Issue #1 (July 1977): Star Wars
- Scripter/Editor: Roy Thomas
- Illustrator: Howard Chaykin
- Letterer: Jim Novak
My daughter has been a Star Wars fan since before she could talk. She knows all of the characters (we’re talking original trilogy, non-EU here) and can quote entire scenes. But she’s never seen the movies. She’s 5. I’m holding out. I’m actually a little worried she won’t like it anymore once concrete images consume what her imagination has built up. We’ve read countless Star Wars books and listened to the old story records more times than I can count, but I like that the movies are still there….waiting. To be seen for the first time.
I recently decided to break the long boxes out of storage and start making our way through the original 107 issues of the original Marvel run from the late 70s and 80s. By turns hokey and all kinds of awesome, these comics have a special place in the Star Wars lore (and they were the first bits of Star Wars junk I collected in earnest). So here we go.
The first six issues are an adaptation of the first film, but they were developed before anyone had seen it. So some things are a little….off. Like Vader. Zoey immediately asked why he looks different.
Since the artists were clearly taking a stab in the dark at Vader, his appearance changes from panel to panel. As a bonus, we’re treated to a treatment of Angry Birds Darth Vader, about 35 years early.
The script is also very text heavy and full of technobabble. Granted, much of this is straight from the film/screenplay, but this is the stuff that’s usually edited out of modern kid versions of the story. It slows down the action and flies over their heads.
C-3PO: This is all your fault! I should have known better than to trust the logic of a half-sized thermo-capsulary dehousing assister…”
See? Try explaining that to a 5-year-old. Moving on…
Page 10: “Isn’t Darth Vader in charge? Why did he call that other guy commander?”
Page 16: “Haha. Darth Vader is holding a cup. Why is he holding a cup?” This one I had no answer for. He totally is! Check it out. A cup of coffee floats in from nowhere, and Vader just….holds it while he’s doing the whole neck squeeze thing. Umm. OK? Was this a Marvel censor thing? Totally odd. “I find your lack of caffeine disturbing.”
Come back next week for Issue 2!