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Tag and Bink: Back to a Long, Longer Time ago in a Galaxy Far Away: Patreon Reward for A.P.O.N.I! · 7:29am Feb 1st, 2018

Finishing up January with another Star Wars offering, we A.P.O.N.I. and I settled on me finishing off Tag and Bink for his Patreon reward, also for those whose missed it love Mad Max and heady topics, last blog post here.

Those that read my previous post on Tag and Bink might remember I had mixed feelings on the treatment of the original films. Short version is I really liked their take on A New Hope but felt things got a bit ‘off message’ for the last two films. Still, I was willing to give this prequel treatment a shot. In fact, I figured with all the material that could easily be lampooned, I’d have a good time. But I’m not going to spoil the ending of my take right away, so here we go.

Tag and Bink are Jedi Padawans now with the bulk of this issue taking place during “Attack of the Clones”. True to form, they’re maybe not the best Padawans, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The comic opens with Palp’s meme worthy “Did you ever hear of the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?” line and details a scenario in which the Sith Lord Playing Maker with the dreaded ‘M’ word in Star Wars had unforeseen consequences in that Tag and Bink ended up being force sensitive. This leads them to being taken into the Jedi Academy.

Art is pretty much unchanged, which again, suits the setting as long as things stay mostly focused on comedy, but speaking of memes (a different dreaded ‘M’ word), let’s just look at a page and see how many references to Star Wars or other things we see.

Yesssss! Look at it!

There are an absolutely insane amount of references to either moments in the Star Wars films or general pop culture references just in one page, and this isn’t even the only page like this. I mean, I thought the first three issues were pretty liberal with their references, but man… I can only imagine the artist drawing a “normal” panel then being slapped because he didn’t get in at least one pop-culture reference or nod to a specific moment in the movies or Star Wars Dark Horse comic in it!

And while some of these might seem like low hanging fruit, the very next page references “Skippy the Jedi Droid” which is such an obscure, if Dark Horse, reference I couldn’t help but smile from catching it… and maybe contemplate just how big a Star Wars nerd I am.

The next big moment is where Tag and Bing are trying to cheat on a Jedi test they keep failing and accidentally upload a virus. But, that’s okay! It just erased the record of some backwater (literally, in this case) planet in out in the middle of space nowhere!

Of course, it happens to be Kamino, thus explaining something of a major plot point in Episode 2.

Look, I was to drag out giving my opinion over a few more mind-blowing paragraphs, but what the hey! This. THIS is the sort of plot engraining nonsense that I missed in issues 2 and 3. Tag and Bink playing part to the movie narrative completely accidentally in small and sometimes big ways. Better yet, it serves as a plot point to get these two involved in more movie shenanigans.

And references… Soooo many references!

Anyone who’s familiar with the prequels can probably see where they’re going with the “Order 64” bit. As a brief aside, this issue is far more kind to Jango Fett than the series ever had been to Boba, but spoiler alert he goes nuts when he hears “Order 66” and tries to kill Tag and Bing. As funny as this was, it did bump me a bit as it’s one of the few things in the comic that doesn’t make sense in context of the Star Wars canon and is even hard to explain outside of that. Granted, this was released before the 3D Clone Wars cartoon, so I’m inclined only penalize it slightly… and admittedly it was pretty funny.

Tag and Bink escape and somehow end up on the same shuttle that just so happens to have Anakin and Padme on. Now, that might sound like I’m complaining, but again, this is exactly the sort of convoluted nonsense that I thought was the comics biggest charm in the first issue.

There’s some great exchanges here that, honestly, everyone should read for themselves if they either disliked the prequels or even like the prequels but accept they have their flaws.

There is so much shade here I think I need to put on a nice, warm Jedi robe.

Tag and Bink end up trying to help Anakin score with Padme while lampshading some of the most awkward scenes from Attack of the Clones. You better believe there’s a ‘sand’ reference there. It manages to explain some of the more confusing scenes while presenting a scenario that could be considered canon… from a certain point of view. It’s perhaps even a better handled version of the goodness from the first issue. I won’t spoil the ending (which uses material from Revenge of the Sith), but it’s great.

All that being said, I do have a couple issues.

First off… What the hell is up with Bink’s skin tone in this? He’s not even ambiguously brown here, he’s ambiguously tan at best. Here’s a page from the first issue. Just compare it to the one I posted above, especially the first panel from the one above.

Was… Was brown ink too expensive when the last two issues came out, or something?!

This is something that is a problem in issue 3 which I didn’t notice for my last post. Bink’s skin tone is lightened quite a bit there as well. Given that issue 1 and 2 came out one after another with, if I’m not mistaken, amultiyear break between 3 and 4, I’m guessing the trouble lies with a change in the inker for the issues. Bink goes from clearly a man with a dark complexion to having skin lighter than Boba (Jango-clone) Fett in issue three, and it’s even sadder when you compare his skin tone to Lando’s…

Tag, who’s your new white friend we’ve never seen in the comic before?

I can see how this feels nit-picky to some, but really… Would it have killed someone to make sure Bink has darker skin than Boba/Jango in these?

The other issue is more a ‘problem you want to have’ in that they basically ignored episode 1, did an issue on 2, and tacked on a little from 3 for this issue. If they could have kept this quality, I would have happily read one issue per move. The Maker knows material for jokes is there… Sure Tag and Bink would have been too young for episode one, but they showed us their parents! I could have worked with goofy parents so long as they remembered to darken at least one of the set in Bink’s case.

On the other hand, issues 2 and 3 bugged me the most when it seemed the writer couldn’t think of ways to keep them engaged in what happened in the movies and instead presented these mostly pointless side-plots, so maybe it was best that he probably had more material than he could possibly fit in one issue to work with this time.

In conclusion, issue 4 was a treat that redeems the Tag and Bink series. Possibly even the best out of the bunch. Even though there was a deluge of pop-culture references (and consider who is saying that), I found myself smiling and chuckling near every page.

Now, let’s hope they get Bink’s blasted skin color right for the duo’s cameo in the upcoming Han Solo movie.

And that will do it for this month, and right on time too! Thanks to all my Patreon supporters for their contributions and topics! If you want to get in on this or get early access to my fics, feel free to support me here!

Catch you in the comments!

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Comments ( 3 )

In defense of the whole sand thing, sand is all Anakin's ever seen his entire life, as a CHILD and a SLAVE, Watto, is more merciful than Hutts probably would be, but was hardly nice. The guy being so beyond done with sand is completely understandable. But yeah, the acting in Attack of the Clones, varies.

I shall now coast to work on a tide of vindication! VICTORY FOR ME! :pinkiehappy:

In retrospect, it's likely that my overall view of the series was coloured by the fact that I read them through in publication order, thus finishing strong. If I went back and re-read just the weak ones, which I'm not willing to do, I concede that I would likely have a similar opinion. Meh.

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