Thursday, November 12, 2015

Retro Foreign: Indonesian Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back #1

It is clear that Star Wars must have been successful as a comic in Indonesia due to the myriad of comics that use the Star Wars title on the cover.  In some cases, the stories use the main characters, in others there are stories with characters that look somewhat like characters from Star Wars, and in other cases, the stories don't appear to have anything to do with the movie whatsoever.  It should be no surprise that there is an Indonesia The Empire Strikes Back comic.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back #1a - Cypress, Indonesia (1980s)
contains Star Wars #39 - 41
This black and white comic is digest-sized and contains the Star Wars art used in Star Wars #39 - 41.  The issue is very similar in size paper quality to the other Star Wars Indonesian Star Wars digest-sized comics, except the Star Wars story is throughout the entire comic.  The cover is a portion of The Empire Strikes Back movie poster that was based on the 1967 re-release poster for Gone With The Wind.  The first page is a title page with an acknowledgement of director George Lucas and 20th Century Fox.  The following page contains art and says Jilid Pertama or The First Volume.  The book is divided into 3 chapters.  The first chaper is Misteri Di Padang Salju or The Mystery in the Snow.  The next chapter is Pertempuran Meletus or The Battle Erupted.  The final chapter is Penghancuran Besar-Besaran or Massive Destruction.  These are not the same chapter titles used in the U.S. version of these chapters.  The story ends with the teaser image of Yoda looking on as Luke exits his crashed X-Wing Fighter on Dagobah.

I'm guessing these Indonesian comics that reprint or redraw the Marvel Star Wars issues are not licenses due to no acknowledgement of Marvel's involvement with the content.  I did compare the comic to the pages for Star Wars #39 - 41 and the art differ slightly on several of the panels.  Like the Marvel Illustrated Version of The Empire Strikes Back paperback, the panels are arranged over more pages due to the smaller page sizes.  Since I didn't compare the art to the paperback, I do not know if the art differences and arrangement is the same.

One interesting thing to note is the logo on the cover does not contain the trademark symbol TM.  On the first title page however, the logo does contain the trademark symbol.  All of the U.S. version of The Empire Strikes Back comic contains the trademark symbol on the cover, so I do not know why it is missing on this comic except it further lends itself to my theory that these Indonesian Star Wars comics are not officially licensed.

Since this comic is just the first half of the story and also states it is the first volume, I have to believe there is a second volume to be discovered.

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