I have a passion for collecting vintage Star Wars merchandise from the late 70's. Action figures, comics, trading cards etc - anything related to the first Star Wars movie. But why only until 1980? It's not that I don't love The Empire Strikes Back and beyond (I really do), but there is something about that first wave of Star Wars mania that really grips me, back when it was all fresh and exciting...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marvel #24 - Silent Drifting

This one's an interesting issue. After telling of Luke's pre-movie adventures, Marvel went and told a story of Ben Kenobi's past during the time of the Old Republic. The whole tale is framed by Leia telling a story to Han and Luke after Han successfully blasts a couple of TIE Fighters by luring them in with a false explosion.

The story takes place aboard a pleasure cruiser. One of the passengers is Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi en route to meet his old friend Bail Organa. It's great to see an early interpretation of the Jedi Knights. Ben seems to be wearing a military style uniform rather than his Jedi robes. I guess back then everybody just assumed that Ben's clothes in the movie were just his desert hermit garbs rather than an extension of what he was wearing 20 years previously. I know I was surprised when the prequels came along that all the Jedi were dressed up like Tatooine hermits.

Nice one-liner, Ben! I can totally see the Ewan McGregor version of the character pulling this stunt off. Even the Alec Guinness version possessed some of that cheeky humour so I think Marvel interpreted a younger Obi-Wan perfectly. After teaching the above scumbag some manners, Kenobi is approached by another villainous looking fellow and offered a share in a partner ship. Tagging the man as a slaver and smuggler, Kenobi declines.

Trouble strikes when a group of 'Merson' ships attacks the cruiser. Kenobi is called to the bridge and takes command, using the force to detect the fighter ships and giving orders for the cannons to be fired, blasting them in turn.

Word reaches him that somebody aboard is sending signals to the Merson ships and upon heading back down to the bar, he finds the scumbag who approached him earlier being threatened by the rest of the passengers. Choosing to destroy the fermentation device as a distraction, Kenobi inadvertently knocks out the signal transmitter, thus saving the day.

None of this seems particularly like Han's evasion of the TIE Fighters, so I don't really know what Leia's point is here. I guess she just wanted an excuse to tell a good story.

1 comment:

RLM said...

Thanks for the great blog - bringing back many happy memories of a time when there was a lot more room for imagination & speculation in the SW universe. Also love the ads - all these bizarre Micronauts that I had completely forgotten owning, I must have had dozens of the damn things

At the time I picked up various stray issues of the pre-Empire Marvel comics & was quite awestruck that there was a continuing SW story, that someone out there had secret knowledge of Tagges and blockade runners and Jabba the Hutt looking like seafood. Carmine Infantino's art is wonderful, a really unique and stylish interpretation of the source material. The covers in particular are amped-up classics of overselling, in the best possible way.

Anyway, thanks again!