Monday, November 7, 2016

Retro Foreign: British Star Wars Weekly #29

The cover for Star Wars Weekly #29 implies C-3P0 and R2-D2 have a significant part to play in the content.  After all, the droids are featured prominently on the cover and a blurb reads In Galactic Battle: The Valour of the Droids!  Unfortunately, the droids do not have any more significance in this story than most others; there is a bit of comedy on page 4 when Han Solo uses the slang term "What's the good word ...?" which C-3P0 takes literally and more banter occurs between Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2 as the Millennium Falcon comes under attack by Jolli, Crimson Jack's second-in-command.  But other than those 2 scenes, C-3P0 and R2-D2 are shuffled off into the background while the bulk of the tale centers on the actions of main heroes and Crimson Jack and Jolli.  Neither droid does anything valorous.

Star Wars Weekly #29a - Marvel Comics, England (August 23, 1978)
first half of Star Wars #15
Besides showcasing the droids, the cover also has head shots of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Crimson Jack.  But the most interesting object on the cover is the spaceship to the left of C-3P0.  A TIE Bomber!  It is only natural that with the standard TIE Fighters and Darth Vader's Advanced TIE Fighter, the Empire would have other special purpose vehicles based on the TIE design.  It is hard to believe the TIE Bombers that show up in The Empire Strikes Back were not inspired by this comic or Lucasfilm shared this vehicles design with Marvel.  The TIE Bomber is shown in two panels inside and it is uncanny the similarities to the ship in the movies which is why I have a hard time believing this was a coincidence.  The ship in the story has the bent wing design like the Advance TIE Fighter and, while the cover does not show it, the left pod has the round pilot window and the right pod does not.

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