AT4W: Steam Wars

A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away… actually, that works pretty well in this context, too.

About Linkara

Atop the Fourth Wall is a show about bad comic books. Linkara finds the surreal and the stupid and breaks them down page by page. You'll know why they're idiotic and how they can be improved.


  1. First!
    They do NOT aim for each other’s lightsabers! I am so tired of having to explain this to people! It only appears that way because in your average lightsaber duel beneath the exterior duel which the casual vieweres sees there is a battle of mind and force sensitivity as both combatants use the force to try and predict the others movement. This is why to the untrained eye some duels look very choreographed. It’s also why the most choreographed looking duel is the one between Anakin and Obi-Wan in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ because on top of force sensitivity they’ve also worked with each other for years so they know each other’s fighting styles and tendencies. You also have to factor force sensitive reflexes into account.
    Think of it like that fight from ‘Hero’ between Nameless and Long Sky or the fight between Sherlock Holmes and Moriaty except happening while both sides are fighting.

    • Congradultions, you have received a metaphorical gold metal for your Star Wars knowledge. The Force is strong with you, and may it be with you always.

    • Which would be fine if it looked like they were aiming for each other’s bodies. Sometimes they do, like in the opening moves of the Anakin vs. Obi-Wan fight, but then other times it looks like they’re just hitting their swords together, whereupon if one didn’t block the other’s swing, the other’s lightsaber would just pass by them harmlessly. That could work for Obi-Wan, since the whole fight illustrates that he really doesn’t want to kill Anakin, but Anakin’s a rage-fueled Sith Lord. He should be going for the throat every time, man!

    • You know, while I usually don’t condemn wild mass guessing and other practice of the sort, I can completely understand why someone would want to justify the less stelar part of a story they enjoy by filling the blank, by being THIS stuck up, what with you saying that you’re “Tired of having to explain this to people”, you are forgetting one crucial thing:
      Star Wars is still a MOVIE, just because you give a reason about why your fight scenes’s choreography are crappy, that doesn’t change the fact that the fight scene’s choreography are still crappy!

      Even hen I proclaim that the fight in the animated version of Dragon Ball Z are only so long because you don’t see them in real time, but rather how the fighters actually perceive them, that doesn’t change the fact that the long pauses are unecessary long, and that certainly does not allow me to just proclaim that people “Just don’t get the show”

      • If you really want to see a Starwars fan go off the handle ask them the very simple question. “If it’s a galaxy far, far away… how do they know what a falcon is?” I asked this on a fandom channel had had 5 different people yelling at me their theories and arguing between each other which of their fan theories were right. It was magical.

        • My guess would’ve been that they don’t know what a Falcon is, since the Millenium Falcon looks more like a gardenning scissors than anything.
          So I’d say that a Falcon is just the name of a gardenning tool in their part of the universe.

        • UnknownVariable

          I feel really guilty for laughing, but that is hilarious!

      • No one complained about the the prequel trilogy’s fight choreography until Red Letter Media did. The prequel trilogy is flawed but it has positives, I apologize if I come off as angry but it’s a bit frustrating that people seem determined to be so negative about the prequels.

    • Interesting. I always thought it looked choreographed because it was a movie. Go figure.

    • That is quite the convoluted rationalization for what is clearly over-produced choreography. This video illustrates the point nicely:

    • Spider-boyN2Jesus

      Wow, that was a very convoluted way of putting it, but I agree with you that they aren’t just aiming for each other’s swords (unless you’re referring to the fight between Obi-wan and Darth Vader in EP. IV). I guess they do sometimes, but that’s just called blocking. It’s a common tactic that’s used in fencing. If your opponent is swinging at you, you purposefully hit his sword for no other reason than to push it out of that way so it doesn’t hit you. If they never did that, both combatants would die after the first swing (unless they just happened to cross blades by accident). It is choreographed, because, newsflash: it’s a movie. It’s entertainment. If the fights were realistic they’d be over much faster and wouldn’t be as entertaining. Also, the fights weren’t intended to be slowed down and inspected; they were intended to be watched as is for entertainment. They’re hardly instructional videos for how someone should actually fight. So who cares if they aren’t perfect.

      • You know what I find annoying? The fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in Episode IV is one of the worst choreographed swordfights I’ve ever seen in a movie. The film’s creators even admitted it which is why they brought in a fencing professional (Bob Anderson) to choreograph all the rest of the original trilogy duels and fight in place of Vader’s voice actor.
        Despite this most people give it a free pass because it’s Episode IV and therefore sacred. Red Letter Media even outright said that if don’t like the Obi-Wan vs. Vader duel because of the choreography then you’ve missed the point.
        It’s a double standard, that’s all it is.

        • No, people give IV’s saber scenes a pass because it does its job to keep the plot moving as opposed to grind everything to a halt. Its excuse isn’t being sacred but the creators working with what they had available and still being innovative enough to carry the scene.

          I do think it’s cheap to criticize the prequels’ choreography over details you only notice when it’s slowed down and left on repeat. The acrobatics had merit and showed visual innovation we hadn’t yet seen until those films. The actual problem is they became intrusively long from a story perspective and numbingly excessive even as a standalone fight scene.

          Audiences are less forgiving of the faults than they are of IV’s because the director had more options with the prequels. If Lucas wanted to emphasize the choreography so much, he could have attempted different effects and filming techniques to try and give the audience a glimpse of what the Jedi see. Because there is no such thing as a trained Jedi audience, we’re ALL looking at it through “untrained eyes.” It would have added something fresh to break up the repetitive saber bopping and made even the excessive twirling less silly.

    • Those were some Jedi level mental gymnastics you just pulled to justify overly produced, unnecessarily complicated choreography. The movies don’t ever tell us what you said is the case, thus it’s just some bullshit rationalization you force pulled out of your ass.

      • I didn’t make up a word I said; I read it all from various authentic sources. And you know what? I’ll admit that the movie should have done a better job of explaining it to people so it wouldn’t cause confusion. As Linkara himself once so eloquently put it:
        “If you need supplementary material to explain aspects of your movie then you are failing as a filmmaker.”

  2. Blasted Samoflange? Since you didn’t make a joke or point it out, I’m guessing you either forgot, or haven’t heard this:

  3. You cannot hide Hero We see everything Your world we belong to us. We are waiting.

  4. That title card art screams, “Only YOU can prevent muthafuckin’ forest fires!….. bitch!”.

  5. Hey, Lewis, when the evil leader grazed Imeon’s hair, you missed the obvious gag.

    “My HAIR! He shot my HAIR! SON OF A BITCH!”

  6. You got the actual artist of the book to do the title card for the episode?


  7. As the big Star Wars fan I am, I’ve actually heard of Steam Wars, but not the comic. I’ve actually first heard of it from the action figures that were shown on Star Wars news sites line and I thought the concept was really imaginative as an alternate version of Star Wars. BTW, has anyone else heard of those books where the original Star Wars Trilogy was written as a Shakespearean play?

    2:51- You’ll probably review Marvel’s Civil War event by the time Captain America: Civil War gets released in theatres next year.

    6:52- Okay, I’ve seen Sith Lords strangle people without touching them, and them shooting lighting from their fingertips at their opponents, …but causing someone’s head to explode. …THAT is fuckin’ awesome.

    10:20- Hondo Ohnaka from both The Clone Wars an Rebels TV shows might not talk like a stereotypical pirate, but he’s still an awesome space pirate.

    10:59- I also think calling the Millennium Falcon equivalent “Twentieth Century Fox” a really big stretch. Also, Steam Wars was written BEFORE Lucasfilm was bought by Disney.

    16:27- “You have failed me for the last time, TK-421.”

    17:53- Lord Baron didn’t kill his wife, she lost the will to like after he turned to the Dark Side. Stop getting that wrong, people! …Oh wait, this STEAM Wars. Never mind.

    I’m also surprised on how good, fun, and creative this comic is. But I probably won’t say the same about Marvel’s Ultimate Power, which is what will be reviewed next week.

  8. ThatAnimeChick

    A steampunk version of Star Wars in an Anime style? It’s like someone took some of my interests, threw them together into a blender and pressed “start”! Now I have to look for this comic…

  9. TragicGuineaPig

    Have I said thanks for the Blip links lately? Because, if not, thanks 1,000,000 for the Blip links!

  10. Steam Wars? I dunno, when I hear that, I think of steam train railroad barons fighting over who gets to place tracks out west.

  11. Trixie_is_best

    Yay, the return of crappy comics again, some of the best yet worst stuff is in them.

    As for Steam Wars, that turned out much better than I thought and used steampunk tech rather well and along with a new way to use force abilities. Id actually like to see this comic redone in animated form or animated movies since it is a different enough take on the story of Star Wars that it could hold its own. Granted the names in the comic could be better, I can understand Lord Baron, as Baron is his last name, but the others could have been better named.

    Not to mention, who would argue with a bear named Smokey that is an engineer and fires cannons from his arms, that is just BADASS. Smokey deserves an honorable mention in the BADASS CRATOR OF BADASSITUDE.

  12. 8:35 actually, that one’s completely true. you might have to retract the nazis there.

  13. Wait… How did she kill him? He should have been all like ‘oh, another bullet’, and commuted himself to kill someone else. I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on her victory.

    Gatling guns and snooty robots form an awesome combo!

    Quantum physics without the leap is sadly missed.

    Can this series really be called steam punk without steam powered sources?

    • I'mVeryAngryIt'sNotButter

      I think the idea is that he underestimated her power, and let his guard down as soon as the immediate threat was resolved… which meant he didn’t have enough time to react to the rebounding bullet.

      Pride goeth before a fall, so they say.

      • I don’t know, everything we heard about the quantum force makes it sound invincible, and can only be defeated by someone with better quantum power. I mean, even arrogance has a limit. It just kind of seems like if someone can practically be everywhere, they would have noticed a laser coming at them. Course, it could be that the MC lied, and told her she could have won, and made the Big Bad stay in the spot, because he calculated that the Big Bad would believe that this girl who drops everything and is only good at shooting things and telling people to leap frog could kill a god… Course, with that logic… Han Sololo could have won because the Mc could have used his blandness to distract the Big Bad.

        I don’t know, it just feels like ‘Oh, quantum force is the most omnipotent force ever imaginable… Unless you have something coming from behind you, then your screwed.’ I mean, it’d be like if the Emperor from Star Wars was defeated not by the force, but being thrown over a railing from behind… Oh wait… Well, at least Vader might have used the vauge powers of the force to let him throw the old man over a railing.

        • From the way it sounded, the princess had pretty strong, if untrained, quantum force powers. Perhaps it was instinctual?

          Plus, it sounds like Quantum Commutation only switches places with the desired target, and thus he’s not actually everywhere at once like with the teleportation.

          • I don’t know, just sounds like the author said ‘On no, the Big Bad is too strong, how can the heroes win? I know, I’ll save them!’ Just seems like one of those moments where only the author can save them. Just seems too… Easy, and weak to end him.

    • MightyDavidson

      Your argument is weak, because the comic actually establishes that the powers of the Quantum Dragoons don’t make them omnipotent. Otherwise Beau would’ve teleported out of that cell he was in with no difficulty. Or Lord Baron wouldn’t have needed the captured rebels right in front of him to figure out where the plans to the warp coal were, or for that matter wouldn’t have needed a spy to discover the plans of the rebels in the first place.

      Villains having weaknesses or being unable to react to every little thing is not “bullshit” it’s good writing.

      • Didn’t the series itself state that anything they see, they can be in? I mean, what are the limitations? I always assumed Beau stayed in the jail cell because he felt bad about the colonels wife’s murder (but never apologized… Hmm) and Prince Duke probably has to see the location to be there, so he couldn’t just say ‘I want to be there!’. What we have established, is that he could easily transport, and should have been able to feel a laser blast about to kill him. I’m just saying, the situation feels like the author wrote himself in a corner, and tried to get out of it.

        • The jail cell bit established “potential possibilities” can be warped around to. You enter a room, you can walk left, right or straight.

          He was locked in a cage, there was zero potential for him to be on the other side of it without help, so he couldn’t get out. He could have theoretically been all over the place *within* the cell, but that still wouldn’t have gotten him anywhere.

          Similarly, even with the teleportation, gotta figure lasers richoceing ove rth eop of someone else’s head to hit you in the back of yours is a hard to counter thing.

          • Course, now I’m on a new rant. Did the dead wife subplot ever get resolved? Did the MC even say ‘sorry’ or something? Or did that just get dropped along with Smokey the badass and Han Sololololololololololololo?

  14. I’ll be honest with everyone. I don’t like Steampunk, I’m sure it’s fine for other people but to me the genre just looks gimmicky and nonsensical. For me I’d rather see something as being cyberpunk, or fantasy, because in Fantasy you have magic, in cyberpunk it’s new technology so things can be explained the way Star Trek does. Steampunk, unfortunately, doesn’t have either of those options. People know what steam pressure can do, they know how it works and it’s potential leaving most of the technology that we’re supposed to believe is powered by steam to be impossible, for example… steampunk computers, steampunk tv, steampunk gameboys, steampunk anything that uses a complex series of electrical devices more advance than a super soaker. Sure it looks fancy with the shiny metal and the gauges everywhere, but that’s all it is. It’s style with no actual potential substance. Ok that’s all from me.

    • This is one of the reasons why I’m not into anything science-y. Fantasy doesn’t have people arguing about how that couldn’t actually happen; that’s why it’s called fantasy.

    • You mean War Coal could never exist a long time ago in a galaxy far away? Because I was just about to dip some coal in some dark matter I had lying around and you’re harshing my science buzz bad.

  15. Loved the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann joke. Shouldn’t 20th Century Fox change their name by now? You know, to 21st Century Fox? Those lazy people. I wasn’t expecting that at the very end. The artwork in this is quite nice. I mean both the book and the thumbnail.

    • Steve the Pocket

      20th Century Fox was formed by a merger between Twentieth Century Pictures (from which we get their famous logo) and Fox Film (which became the namesake of nearly every new brand they’ve started since, hence people’s confusion). Well, “buyout” is more accurate; Fox Film was a big-name studio that basically went bankrupt in the wake of the stock market crash, and Twentieth Century was a newly-minted but already successful indie with a lot of money. It may not be the 20th century anymore, but Fox Film’s namesake has been dead for much longer (as have Walt Disney, the Warner brothers, etc.)

      There actually is a company called 21st Century Fox; Rupert Murdoch created it in 2012 to distance the News Corp brand — which he continues to use for his print media — from his film and television holdings.


  16. A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE!! 😀 This will keep me sane through an insane month! YEEEEEEEGLEE!

  17. Hey cut the writer some slack. It was either Twentieth Century Fox or Metro Goldwyn Mayer Lion.

  18. Was that Little Kuribo narrating the LBotD trailer?

  19. SailorRustyBacon

    I couldn’t get into Gold Digger either, despite several tie-ins with Ninja High School. I stopped reading Ninja High School after the wrap up with its original core characters, and subsequently I stopped following any other Antarctic Press publishings. But that was pretty spiffy to have a title card commission by Fred Perry! 😀

    350 episodes already?? My, how time flies!

  20. Just so you know that bit about electron repulsion fields is true. The normal force of two objects colliding is just the like charges of their electron fields repelling each other.

  21. It’s funny you used the “Of course, don’t you know anything about science” clip when Bo was talking about electron fields, because that’s actually true. Except in nuclear reactions the centers of atoms never come into contact with anything, only the edges of their electron fields which repel each other due to their like charges. They actually mentioned that in an episode of the Cosmos series (the one with Tyson, not Sagan.)

  22. “Who is driving blimp? Oh my God, bear is driving!”

    Reminds me of how Chewbacca in Darths and Droids is a super eloquent genius.

    So not Luke here is Domino from Xmen on steroids who has taken a college course in Game Theory. No really, the fight between him and Vader is the straight up definition of some Game Theory sets.

  23. The Hegemonic Crux is a reference to Star Control 3, a sequel that was … quite inferior to Star Control 2, one of the greatest PC RPGs of all time. They were a crappy evil empire, too.

  24. No shit you weren’t interested in it – it’s borring as hell.

  25. More like Fred Perry of porn fame.

  26. And then a few years later they get plagued by the Hegemony Remnant, I mean, Imperial Remnant lead by a blue guy in a white uniform teamed up with a crazy cloned Quantum Dragoon. Star Wars is awesome, and sometimes weird.

  27. The only steampunk-related comic I’ve read is the webcomic Girl Genius, though I fell off of reading it a few years ago.

  28. This comic suffers from many of the same problems the Teen Titans Elseworlds comic recently reviewed: It has some good neat ideas and great artwork but it has SO many ideas about the world it wants to create and wants cram them ALL into a single issue, sacrificing good pacing and character development. It’s a real shame too, some of the designs in this are AWESOME.

    • horatio_svetlana

      Exactly what I thought, I see this problem crop up a lot in comic books. Characters are introduced for a page and are then gone from the story. I don’t think this comic even had any moments that the characters weren’t doing something that was dealing with the immediate problem in front of their faces.

      In A New Hope, there’s that scene where they’re all just sitting around in the game room playing games and it develops into a training moment for Luke. You see how Han talks to people, Chewy and C3PO have a little exchange, and Obi Wan demonstrates he’s a great jedi just by presence and understanding of how Luke learns. That ain’t in this comic.

  29. I don’t know why, but I already seem to like this better than Star Wars.

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