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...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Marvel #38 - Riders in the Void

We come now to the final issue of Marvel's Star Wars comic book before it began its 'The Empire Strikes Back' adaptation. This issue from August 1980 is known for both its superb and fantastically weird artwork from the hand of Michael Golden and the story line which runs into deeper sci-fi than the usual swashbuckling action Star Wars is known for. This was the issue that should have been part 1 of The Empire Strikes Back, but due to a reshuffling in Marvel, fans got this off-beat one-shot while the long awaited Empire #1 was postponed til the following month.

While on a mission for the Rebels, Luke and Leia are attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer and narrowly escape into hyperspace with their crippled craft. Dropping out, they discover that they have gone beyond the borders of their own galaxy and are drifting in a starless void. Sucked up by a large alien ship which appears to be more organically grown than constructed, they find the ship deserted and soon are up against the games of its supercomputer which views them as part of a training simulation.

Luke first goes up against a lightsaber wielding robot which he defeats but both he and Leia soon find themselves being sucked out of the ship. Upon witnessing their compassion for each other, the ship lets them live and tells them its story. Once a humanoid, the ship's pilot fled his home world which was destroyed by war and after drifting for so long in the void, pilot, computer and ship became fused as one. Luke and Leia have reminded him what compassion is and he agrees to take them back to their own galaxy.

Upon arrival they find the Star Destroyer that caused all the trouble and the alien ship blasts it with anti-matter pods, letting Luke and Leia ago free in their newly repaired ship.


Chevrolet W-Series Turbo said...

Great, great post! It’s something I have never thought about, really, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing

Clint Williams said...

One of my all time favorites of my teenage collection. The story was mindbendingly good. I was wandering around San Francisco Comic Con and a kid was hawking reprints of old comics and I spotted the cover to this issue. I asked the kid what his connection was to the print and he pointed to the artist who was signing the prints. I immediately snatched one up to be signed and had the great privalege of telling him how it was probably my favorite one shot comic of all time. Mr.Golden was very gracious and my interaction with him was a highlight of the whole con.