Comic Book Galaxy explores Marvel‘s Star Wars comic book releases and provides a discussion point on the culture and climate of the Star Wars comic book universe.
February and March brought us a number of page-turners in Star Wars comics. Darth Maul made his return to the medium, Poe Dameron’s archenemy, Agent Terex, became much more frightening, and Yoda learned a lot about the Force, as well as himself. Don’t forget about Dr. Aphra, either, who proves again that she’s both clever and adventurous. There’s also the matter of her father. Not exactly Father Knows Best. Here are a few examples of the many standout issues over the past month.
The Month That Was
Star Wars #28
- Issue #28 continues Yoda’s trek across a planet full of warrior children (think Lord of the Flies, but with cool, Force empowered spears). They are not welcoming by any means, but Yoda trusts in the Force. That trust leads him on an adventure unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
- Obi-Wan makes a brief but memorable appearance as well. We won’t spoil it here, but there are some familiar faces that show up.
- Knowledge is power, as is humility, and that’s just the proverbial icing on the cake for the Jedi Master. Much more on this below!
Dr. Aphra #4
- Aphra continues to demonstrate her knack for finding trouble. But she also does a spectacular job of getting out of it. But first, she better watch out for those AT-ATs.
- Her complex relationship with her father continues. He doesn’t exactly have the best timing in dicey situations. Will he help Aphra, or hurt her?
- The Indiana Jones references continue to pop up, and they are a lot of fun. There is also an interesting dichotomy between Aphra and her father that is reminiscent of Henry Jones and Henry Jones Jr., but it’s more of an inverse comparison.
Poe Dameron #10
- Agent Terex is repeatedly proving that he is not someone to mess with. His background continues to show how deadly he can be. It could even be argued that this is his story.
- Threepio shows a different side of himself, and it’s great fun. He’s much more in control than he lets on, and you may be as surprised as the villains he comes into contact with.
- Want more history of the First Order? Poe Dameron #10 provides some more info on how it came to be.
Darth Maul #1
- Darth Maul makes his Marvel comics debut! The mini-series takes place before The Phantom Menace, and brings a less-than-patient Zabrak. Sith get bored too.
- Darth Sidious sends Maul to Kellux to deal with some pirates. Honestly, that sentence alone will probably make you want to read the issue.
- There is a connection to The Force Awakens that showcases how a Sith deals with monsters. Maul proves to be much scarier, unfortunately for the beasts.
Bonus: Be sure to check out the recent news of a Star Wars/Dr. Aphra crossover in Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel.
Word Balloon: The Teacher becomes the student: Yoda’s journey into the cave
One of the most important things a teacher must demonstrate to his or her students is the awareness that we never stop learning. Even the most experienced of educators benefit from this mantra. Yoda has centuries of proficiency with the Force, and has guided many a Padawan; you would think he would have plenty of reasons in his legendary career to believe he has learned all there is to know about the Force. However, Star Wars #28, in particular, demonstrates Yoda’s true power is not because of his incredible skill with a lightsaber. It is his hunger for learning, and the humble belief that he still has room for growth that make him the best teacher in the galaxy. Here are a few examples.
Yoda teaches, as well as learns.
Humility. It’s an important aspect of what makes up a teacher. With all of that knowledge and experience at his disposal, Yoda could easily take on a pretentious air, and disregard the thoughts and feelings of his Padawans. With wisdom and grace, however, Yoda sidesteps hubris, and opens his mind to more knowledge. When he journeys into the mysterious cave in Star Wars #28, he encounters Garro, a child who has been banished into the heart of the cave. When discovering Garro holds the key to the mystery of this cavern, he bows to Garro and states, “Teach me. Teach me the ways of the stonepower. Your most humble and devoted of students will I be. My master.” If he were to disregard the knowledge of his less experienced companion, Yoda would be missing out on learning from his greatest resource.
Yoda demonstrates vulnerability.
Earlier in the issue, Yoda is confronted by a group of adults who have banded together out of fear of their children. He is mocked and insulted, as well as threatened. He makes no attempt to defend himself, nor does he show fear. His willingness to be vulnerable and alone demonstrates the fear many students have in the classroom; they do not want to appear weak, uninformed, or exposed. Despite the unknown, Yoda choses to go deeper into the cavern, to learn the cave’s secrets of the Force, and showcase that there is strength in accepting difficult odds. The Jedi Master must show openness to the unexplored, a trait that can serve him well in his temporary classroom.
Yoda doesn’t quit.
Toward the end of Star Wars #28, Yoda and Garro are in the midst of Yoda’s training. He is continually bombarded with Force-imbibed stones (while blindfolded), but that does not prevent him from continuing his lesson. He is tempted to stop the exercise, and reveals, “Cannot…stop them all. Must…” It is his “Must” that proves Yoda will not quit, despite the obstacles that threaten to overtake him. Had he given himself permission to stop trying, the large stone that followed quickly thereafter would have knocked him over, most likely killing him. Yoda knows the lure of giving up, but being able to overcome this will enable him to encourage future Jedi, and fight through doubt.
Yoda is not afraid to be wrong or to fail.
Just as important, teachers must also model the behavior and habits they most want their students to exhibit. As mentioned above, Yoda makes mistakes. He does not instinctively know what the mysterious crystals are, and has to do research, as well as trial and error, to figure out this enigmatic planet’s secrets. The diary of Ben Kenobi (in which this story takes place) reveals Yoda heads deeper into the mountain, “Not knowing what he was even looking for.” The question is the important thing in the classroom, as that is where the journey to knowledge begins. There is no guarantee of success, and failure may be an option, but Yoda walks on. Perhaps there is no better metaphor for our students.
Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and runs Coffee With Kenobi (with co-host Cory Clubb), a Star Wars podcast that analyzes the saga through critical thinking, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is also the Rebel teacher in the Target Rogue One commercial, and is an avid comic book consumer and longtime reader of the medium.