TITLE: Star Wars vol. 1, Issue #2
YEAR: August 1977
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Scripter/Editor: Roy Thomas
Illustrator: Howard Chaykin
Embellisher/Colorist: Steve Leialoha
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Back in 1977, Marvel Comics released a six-issue comic adaptation based on the film, “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”.
Originally, Marvel was hesitant of taking on “Star Wars” because simply, comic book adaptations rarely did well. But with the cajoling of writer Roy Thomas and the fact that he would be the editor of the adaptation, Stan Lee would eventually give the thumbs up but only if royalties were given to Lucasfilm if sales exceeded 100,000.
Sure enough, not only did the “Star Wars” comic book do well, it lasted from 1977 to 1986 with a total of 107 issues and three annuals published. With original stories beginning with issue #7.
Former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter said that because of the success of “Star Wars”, it saved Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978.
When I was younger, I had a good collection of “Star Wars” comic books, but with me no longer having that collection any longer, I would pick up whatever I found at antique shops and sure enough, I found a second printing of issue #2.
The second issue begins in Tatooine and features a passed out Luke Skywalker, the Sandpeople descend upon him but their attention is more towards his sandspeeder which they steal after R2-D2 (in the comics, it was Artoo Detoo) scares them off.
When Luke Skywalker awakens, he sees Ben Kenobi and tells him how he found a droid that has a message for Obi-Wan Kenobi. And Ben reveals himself to be Obi-Wan Kenobi.
When Obi-Wan and Luke get to safety, he plays the message that Princess Leia had left for him and Luke asks about his father, which Obi-Wan Kenobi explains to him that his father was a Jedi knight and not a navigator like his Uncle Owen had told him.
Obi-Wan gives Luke his father’s lightsaber and explains how his father was betrayed and murdered by a young Jedi named Darth Vader. A boy he trained and was his best but also his greatest failure. How Darth Vader used the power of “The force” for evil to help the Empire hunt down and destroy the last of the Jedi Knights.
As Obi-Wan asks for Luke to go to Alderaan, Luke Skywalker tells him he can’t and he must stay in Tatooine. But when Ben and Luke leave, they see the remains of a Jawa Sandcrawler and see the Jawas that sold his uncle R2-D2 and C3-PO and worries about his family. When Luke goes to check on his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (Note: In the comic, there was a gaffe as Luke calls Uncle Owen, “Uncle Ben”).
Needless to say, he discovers the burned corpses of his Aunt and Uncle and Luke knows now he has nothing and decides to join Ben Kenobi to go to Alderaan. But to leave, they will need a transport.
So, the two go to Mos Eisley Spaceport to meet with a pilot named Hans Solo and his partner Chewbacca. But will Han Solo take him to Alderaan?
If there is one thing I can say about “Star Wars”, the fact that Roy Thomas’ name was attached to the comic adaptation was more than enough for me to say it was worth buying. Roy Thomas is a wonderful writer and what he was able to accomplish with the adaptation not only captivated readers, it saved Marvel Comics due to the popularity of the series, which he would set for for other writers/artists for years to come.
Now if I can only repurchase the comic books that I once owned, especially the original six-issue run without costing me an arm and a leg, I would be stoked!