Friday, March 4, 2016

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Chewbacca #1 Dynamic Forces Gold Foil Exclusive

Han saw.

A battered and bloody Chewie regained his footing, stood up high on one pile of rubble, and faced the descending moon with arms upraised and a defiant roar.

The scene receded quickly, but Han kept his eyes locked on the spot, burning that image of the very last moments of his friend's life indelibly into his consciousness.  And then he saw the beginning to the final cataclysm as Dobido plowed into the city.

The landing ram rose suddenly, locking into place - Han knew it to be the doings of his son - and then the Falcon went spinning away as the shock wave hit her.

Han didn't even consider the danger to him and the others, not even to his son at that critical moment.  He just thought of Chewie, of that last tragic image, the Wookiee shaking his fist at the great, unbeatable enemy.

A fitting last pose of defiance, but one that did nothing to mend the tear ripping through Han's heart.


Chewbacca died.  In the pages of Vector Prime, published in October 1999, Del Rey shocked Star Wars fans with the death of a major Star Wars character.  Vector Prime is the first in the New Jedi Order series of books that would see new invaders from another galaxy, the Yuuzhan Vong, appear in our beloved Star Wars galaxy and shake up the status quo.  They came equipped with organic, alien technology and a physiology that rendered them invisible in the Force.  They brought the New Republic, the galactic government after the fall of the Empire, to its knees and killed untold numbers of sentient life on worlds throughout the galaxy.  And they used their technology to pull the moon Dobido, into the planet Serpidal, where Chewbacca saved many inhabitants as well as Han Solo's son, Anakin Solo, before meeting his ultimate fate as the moon and planet collided.

Unlike Han Solo's death in The Force Awakens, the impact of Chewbacca's death is addressed in Vector Prime as well subsequent books in the series.  Dark Horse even celebrates our favorite Wookiee with a 4-issue mini-series title Star Wars: Chewbacca in January 2000.  The first issue has a Dynamic Forces exclusive cover.

Star Wars: Chewbacca #1c - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (2000)
Dynamic Forces gold foil exclusive
The Dynamic Forces cover to Star Wars: Chewbacca #1 has different art and the title is adorned with gold foil.  This exclusive is limited to 2,500 copies.  The art has the principal heroes, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 in front of a bust of Chewbacca.  Leia is consoling Han, who is hit hard by the death of his best friend.  It is a nice cover for a poignant series that delves into the characteristics that make Chewbacca a beloved character.

Obviously, Chewbacca's death has been reversed in the new continuity and it looks like Chewbacca has been positioned to be the co-pilot for Rey in the new movies.  One can only hope that Han's death is handled with the same care as Chewbacca's death was in the Expanded Universe.

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