Why you should read ‘Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir’

Following the cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2013, Lucasfilm set out to adapt a multitude of unfinished stories intended for the show through other mediums. One such story is the comic Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.

Originally intended to be part of The Clone Wars’s sixth season, Son of Dathomir follows Darth Maul after his capture by Darth Sidious in the episode “The Lawless.” Not only does it pick up right where the show leaves off, but you also get some incredible dialogue between Maul and his captors. This includes Count Dooku, and this man does not go easy on our poor spike-headed dark side boy. He does not use that weak force torture like Kylo Ren did in The Force Awakens. However, the torture is not without purpose. Dooku and Sidious want to draw out Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters, so they can free themselves of her wrath.

Panel from Son of Dathomir #1.

Maul does not stay trapped for long however, as his Mandalorian buddies come to rescue him. They regroup with the rest of their forces on the planet Zanbar, only to be intercepted by General Grievous and his army of brainless droids. Now, if you thought Maul talking to Dooku was cool, then you will love seeing Grievous and Maul dueling. You can never have too many lightsaber blades.

Panels from Son of Dathomir #1.

Maul’s army quickly gets overwhelmed by Grievous’s droids and they have to retreat. Maul then speaks with Mother Talzin, exactly as Dooku and Sidious had planned. Maul and the Mandalorians then lead the droid army to a city on Ord Mantell where the rest of the Shadow Collective army is waiting. The combined forces of the Pykes, Black Sun, and Mandalorians, aided by the Nightbrothers sent by Mother Talzin, prove to be more than a match for the droid army. Dooku quickly wipes out most of the Nightbrothers himself, resulting in these incredible panels.

Panels from Son of Dathomir #2

While it would have been great if this story had been animated, I am grateful we got to see it at all. Seeing Maul come face-to-face with Grievous and Dooku is a fan’s dream come true. The confrontations between the two Sith apprentices leave readers wanting more. The whole comic ties-in perfectly with Maul’s appearances in The Clone Wars and bridges the gap in his story well. If you are planning on binging season seven of The Clone Wars or have seen the show but have never read Son of Dathomir, I highly recommend checking it out. Writer Jeremy Barlow and artists Juan Frigeri, Mauro Vargas and Wez Dzioba brought this fantastic story to life in each page.

Rating: 9/10

Buy the graphic novel:

Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Darth-Maul-Son-of-Dathomir/digital-comic/571876?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/star-wars-jeremy-barlow/1118925183

Blinded by Sports podcast Episode 1: NFL Draft Recap and the return of the Bundesliga

Photo via Getty Images

I join The Candid Clark podcast to discuss with Sean Clark the winners and losers of the 2020 NFL Draft. We then move on to discuss the return of the Bundesliga and Bayern Munich acquiring Manchester City left winger Leroy Sane. Check it out through the link below!

https://soundcloud.com/sean-clark-546007396/the-candid-clark-podcast-5-12-nfl-draft-recap-and-the-return-of-the-bundesliga

Chelsea’s nice blend of youth and experience

Photo via Getty Images

Before the stoppage of play due to COVID-19, Chelsea F.C. was brewing up a hot stretch. 

This rebound was coming after going an un-Chelsea-like 2-3-3 dating back to early February. Among the rough patch included a 1-0 lost to Newcastle United, a 3-0 trouncing at Stamford Bridge on the 1st Leg of the Champions League against FC Bayern Munich and a 2-2 draw to Bournemouth, one of the bottom-three team under threat of relegation should the season resume. 

Since that roadblock, though, Chelsea was revving up the engines for a hot streak. In their final two matches before the stoppage, they outscored their opponents 6-0, (2-0 in the FA Cup against Liverpool and 4-0 in Premier League play against Everton). As the Premier League table currently stands, they sit in fourth place and in position for Champions League qualification.

While football play for Chelsea remains up in the air in regard to when they can get back onto the pitch, one thing is for certain: they will be back and will be a force in the present and the future whenever they return.

“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is a fairytale as old as time, but even through its literary changes over the years (and even its missed usage when making other analogies), the theme of the story legitimately fits Chelsea extremely well in that they are just right

Not just right in the fact that they have a fluffy bed or porridge at the perfect eating temperature, of course. 

Just right in the fact that they have a unique blend of youth and experience that has paid dividends.

Chelsea 2 Aston Villa 1: John Terry's homecoming ruined as Tammy ...
Photo via Getty Images. Mason Mount , Cesar Azpilicueta and Tammy Abraham celebrate Mount’s game winner vs Aston Villa on December 4, 2019.

Starting with the youth, Chelsea’s 2019-20 roster features 10 players that are 25 or younger with at least 10 matches played. Midfielder Mason Mount and forward Tammy Abraham lead the youth movement on the club. Among all competitions this season, both players are top-four in goals, with Mount’s six and Abraham’s 13.  Abraham’s 13 goals in all competitions this season leads the team and, when combined with Mount’s strong presence at the midfield, allows for numerous striking and passing opportunities in open space and in set pieces. 

Pulisic forever grateful to Klopp as USMNT star recalls 'unreal ...
Photo of Christian Pulisic via Getty Images.

The youth does not end there, though. American product Christian Pulisic, bought from German club Borussia Dortmund, came over to Stamford Bridge on January 2nd and has not missed a beat. He quickly scored five goals in competition despite only playing in 16 matches. The age? 21.

For Chelsea, though, current production could develop into better production in future seasons; all three players remain under contract together through the 2021-22 season, per spotrac.com, where afterward Abraham is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Even through his potential departure, though, the remaining duo remains under contract through the 2023-24 season. 

Even aside from three-headed monster at Chelsea’s disposal, supplementary players on the youthful side in backs Kurt Zouma (25), Emerson Palmieri (25) and Fikayo Tomori (22), along with forward Callum Hudson-Odoi (19) gives Chelsea a developmental, yet explosive defensive front to stabilize ball control and to assist in feeding scoring chances to players on offense. 

Youth? Check. 

What about experience? Not to worry.

Steady Chelsea vets in defender Cesar Azpilicueta, midfielders Jorginho and N’Golo Kante and forward Willian have combined for 14 goals and 10 assists this season. The intangibles might be more valuable than the counting stats, however, as they have provided stability and experience to the younger players on the roster. Through production in their prime (their average age between the four is just over 29 years of age) and their veteran leadership, Chelsea brings an abundance of experience to the pitch competition in and competition out. 

Vets? Check.

Kepa Arrizabalaga refuses to be substituted: Chelsea goalkeeper ...
Photo of Kepa Arrizabalaga via Getty Images.

Combined, though, the youth and experience doesn’t end for the forwards or midfielders. Between the pipes, 25-year-old Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga, while raw at times, has begun to find a groove, allowing one goal or less in six of his last seven matches. In the clean sheet department, Arrizabalaga has collected two straight clean sheets in his last two matches. To supplement Arrizabalaga, 38-year-old Argentinian Willy Caballero has started only four matches but has provided depth and experience to a still-learning Arrizabalaga. 

Frank Lampard worried that lack of signings may cost Chelsea top ...
Photo of Frank Lampard via Getty Images.

Then, of course, you have Frank Lampard. 

The all-time Chelsea goal scorer, the 41-year-old head coach has combined a blend of his former game in heavy scoring to methodical station-to-station passing across the pitch. In his first year, the philosophy has shown itself; within the Premier League, Chelsea is fourth in goals (51), third in the table in passes (17,458) and second in shots (481). 

A young yet qualified coach? Check.

Top-to-bottom, goal-to-goal and player-to-player, the philosophy fits in nicely with the youth and experience the team has all-around. 

While tasty porridge or a cozy bed was what “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was geared toward, the theme also fits in nicely with what Chelsea’s roster has to offer in the present and in the future. 

A just right amount. 

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