Monday, July 16, 2018

Don't Be Scared of Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Don't be scared of some silliness in your Star Wars!

Since Halloween itself is not really a thing in the Star Wars Galaxy (that we know of), there hasn't really been a lot of Halloweeny Star Wars storytelling over the years. There have been spooky Star Wars stories, like the 90's Galaxy of Fear book series, but Disney/Lucasfilm Press has now released what is arguably the first Star Wars Halloween picture book.

Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Adam Rex tries to answer the question of what could possibly scare the most terrifying villain in the galaxy.

Spoiler alert: not much!

Darth Vader lurks in a dark, gloomy, Dagobah-like swamp while the narrator taunts him with various not-very-scary things, trying to find the one thing that may frighten the Dark Lord of the Sith. Then others join in, more from the world of classic horror movies than from Star Wars, to try to scare him.

Things get really silly and fun but it's difficult to describe without revealing a few of the surprises that await the reader. 

On a quick flip-through this appears to be a bleak, even dismal, looking book. However, the escalating attempts to scare Vader, along with his deadpan responses, are really enjoyable in contrast to the darkness. Clearly it would help if someone in your household can talk like Vader when reading this one aloud! 

Rex's not-very-scary monster artwork is reminiscent of early MAD magazine cartoonists like Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis. High praise indeed!

Forget about this book fitting into the rest of Star Wars. It doesn't. Are You Scared, Darth Vader? exists in its own little world. It almost feels like it could be dialogue from brave kids meeting Darth Vader at Disneyland. 

This book is the Star Wars equivalent to a "Fractured Fairy Tale".

Have a laugh and enjoy this twisted take on classic characters. Happy (early) Halloween!

Since we always like to remember Star Wars books from the past, here's a few items that could also almost be considered Star Wars Halloween books...

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