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...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Marvel #1-6

Well, I finally tracked down the original 6 issues of Marvel's Star Wars comic for bearable prices. Issues #1 - #6 was the adaptation of the movie and began in April 1977 (Marvel cover dates at this time were generally 3 months ahead explaining the 'July' on #1). There's some pretty crazy/loosely inspired cover art on show here. My favorite is #5 where the Death Star is attacking what is presumably Yavin IV and is depicted as a hovering ball thing emitting laser blasts as if it is no bigger than your average flying saucer.

I won't go through the whole plot here as I assume most of you reading this are familiar with this particular story arc (wink) but as the adaptation was based on the original script rather than the movie itself there are the occasional interesting inconsistencies which are worth taking a look at.

The major difference is the inclusion of the 'Biggs Darklighter' scene on Tatooine which was cut from the movie.

The second 'deleted' scene is, of course, the one with Jabba the Hutt. Here he is portrayed as some sort of yellowish walrus humanoid with long whiskers. I have no idea why he looks like this in the comic. In the novelization he is vaguely described as an overweight, hairy being (possibly human) and in the scene that was filmed he was portrayed by Declan Mulholland as a clearly human character in a furry costume. This Marvel version of the character turns up later in the series too.

Biggs turns up again in issue 5 for his second deleted scene; the one that was actually put back in the movie in 1997. An interesting line that didn't get put back in (or even filmed for all I know) is 'Red Leader''s mentioning that he knew Luke's father and what a hot-shot pilot he was back in the day.

The artwork gets a bit on the psychedelic side in some panels and the death of Ben is surprisingly shocking.

"By the immortal gods of the Sith!" - I wonder if that line was in the script before being replaced with the somewhat simpler "What!?"

The comic even gives its own explanation of why Chewie never got a medal. He was too tall! And of course, the adventures of the 'Star Warriors' continued in issue 7 and beyond...

One cool thing about the early comics is the letters pages. As the comic was released before the movie a lot readers hadn't seen it yet and there is a lot of speculation and hype about the movie's release. Also, many comparisons are made here between the comic and the novelization which readers seem to know inside out. Man, were people ready to see this movie!  


Dex said...

And that comic is the reason why until RotJ came out that I used Walrus Man for Jabba when playing with figures.

EJK said...

Awesome find. I finally completed my Marvel Star Wars run (about 30 years late) two years ago and read straight through. I have an unnatural fondness for Carmine Infantino's art on his SW stint and really enjoyed rereading these old classics.

Anonymous said...


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Lee Bumstead said...

I remember getting hold of a copy or two a few years ago, when I used to sell comics on Ebay. The Star Wars ones were the ones I enjoyed the most.

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burdey said...

My brother as some of these from the 70s misplaced issue 1 but as 2 to 10 at least used get them for him when he was a kid