Review: Dark Horse's 'Tales From the Rancor Pit' Will Make a Great Scary Stocking Stuffer – Star Wars News Net

Star Wars News Net is your source for news – Covering everything from the films, TV shows, novels, comics and more. SWNN – A Force for News!

Spooky Star Wars is back! With last year’s conclusion of the Tale’s From Vader’s Castle saga, which spanned three separate miniseries and a special one-shot, a void was left begging to be filled. The next era is here in the form of Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Tales From the Rancor Pit. Author Cavan Scott returns with a collection of three new scary stories set in a galaxy far, far away.
The renowned Vader’s Castle series frequently played fast and loose with canon (how’s it hanging over there Count Dooku-la?). Each issue established each individual story as just that. A story. Take it for what it is, but the main framing stories have a more reliable standing in canon. This time around sees Captain Vaclav, hanging upside down above the vile Jabba the Hutt’s famed Rancor pit. Fighting to free themselves from the predicament, Vaclav offers to tell Jabba some juicy stories from their travels, even some scary ones.
In an effort to preserve the scares, I won’t go into great detail on the plot elements of each story, but minor spoiler warning just in case. Either way, you should make room on the bookshelf. Tales From the Rancor Pit is fit for all ages and would make a wonderful last-minute holiday stocking stuffer for those tykes that need a bedtime tale to get over the creepy-crawlies hiding under the bed. Or in the case of Star Wars, the monsters that hide inside Echo Base on Hoth – those who don’t like bugs, consider yourself grateful there aren’t full digital copies available yet.
Ghosts of the Machine
Vaclav takes us back to the Clone Wars which sees a Separatist general hiding away in his citadel headquarters, sacrificing his droid forces to a rampaging Mace Windu. Unfortunately for him, he neglects to remember his headquarters were built on haunted grounds. The general reaps what he sows as droids become undead beings hell-bent on vengeance.
The first surprise of the comic is not a scare. Ghosts of the Machine features art by Juan Samu which in fact took me aback on multiple occasions and left me aghast. The way he uses bright, seemingly happy colors to twist the environment and distort facial features is masterful. Flipping the pages to see what went bump in the night gave way to Samu delivering a visual feast genre fans can enjoy.
Lettering in comics is an underappreciated art form. For those who don’t know, the writer isn’t necessarily in charge of how text appears in a comic book. A letterer is often assigned to design dialogue boxes, word balloons, font, and bring those “booms” and “clangs” to life.
The lettering by Tyler Smith and Jimmy Betancourt is stellar throughout. The dynamic lettering is especially present as the droids hone in on their prey, which sees the font constantly change and word effects flare across every panel. It created the right type of atmosphere here and in each of these stories, despite them being in very different genres of horror.
Undead or Alive
If Ghosts of the Machine was a zombie story, Undead or Alive is your monster movie. High Republic fans rejoice as it also sees a tertiary character return. Ty Yorrick, who first appeared in Scott’s The Rising Storm, is back and doing what she does best. We saw Yorrick doing some monster hunting for some credits in her own miniseries, The Monster of Temple Peak, and this tale is the same concept. However, as monster tales tend to do… it all goes awry once the beast comes out to play.
As good as High Republic publishing has been, it will be nice when more of these characters get to operate outside of the main Lucasfilm Publishing narrative. Ty Yorrick’s relevance to the overall High Republic saga has been a question since her introduction, but this tale suggests that she doesn’t have to be a major player to thrive. The High Republic has to reach a point where it can live organically and its characters can appear in all types of Star Wars stories if this time period is going to last, and Undead or Alive is a sign of good things to come.
In the Lair of the Dragon Slug
From monster hunting to Han and Leia bickering. The final story takes us to Hoth as the Rebellion is setting up camp on the planet, but they soon find out that they are not alone. Han, Leia, C-3PO, and Chewbacca go down into the caverns to investigate.
This story is just a classic Star Wars romp with some of our favorite characters. And for those that know their Legends, Scott brings back the idea of Dragon Slugs living on Hoth. Unfortunately, that is not all our heroes have to contend with as there may or may not be some large arachnids hiding somewhere, waiting to be found.

At least now you get to watch The Empire Strikes Back from a new perspective. That being perhaps the Empire wasn’t in the wrong to destroy Echo Base if it meant eradicating the real menace inside the cavernous depths.
Tales from the Rancor Pit
Tales From the Rancor Pit won’t win any awards, but it represents what Star Wars is meant to be: go on a fun escape with characters you love to adventure with. Every genre has a place, and spooky shenanigans is no exception. Nothing inside these pages is likely to keep you up at night, but it showcases Dark Horse’s long-tenured willingness to venture outside the box and give Star Wars fans of all ages a chance to experience something different. Tales From the Rancor Pit is a worthy successor to the wildly underrated Tales From Vader’s Castle saga, packaged in a beautiful hardcover book that you can get now before the window to finish your holiday shopping is up.
Tales From the Rancor Pit is currently available in comic stores, but you also can also purchase it directly from Dark Horse. It will become available everywhere else on January 3, 2023.
RATING: 7/10
Nate uses his love for Star Wars and movies in general as a way to cope with the pain of being a Minnesota sports fan. When he’s not at the theater, you can usually find Nate reading a comic, listening to an audiobook, or playing a Mario video game for the 1,000th time.
Nate uses his love for Star Wars and movies in general as a way to cope with the pain of being a Minnesota sports fan. When he’s not at the theater, you can usually find Nate reading a comic, listening to an audiobook, or playing a Mario video game for the 1,000th time.
‘The High Republic: The Battle of Jedha’ First Audio Excerpt and Full Voice Cast Revealed – #StarWars #TheBattleOfJedha #TheHighRepublic – – Star Wars News Net
Diego Luna Scores “Best Performance” Nomination for ‘#Andor’ at Golden Globes – #DisneyPlus #GoldenGlobes #StarWars – – Star Wars News Net
Review: Dark Horse’s ‘Tales From the Rancor Pit’ Will Make a Great Scary Stocking Stuffer – #DarkHorse #StarWars #TalesFromTheRancorPit – – Star Wars News Net
‘#Avatar: The Way of Water’ Looking at Massive Opening Weekend; James Cameron Hypes up Sequels – #Avatar2 #JamesCameron #TheWayOfWater –
‘The Mandalorian and Child’ All-Ages Book Announced for Fall 2023 – #StarWars #StarWarsBooks #TheMandalorian – – Star Wars News Net


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *