If there’s one thing that “Star Wars” was never known for it is ghost stories. Granted, some characters do come back as ghosts but they’re not haunting anyone. Comic book writer Cavan Scott decided to add some ghost stories to the “Star Wars” expanded universe with “Tales from the Rancor Pit” with several artists doing the art for each of the three stories.
These stories are “told” by a prisoner of Jabba the Hut who is dangling quite precariously over a pit. He tells Jabba that he can offer him scary stories in exchange for his life. These sequences that happen before each story are drawn by Nick Brokenshire. The art here is probably the scariest looking out of all the artists. Jabba looks a lot scarier here than in the movies, like a slimy, green monster.
“Ghosts of the Machine” sees Kazameer, a Separatist general who hates droids. He’s on a planet called Malenko which is rumored that the now-extinct inhabitants had necromancers. After getting attacked by the Jedi, Kazameer escapes leaving the droids to get destroyed by the Jedi. Back at his base, he gets the scare of his life. Droids in “Star Wars” are usually mistreated and this is one of the rare times that shows the droids get payback. Juan Samu’s artwork is amazing, especially the colors. They are top quality and pop right out of the page. It’s something that needs to be seen. This is the best artwork in the comic.
“Undead or Alive” sees the Jedi Ty receive a mission from an old mercenary partner that involves dealing with a monster that is attacking the energy shields of a city her old partner is stationed in. The story is OK with the ending being the only worthwhile part of the story. Artist Andy Duggan with colorist Roman Stevens does make some decent artwork here with the best parts being the flames that come out of the droid and the monster.
“In the Lair of the Dragon Sluge” with artist Rafael Perez and colorist DJ Chavis rounds out the stories. While in Echo Base on Hoth between episodes Four and Five, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca investigate a strange noise coming from the wampa caves. Another decent story with a nice twist. The artwork is mediocre with some of the weirdest facial expressions you’ll ever see.
“Tales from the Rancor Pit” has one amazing story and two mediocre stories. Despite that, it’s still worth checking out and there is always room for more collections like this.