||A very funny tale, contrary to what I
I am not a fan of
Vilmarh Grahrk, the Devaronian with whom these comic storytellers seem
to be obsessed. He pops up in so many of the comics in this series, and
elsewhere. He started off very annoying, and got worse every time I saw
him. This tale, however, was less about him, and more about the image of
a greedy coward.
The covers of these two issues tell us
everything we need to know about how to approach the story. The first
cover is a parody of the famous poster from Star Wars: A New Hope, with Villie in the central position with lightsaber lifted high! The second
cover has Villie sitting in a Wampa chair, with the heads of, most
importantly, a Gungan and an Ewok on the wall, two of the most hated
creatures in the Star Wars universe! I think this is a parody of
something, also, but I can't think of what.
The frame story takes place in a pub,
where Villie explains his great deeds of killing Jedi and fooling them,
while his companions don't believe a word he says. It is very true to
his sort of character that he can think fast -much faster than his
listeners. Whenever they come up with a question that seems to expose
his story as a lie, he comes up with a retort, even to the point where
he is not blamed for the explosion of a shipyard that killed people his
listeners actually knew!
Most of the issues deal with a
retelling of Jedi Council: Acts of War. A couple of frames come directly
from that comic, either directly, or redrawn, but the scenes are
identical. Villie explains how he was approached by a meek individual,
who to knowing eyes looks a lot like Darth Sidious. This individual
wants to steal the Secret Treasure of the Jedi (the existence of Jedi
riches is explained by Villie by the existence of a huge temple on
Coruscant -"not cheap")!
We also get the actual story, whereby
Sidious and Darth Maul throw Villie around a lot, and threaten to
torture him if he fails to kill some Jedi. Of course he will never tell
his listeners how he cowered in fear! Any time he was alone, or the only
witness, he gets to embellish or change the story completely. When
others were present, he tells it pretty much as it happened.
So he tells of how he started a war, by
allowing the Yinchorri access to ships, which drew the Jedi in, and
created a "diversion", so that his client could sneak into the Jedi
Temple and steal the "treasure". He never explains what the treasure is,
but after the battle is over, he went to offer his assistance to the
frantic Jedi. That frame is hilarious, with the Jedi crying their hearts
out for the stolen treasure, and Yoda even gnawing on somebody's ankle!
He turns into Gollum in this version, even calling the treasure his
"precious", and rolling around on his back.
We learn a little more about the
back-story of Acts of War, how Villie married his cousin into a Yinchorri
clan, thus bringing the stupid Devaronian who got caught by the Jedi
into the tale.
Afterwards, of course, Villie was
caught by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and brought before the council, but could
not reveal what he didn't know. He tells his listeners, though, that he
went in search of his client and took the treasure, allowing some
monstrous beast to eat Sidious!
The money he got form the Jedi upon
returning the "treasure" was all lost betting on Sebulba in the podrace
where Anakin won in The Phantom Menace!
To fill out the issue, Villie is asked
about the time he spent with Quinlan Voss in Twilight. He has a
hilarious account of how he stole a lightsaber and managed to con
everybody into believing that Voss was a Jedi, when he was nothing of
the sort, just a good actor. When the game was over, and Voss started to
get greedy, and actually think of himself as a Jedi, he told Villie to
shoot him, where he would deflect the shot. Villie did shoot him, but
the impostor didn't manage to deflect it! Of course, if Voss shows up in
the underworld again, Villie will have to defend himself against his own
lies. Not that any of his listeners actually believed what he said,
However, as Villie says, it is the game
that counts, not the money. Even if they don't believe him, they can't
disprove what he said, either, especially since there was so much truth
to it. They will always wonder if he even did half of what he said he
did, and that is enough for his reputation to soar. I wonder if the
"next job" he has lined up will be featured in future comics.
The story was actually quite fun to
read, and I laughed out loud at several spots. My favorite comes right
at the beginning, when he pounds the Rodian with his full tankard of
ale. He calls the robotic waiter over and claims the tankard was
defective, since it broke over the Rodian's head! Partway through his
tale, he smashes it over the guy's head again, and the waiter apologizes
for a second defective tankard! Ha!
However, the story doesn't have much
relevance, either, which is okay, but not something I want to see often.
It has softened me up to the character of Villie, and that is no small
The artwork left something to be
desired, as fun as the story was. The characters were very flat, the
scenes completely without depth. The lines around many of the objects or
people were very thick, and the colors were rather mute, even the orange
skin of the Devaronians. Characters who deserve a lot of detail, like
the reptilian Yinchorri, were instead only roughly drawn. Backgrounds
didn't have much substance to them, either.
I surprised myself by liking this story
as much as I did. Not being a fan of the character, or of blatant comedy
in the Star Wars Universe, I was expecting the worst. While I got tired
of Villie's simplistic way of talking at about the halfway mark, there
was very little annoying here.