Sunday, August 6, 2017

Modern Marvel: Star Wars #7

One of the more disappointing novels to be left out of Disney's continuity is Del Rey's Kenobi by John Jackson Miller.  It is a generally highly regarded novel that tells a story during Obi-Wan Kenobi's time on Tatooine between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.  Part of the charm of the novel is it reaches back into Star Wars' western roots which is all too often ignored.

Marvel published a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi story in Star Wars #7.  The tale is being read by Luke Skywalker from a journal he found in Obi-Wan's hovel on Tatooine.  In the story, we learn that Obi-Wan, now going by Ben, is struggling with giving up being a Jedi.  Tatooine is going through a drought and the inhabitants of the planet are struggling.  Jabba has sent his henchmen to steal water under the guise of a tax from the moisture farmers.  In a nearby town, Ben sees a farmer being robbed by Jabba's men and agonizingly walks away.  When Jabba's men show up a the Lar's farm, Ben does intervene, send them away using the Jedi mind trick.  The next time we see Ben in town, he is trying to help by showing a vendor the black melon fruit that Tusken Raiders use to drink.  They are interrupted when Jabba's henchmen show up and, after a brief confrontation with an understandably irritated crowd, decide to gun down the thirsty people.  Ben causes their weapons to misfire and the townspeople chase Jabba's men away.  Ben returns home, vowing to never return to town again.  He continues to agonize over not being able to help when he sense that a very young Luke Skywalker is in trouble.  Luke is caught in the act of stealing back water from Jabba's men who threaten to take him back with them as a slave.  Ben again intervenes and carries the now unconscious Luke back to the Lar's homestead.  Ben's tale ends with him renewing his vows as a Jedi, taking strength from the courage exhibited by Luke.

It is no surprise that when Marvel announced that Star Wars #7 would be the first of several standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi stories that they would be telling in the Star Wars title, fans were excited.  As usual, Marvel decided to meet that excitement with more than the usual number of variants for the issue.  The standard cover is a portrait of Obi-Wan with several of Jabba's henchmen standing in the foreground.

Star Wars #7a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Every Star Wars issue to date has had an action figure variant drawn by John Tyler Christopher.  Issue #7 is a Stormtrooper.

Star Wars #7b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
action figure variant
The Simone Bianchi and Tony Moore variants for Star Wars #7 were initially released in a 1:25 ratio.

Star Wars #7c - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Simone Bianchi variant
Star Wars #7d - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Tony Moore variant
Mile High Comics exclusive cover for Star Wars #7 shows an A-Wing Fighter.  Star Wars #7 - 12 each feature a starship and together form one picture showing a battle with the Death Star as the backdrop.

Star Wars #7f - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Mile High Comics exclusive
The Kansas City Comic Con exclusive captures a scene from The Empire Strikes Back with Chewbacca carrying C-3PO.

Star Wars #7g - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
Kansas City Comic Con exclusive
The final cover released is a black and white variant of the John Tyler Christopher exclusive cover printed for Star Wars #4.  This cover is also a John Tyler Christopher exclusive, but this cover was limited to 3,000 copies where the color version was limited to 5,000 copies.

Star Wars #7h - Marvel Comics, U.S. (July 2015)
John Tyler Christopher exclusive
Not pictured above is the sketch variant of the standard cover.  There are a total of eight different covers for Star Wars #7.  This issue is also used in IDW's 3rd micro comics set.

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