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Kelly St. Clair ([personal profile] cmdr_zoom) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-05-22 09:42 am

Manga ESB, #2 of 4: "Wars not make one great."

Going to be gone for most of the day, so I'm making this post early.

Our heroes have managed to hold off the Imperial attack long enough to escape from their base on Hoth, but here their paths diverge: Luke informs Artoo that they aren't going to regroup with the others, but are going to the Dagobah system.


You can say that again, Han.

"You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake. Well, this could be it, sweetheart."
"I take it back."

In a dazzling display of piloting skill, Han does manage to evade both the asteroids and the pursuing fighters, and find refuge in a cave on one of the larger asteroids. The cave is "not entirely stable", however, and sometimes has tremors:

Luke has made a controlled crash landing on the swamp planet of Dagobah, and is taking stock of his surroundings and surviving equipment.

(What I find fascinating about how Toshiki Kudo chose to render this scene is the implication that Luke was mind-tricked right here. Reminds me of a fan joke from A New Hope, in which Ben's explanation that "The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded" is blandly parroted by Luke, just like the stormtroopers.)

Luke explains to the strange green gnome that they're looking for a great warrior.

Funny little guy, isn't he?

Let's get back to Han and Leia, sharing a quiet moment in the midst of trying to put the Falcon back together:

They kiss. And then Threepio barges in on them, the big gold dummy. (He may be fluent in over six million forms of communication, but he has no sense of timing.)

As an aside, I always thought that Leia's last line here was a faint "Very nice..." Translation issue, maybe?

Back on Dagobah, Luke is losing patience with his quirky host... who says as much, and is answered by a familiar voice from thin air:

Yoda, ladies and gentlemen. This was quite a reveal once, second only to the big one still coming up.

While the others make a few unpleasant discoveries about the "cave" they're in, a skeptical Yoda begins Luke's training with a brisk run through the swamp while clinging to his back and lecturing him about the Force. Luke comes to a cave of his own, a hollow under an ancient tree, which makes him feel strangely cold, like death.

And here the manga frankly fails, IMO, to convey the creepiness of this scene in the movie. Luke ventures into the underworld and discovers his arch-enemy, his boogeyman... Darth Vader. Fighting a duel with him in nightmare slow-motion and finally striking him down, only to discover his own face under the death mask. He is his own worst enemy, and he has failed this test.

16 pages + cover from an 80+ page volume.