Star Wars: Vader and Son

Author: Jeffrey Brown

Published By:
Chronicle Books

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Being an avid Star Wars fan, but one that doesn't take herself too seriously, I enjoy the humor in Star Wars.  I enjoyed the funny banter between characters, loved the humor of   C-3PO and R2-D2 and, much to the chagrin of some fans, loved the comedy relief supplied by the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks.  I can see comedy mixing very well with the Star Wars saga.  So, naturally, I was delighted to receive a book that mixed the two - Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown.

                It all started with a Google snippet featuring an awkward Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker on Father's Day.  Jeffrey Brown received permission to run with the idea and began drawing a bunch of animated scenes featuring what parenting might have been had Darth Vader known Luke as a four-year-old child.  Dubbed Episode Three and a Half, things start off with Darth Vader giving Luke a piggyback ride and reminding Luke that covering his eye lenses prevents him from seeing.

                Throughout the rest of the book, we see scenes of what average fathers might do with their sons on a day to day basis, with a Star Wars twist.  For example, Darth Vader using the Force to serve breakfast...and Luke later using the Force to try to bring down the cookie jar.  Then there is the obligatory visit to the zoo.  And how about Luke playing in the trash compactor much to his father's exasperation.

                I laughed my head off at Luke lamenting the fact that he has a sister and crying in the midst of Darth Vader's infamous speech to the bounty hunters.  Then there is the awkward scene in which Luke expounds about how awesome Yoda is, leaving his father backpedaling trying to come up with a satisfactory answer...much like that awkward moment when Luke asks where babies come from.

                Fans will most like the allusions to real moments in the movies, like the bounty hunter scene, the scene in which Darth Vader yells "Luke, I am your father" before sending him into Time Out after refusing to put away his toys.  That was one of my favorites, but there are others, like the "lack of patience" speech and Luke walking in on a very exposed Vader.

                Perhaps my favorite scene of all is the moment when Luke kicks a soccer ball to his father...and it lands in a place just perfect for America's Funniest Home Videos...Star Wars style.

                The book is short - I read it through in just a few minutes - but it is so funny you will want to read it again and again, showing it to others as you laugh yourself silly.  The artwork was great - not to technical, but not so loose that you can't recognize key characters.  But the real genius is in the wit that went into creating this book.  I can't wait for the sequel, Vader's Little Princess, featuring Princess Leia.


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