Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shepherd492 reviews: Star Wars: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Aurorient Express

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Aurorient Express





















Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan: Aurorient Express was originally published as a two part miniseries in 2002. It was never collected in a trade paperback, but was included in the 2009 omnibus "Rise of the Sith".




Plot

Aurorient Express is a short adventure detailing the sabotage of a luxury ship on the world of Yorn Skot. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon infiltrate the ship, and attempt to its course before it is crushed in the depths of the planet's tibannosphere. There are many different groups interested in the destruction or incapacitation of the ship, and the duo encounter all of them in their quest to save the ship from destruction.

The plot is full of twists and seemingly everyone has a part to play in the destruction of the ship. This aspect of it was ok, but the comic was alittle short for so many complications. The direct opposition to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan consists solely of crab droids that seem to have little attack capability. They aren't particularly menacing, and the fight scenes are subdued and often pushed to the background.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are characterized nicely, however. It is always fun to see these two in action, and their dynamic here is great. Qui-Gon actually comes off better and more realistic here than he does in the movies, not victim to the same maddening decisions that were present in Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan shows a bit of his brash side, while getting a few moments to shine of his own.

A closeup of Saul
Their journey introduces them to various characters on the ship, but they are mostly uninteresting. Saul, a diminutive, Mafia-inspired gambler, is the most interesting of the bunch. The writers give him a very distinctive voice not present in the other characters. Bouyardy and Waverton, two of the employees on the ship, are bland and plot-driven, nothing special. Rhoden and Buck are similar, existing only as extra complications for the overly complicated plot. There are too many characters at play for such a short comic, and none of them truly stand out.

An example of the humor at work in Aurorient Express
Humor plays a significant part in this comic. Dialogue is often referential or satirical. A good example of this is Saul, whom has a manner of speaking very similar to stereotypical views of Italian-Americans, particularly those in the Mafia. The banter between Bouyardy and Waverton is often comedic in nature, and Buck is the traditional pea brained bodyguard. The end of the comic also presents a bit of irony.

Overall, the comic has great characterization of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, but boring side characters and an overly complex plot detract from the experience.

Art

Aurorient Express features cartoonish, stylized art that draws significantly from real world attire and fashion. Colors are extremely vibrant, and drawings tend to have minimal detail. The interior of the ship, with the exception of the bland holding deck, looks great. The design looks very stately, and there are plenty of little details to be found in some of the sketches.

Aurorient Express captain
The alien design is compliments the cartoon artwork very nicely. Each of the various alien species are given a distinctly human characteristic. Saul has a unibrow, Rhoden and Buck have styled hair, and the Aurorient captain has ridiculous looking mutton chops. Other new aliens are more whimsical, such as giant squids that play musical instruments, and a bug in a tuxedo. The clothing is also very similar to real world attire. Bouyardy and Waverton are the best examples of this, but pretty much all of the original characters have clothing that is more present day than science fiction.


Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are captured well here. Qui-Gon's unnaturally straight beard gives him a very stern look in this particular comic, and Obi-Wan is given a very youthful appearance that manages to show his mood and emotions perfectly. The combat droids look really good too, despite their actual capabilities. Finally, I liked the design of the ship, even if it was only glimpsed a handful of times.

Conclusion

Aurorient Express has a really interesting art design, and, problems with plot and side characters aside, serves as a solid adventure with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.

Final Score

63/100

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