One Punch Reviews #7: Darths & Droids

Now that it’s been a week after to passing away of head dungeon master Gary Gygax, I think it’s time we move past our grief and look at a webcomic about role-playing games. Or, more specifically, a mash-up of role-playing games, screen grabs, and Star Wars: Episode I. Today, One Punch Reviews takes a look at Darths & Droids, a webcomic created by one of the hardest-working men in the world, David Morgan-Mar.

Darths & Droids
In my review of Irregular Webcomic!, I marveled at the resiliency of its author, David Morgan-Mar, who is a webcomic creator, a programmer of esoteric languages, an author of GURP sourcebooks, and, oh yeah, a physicist and an optical engineer. Now that he’s undertaken another webcomic though, I can only conclude that the man is suffering from debilitating disease that prevents him from sleeping. Either that or he is some sort of super-advanced robot with a pleasant sense of humor. Whatever it is, he should keep siphoning caffeine into his bloodstream or recharging his fuel cells because I have enjoyed everything he’s ever created. Darths & Droids was inspired by Shamus Young’s DM of the Rings, which envisioned the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy as a long role-playing game. While I’ve read DMotR from time to time and found it somewhat amusing, I didn’t find it engrossing enough to read more than a few pages.

I can’t say the same for Darths & Droids. It might be because I’m more a Star Wars fanboy than I am a Tolkien scholar. However, it may also be because I very much enjoy Morgan-Mar’s corny yet genial sense of humor. It’s the sort of humor where he’ll poke fun here and there, yet you know he means know harm, and you know deep down inside he loves his subject matter. Darths & Droids revolves around playing a space-based RPG that bizarrely starts to resemble The Phantom Menace. (The world these gamers inhabit, by the way, must have never seen the real Star Wars, because the players are totally befuddled by “light sabers” in the very first strip.) If you’ve ever believed that Lucas was making everything up as he was going along, then this strip is for you.

In the strip’s best gag, one of the gamers brings along his little sister Sally, and she introduces some very childish elements to the game: an underwater city made out of big balls of glass, a 14-year old queen that people voted into office somehow, and a certain silly-named alien with “long floppy bunny ears and a tongue like an anteater.” Which, hilariously, ticks off the DM eventhough the players themselves find her ideas to be very cool. If Morgan-Mar manages to make it to “Episode Two: Attack of the Clones” (and believe me, I have no doubt that he will make it), I’m going to miss Sally’s Jar Jar Binks. I do have a sneaky suspicion, though, that Sally will make it back in time for the creation of the Ewoks.

Anyone who isn’t an unrepentant nerd will be hopelessly lost. And those who don’t read the series from beginning to end will lose some of the running gags, like when “Qui Gon” keeps trying to summon a bigger fish. Morgan-Mar, though, knows his stuff: he’s written RPG manuals, after all. And the webcomic makes so much logic from a role-playing standpoint that I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out Lucas determined the plot of Episode One by rolling a twelve-sided die.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

(Edit: it has come to my attention that Darths & Droids is a collaborative effort. So if you like it, thank the creators Andrew Coker, Andrew Shellshear, David Karlov, David McLeish, David Morgan-Mar, Ian Boreham, Loki Patrick, and Steven Irrgang. However, my comments about Morgan-Mar are still well founded.)


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on March 9, 2008, in 4 Stars, all ages webcomic, comedy webcomic, One Punch Reviews, photo webcomic, sci-fi webcomic, spoof, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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