodic adventures following the two droids as they go through various adventures as part of the household – or in a few cases on their own.

These stories often involve Olag Greck as an antagonist. His schemes are normally one-offs, introduced and wrapped up within a single issue, with Greck or the other antagonist, ending the issue on some variation of:

Worldbuilding

  • We have our first appearance of assassin droids outside of IG-88, and we learn that non-assassin droids can be re-programmed into being assassin droids, and that the droids will have knowledge of their old programming and may resent this re-programming (as is the case of C-3PX)

Characterization

C-3P0 and R2-D2: Captain Antilles (their master as of the start of A New Hope), is not their first master. For an unspecified period of time, they were in the household of Baron Pitareeze.

Other Notes

Of the Dark Horse Star Wars comics I’ve covered thus far, this is the first comic that really feels like a comic that is aimed for kids – Dark Empire is more serious and gritty, aimed for older teens, and Tales of the Jedi is aimed at a PG-13 level. This, on the other hand, works as a story that can be read by kids, but without talking down to them.

Final Thoughts

This is a fun, short, episodic series. It’s not trying to tell a big epic story, it’s not trying to make a big spectacle, it’s just a bunch of fun little one-offs, and that works – and (unlike the YA novel series which I’m skipping because nobody considers it canon), it isn’t contradicting any events of the films (like Luke keeping Dagobah a secret, or the Emperor inexplicably having a three-eyed son).

When I return to the EU, I’ll be seeing how Han proposed to Leia in The Courtship of Princess Leia.

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