Mike W. Barr & Walt Simonson explore this concept nearly 40 years ago!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Last night, fans got their first look at the trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” However, as readers of the original Marvel STAR WARS series will remember, it’s not the first time that particular title’s been used in a story from a galaxy far, far away. Back in 1981, writer Mike W. Barr and artist Walt Simonson presented a tale by that same name in STAR WARS #49. The adventure kicked off with Luke, Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO heading to a remote planet following a beacon in hopes of finding a person who could help them “turn an entire solar system against the Empire,” as young Skywalker put it on the opening page.

Having landed and jumped out for a look around, Luke soon realized that the beasts on the planet couldn’t be harmed in the traditional manner. Luckily Prince Denid appeared with his anti-magnetic polarization ray to zap them away. The Rebels then met Denid’s friend and companion Jedidiah, an alien creature who had once been asked to become a Jedi, but declined to help the prince and his bride leave their home planet of Velmor. In the process of getting supplies, he got hit in the head with a piece of debris that left him forgetting much, but still remembering his near-path as a Jedi.

After hearing the story of Denid and the creature known as Jedi, Luke blows up the prince’s old ship and they all hop on the Y-Wing to return Denid to Velmor. They all arrived on the planet just in time to stop the coronation of his brother Anod as king. Luke and Leia went with disguises on planet to avoid Imperial eyes, he as the bounty hunter Korl Marcus and she as Denid’s beloved Loren. Our heroes then met the Imperial attaché Captain Traal. Once his identity stood revealed and confirmed, most of the planet celebrated Denid’s return, but not all.

Star Wars (1977) #49

Star Wars (1977) #49

  • Published: April 21, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Mike W. Barr
  • Cover Artist: Walt Simonson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Traal pulled Luke aside and told him she knew that Korl Marcus did not exist and then said she’d let it slide if he’d kill Denid and Leia for her! He agreed and left, allowing Traal and Anod to explain that they suspected Denid would reject the Empire’s ways and align with the Rebellion. As it turned out, the regent Zelor also had his own schemes in the works, namely removing all other pieces from the game board, so he could continue ruling Velmor himself.

During the next day’s festivities, both sides turned on each other, with allegiances flipping and true motives revealed. Luckily for the further successes of the Rebellion, Jedidiah rode in and took out Traal before she could shoot Luke in the back. Their victory assured that the entire system would side with the Rebellion.

Upon leaving Velmor, Luke paid proper tribute to the creature known as Jedi, calling him the last Jedi and firing up his lightsaber in the cold vacuum of space.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Now, of course, we know that Jedidiah was not the final Jedi in the line. In the Legacy continuity, Luke would go on to reform the order and expand it to its old glory. Meanwhile, in the current continuity seen in the films and on shows like “Star Wars Rebels,” we know that other Jedi survived Order 66 and went on to continue using the Force for good. On December 15, we’ll find out what happens when Rey finally meets up with Luke Skywalker and what they plan to do about the menace of the First Order…

In the wake of Vader Down, the former Anakin Skywalker finds himself embroiled in the Shu-Torun War!

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Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewie and the droids deal with a post "Empire" galaxy.

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Last time we visited the original run of STAR WARS from Marvel Comics, the issues chronicled the adventures seen on the big screen in “The Empire Strikes Back.” That film, of course, ended with Han Solo kidnapped in Carbonite and Vader telling Luke about his parentage.

Fans would have to wait until 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” to find out what happened to all of their favorite characters…unless they read the Marvel series! Now part of the Legends continuity, STAR WARS #4548 showed some harrowing adventures featuring Luke Skywalker testing his new hand in space, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, C-3PO and R2-D2 on Droid World and Princess Leia facing off against Darth Vader on a banking planet.

In the first issue, Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino shined the spotlight on Luke as he flew in his X-Wing fighter for the first time after getting a robotic replacement hand. Perhaps that explained his slow reflexes and the destruction of his transport. Thanks to some clever thinking and use of the Force, he and Artoo made their way to an Imperial ship that housed a rampaging Probe Droid. Ultimately, though, our heroes walked away with both their skins and a win as they blew up the Imperial ship and made off with another X-Wing.  

Star Wars (1977) #45

Star Wars (1977) #45

  • Published: December 23, 1980
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Larry Hama
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Lando and Chewie took center stage in STAR WARS #46 by Wally Lombego and Infantino as they flew the Falcon in an effort to find their good buddy Han. Instead, they stumbled upon a legendary Rebel fighter named Cody Sunn-Childe who had turned away from violence upon gaining an immense amount of power that allowed him to essentially create his own pocket of reality. However, with the Empire always looking for more worlds to conquer, they soon appeared on Sunn-Childe’s metaphorical doorstep and brought the war to him. 

Star Wars (1977) #46

Star Wars (1977) #46

  • Published: January 20, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: J. M. DeMatteis
  • Cover Artist: Ed Hannigan
What is Marvel Unlimited?

From there, Goodwin and Infantino sent Artoo and Threepio to another world intent on staying out of the fracas between the Empire and Rebellion: Droid World. Their mission revolved around getting schematics for the Empire’s Warbot, but they stumbled upon a robo revolution in the works. After the war came to a close, Droid World overseer Kligson turned the whole place into a rocket and took off for deeper space to move even further away from the Empire’s reach. 

Star Wars (1977) #47

Star Wars (1977) #47

  • Published: February 24, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Frank Miller
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Finally, in STAR WARS #48, Larry Hama and Infantino saw Leia visit the banking planet of Aargau to strike a deal to get funding for more X-Wings. To everyone’s surprise, Darth Vader also happened to be on planet as well. Using a series of schemes that still follow the rules of the planet, he tries to kill her and Viscount Tardi while she defends them all using her cunning. The pair even face off against each other with Vader wielding his lightsaber and Leia, a blaster. That ended with a draw, each one going their separate ways, not fully succeeding in their plans, but also not fully failing.  

Star Wars (1977) #48

Star Wars (1977) #48

  • Published: March 24, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Larry Hama
  • Cover Artist: Carmine Infantino
What is Marvel Unlimited?

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Let’s talk about some of the legendary creators involved in these few issues. Goodwin and Infantino racked up impressive runs and takes on these characters. You might notice another famous name in this batch if you look at the cover to #47, which a guy named Frank Miller composed (as well as #43 from the previous arc). Fellow legend Larry Hama also got in on the action by drawing the cover to #45 and writing #48. You might also wonder about the writer of #46, a fella named Wally Lombego. That’s actually J.M. DeMatteis, who took his real name off the project after interior changes altered his vision for the story’s main message of pacifism.

Our heroes plan a jail break in STAR WARS #1519 by Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen, Leinil Yu and the gang!

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Al Williamson and Archie Goodwin present their version of "The Empire Strikes Back" in comic form!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

After waiting three long years, fans finally got to see the next installment of Star Wars on the big screen! “The Empire Strikes Back” debuted on June 20, 1980 followed a few days later by Al Williamson and Archie Goodwin’s serialized adaptation on comic stands a few days later (a slightly different paperback version bowed even before that).

Now, we’ve all seen the movie more times than we can count and could recite it to varying degrees of success, but back then, one of the best ways to re-live the action, adventure and drama seen on the big screen came in the form of comic adaptations which offered slightly different takes, usually because of the huge lead time needed for comics (see below for a few examples).

The first two issues focused on the Rebels’ adventures on Hoth, starting with Luke’s fateful meeting with the Wampa and Han Solo saving him from hypothermia. The action then ramped up when the Empire discovered the base and attacked with the might of AT-ATs. 

Star Wars (1977) #40

Star Wars (1977) #40

  • Published: July 22, 1980
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Al Williamson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Luke and company fought long enough to get most of their people off planet and then, in the third issue, he and Artoo split off as Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO flew off in the Millennium Falcon. 

Star Wars (1977) #41

Star Wars (1977) #41

  • Published: September 02, 1980
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Al Williamson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

As most of you will remember, Luke and his astromech pal flew to Dagobah where the former trained with Yoda in the ways of the Jedi, increasing his power with each exercise. Meanwhile, the Falcon found itself flying through a series of challenges all its own from ship-eating asteroids to the ever-present Empire.

Han, Leia, Chewie and Threepio, of course, made their way to Cloud City, where they met Lando Calrissian, a friend of Solo’s from the old days. Though they seemed welcome guests at first, we all know what happened, which helmeted villains showed up and who got frozen in metal. 

Star Wars (1977) #43

Star Wars (1977) #43

  • Published: October 28, 1980
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Al Williamson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Luke flew in in time to battle Darth Vader while his friends, now aided by Lando, figured out an escape route. They, in turn, fly the Falcon up to save Luke after Darth Vader revealed himself to be Skywalker’s father and he nearly fell out the bottom of Cloud City. 

Star Wars (1977) #44

Star Wars (1977) #44

  • Published: November 25, 1980
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Al Williamson
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Film-goers had to wait another three years to find out what happened with Han, but the adventures continued every month in the pages of STAR WARS!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

In the back of STAR WARS #41, the book’s longtime writer Archie Goodwin recounted how he got working on this adaptation. Living many a fan’s dream, he headed out to California to spend a full week with the Lucasfilm crew to get inside looks at “Empire.” Eventually he returned home with about 750 requested photos and a copy of the script written by Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett. If you picked up the magazine adaptation version, you might remember a very different looking version of Yoda. His scenes hadn’t been finished yet when they started working on the comic, so Williamson based his take on Ralph McQuarrie’s character designs. They were able to change those pages to more accurately reflect the film version by the time the story made its way into monthly comics.

If you spent part of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” wondering where ol’ Goldenrod got that red arm, find out next week in STAR WARS: C-3PO by James Robinson and Tony Harris!

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Experience Jabba the Hutt like never before in a classic comic exploit!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Most Star Wars fans know that Jabba the Hutt made his silver-screen debut in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” Only in 1997, with the release of the Star Wars Special Edition, could George Lucas finally insert a scene he had cut, with Jabba directly confronting Han Solo at Docking Bay 94. But the absence of Jabba in “Episode IV” didn’t stop Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin from including their own interpretation of the character in STAR WARS #2. The thickly whiskered humanoid figure they created may not rank among the “best” moments in Star Wars comics—but it’s certainly among the most interesting to go back to.

Star Wars (1977) #28

Star Wars (1977) #28

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Two years later, Thomas teamed with artists Carmine Infantino and Gene Day to bring the space gangster back as the main villain for STAR WARS #28. The story entitled “What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?”—he didn’t have two T’s in “Hutt” yet—responds to its own question on the very first page: “Answer: He is alive and well and trying to kill Han Solo on an obscure planet called Orleon.” The pages to come highlight Han’s escape from the planet, ending with Jabba donning a space suit to pursue the Millennium Falcon.

Reading issue #28 today, we’re forced to wonder: What would the “real” Jabba look like in a space suit?

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An eclectic cast of characters joins Luke and company for adventure!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

After their six-issue adaptation of “A New Hope” concluded in 1977, writer Archie Goodwin and artist Howard Chaykin faced an unthinkable reality to modern fans: What’s next for Luke, Leia and Han? With no clue of what a “Hoth” or a “Yoda” were, the creators let their imaginations run wild, resulting in content that—in the very best, most delightful way possible—today feels like it belongs in a galaxy far, far away from the Star Wars galaxy itself.

Star Wars (1977) #7

Star Wars (1977) #7

  • Published: October 11, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Roy Thomas
  • Cover Artist: Gil Kane
What is Marvel Unlimited?

STAR WARS #7 starts out quite connected to Episode IV, with the Millennium Falcon en route to Dantooine to pay off Jabba. After space pirates board the ship and steal the bounty, however, Han and Chewie decide to lay low on Aduba-3, where things start to get a little weird when they team with a band of quirky characters to help protect the planet. Among them: Hedji, a man who looks like a cat but shoots quills like a blaster; Don-Wan Kihotay, who claims to be a Jedi; Jimm, the Starkiller Kid—probably named as an homage to “Luke Starkiller’s” original name; and the white-haired Amaiza, clad in what can only be described as a red battle bikini.

But best of all: the six-foot green rabbit man known as Jaxxon. His last appearance may have been 1978’s STAR WARS #16, but Jaxxon remains a sentimental favorite to fans to this day, even starring on his own variant covers for STAR WARS #1, VADER DOWN #1 and POE DAMERON #1. As one single character, he exemplifies the sheer sense of fun exuded from these crazy classic issues.

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Live a day in the life of farmboy Luke Skywalker—poor womp rats!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Star Wars (1977) #17

Star Wars (1977) #17

  • Published: August 22, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Dave Cockrum
What is Marvel Unlimited?

STAR WARS #17, August 1978

Just before their attack on the first Death Star, Luke Skywalker tells Wedge Antilles, “I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home.” From a period when Star Wars comic book writers had only one movie to work from—hard to imagine today!—throwaway lines like that could provide the entire basis for stories. Such proved the case for STAR WARS #17 in 1978, plotted by Chris Claremont, written by Archie Goodwin, and penciled by Herb Trimpe and Allen Milgrom.

Extrapolating from that single line of dialogue hinting at fun times on Tatooine—maybe with a little help from “just like Beggar’s Canyon back home…”—we’re treated to a day in the life of farmboy Luke Skywalker. This includes interactions with eventual Red Squadron teammate Biggs Darklighter, an altercation with a Tusken Raiders, a race through Beggar’s Canyon in said T-16 skyhopper, and—perhaps coolest of all—bulleyesing womp rats…in his X-34 landspeeder, but we’ll take it. We wouldn’t learn until added footage to the “Star Wars Special Edition” in 1997 that George Lucas never intended them to be green.

At a time when Star Wars comics got a little out there, STAR WARS #17 holds up as something that could actually fit within the canon even today. Give it a read through Marvel Unlimited sometime.

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Kick off a 40-part series commemorating comic book memories!

We all know that the first Star Wars film changed the face of pop culture forever when it hit theaters 40 years ago today—but it’s not just the movie that’s celebrating that milestone in 2017. Star Wars comics arrived with force in 1977, and hundreds of issues later, they’re more popular now than ever.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re looking back at our 40 favorite moments from the history of comics from a galaxy far, far away—one day at a time.

Star Wars (1977) #1

Star Wars (1977) #1

  • Published: April 12, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Roy Thomas
  • Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin
What is Marvel Unlimited?

STAR WARS #1, July 1977
At a time when movie-based comics sold poorly as a general rule, editor Roy Thomas convinced Stan Lee to give Star Wars a shot. The result: probably the most important single issue of a licensed comic book in history. Not only would STAR WARS #1 kick off the most successful movie-based comic of all time, the series to follow also proved itself one of the most profitable comics of the late ‘70s, period. It would last until 1986, and all 107 issues can be read through Marvel Unlimited.

Written by Thomas with absolutely iconic art from Howard Chaykin, STAR WARS #1 kicked off a six-issue adaptation of the first film—which hadn’t been given the name “A New Hope” or even “Episode IV” at the time. Starting with Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer in hot pursuit of Princess Leia’s blockade runner, the issue ends with Luke under attack from a Tusken Raider.

Interestingly, we’re treated to scenes cut from the film as well, such as Luke viewing the space battle with his microbinoculars, an exchange with Biggs Darklighter before he joins the Rebellion, and…Vader drinking coffee while he chokes Admiral Motti? Oh, and big-time spoiler alert: This issue hit newsstands on April 12, 1977, a full six weeks before the movie would invent the summer blockbuster on May 25!

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Luke Skywalker returns to his roots!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

For Luke Skywalker that old adage about not going home again proved true in the pages of STAR WARS #3134 from the original series. Written by Archie Goodwin with Carmine Infantino pencils, this four issue arc kicked off with Luke returning to his native planet of Tatooine in an effort to recruit blockade-running pilots to help the Rebellion.

Instead he immediately spotted Imperial Troopers before returning to his old, burned-out house to find that his old friends Fixer and Camie had taken the Moisture Farm over for the House of Tagge. Regular readers will remember that Baron Tagge held fantasies of vengeance against both Luke and Darth Vader. He also planned a new destructive project called Omega Frost that could freeze even the deserts of Tatooine beneath those dual suns.

Luke and the droids decided to finally get on with their assignment and head to that beloved hive of scum and villainy also known as Mos Eisley where, go figure, they ran into Han Solo and Chewbacca, who themselves returned to the planet after in order to drop Jabba off after the last arc. Thanks to Fixer’s dropping the dime on Luke, the space-faring friends took off as Stormtroopers busted up their reunion. During the escape, their speeder took fire and eventually died out leaving them at the mercy of the Jawas who inadvertently discovered one of the Omega Frost devices.

Star Wars (1977) #31

Star Wars (1977) #31

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Before long, the group returned to the Millennium Falcon and took off for space in the pages of issue #33. Luke infiltrated an in-space exchange and overheard Baron Tagge’s plans for the Omega Frost weapon, which could spell certain doom for the Rebellion.

Captured, Luke battled Baron Tagge in a lightsaber duel that resulted in the youth destroying his opponent’s special glasses, but not actually hurting Tagge in the process, even given the darkened conditions. Luke quickly escaped in a TIE Fighter, but remained far from safe and sound.

Finally, in the last piece of the story, Luke jettisoned himself from the fighter as Han returned in the Millennium Falcon with Princess Leia to see the kind of trouble the Omega Frost could produce in open space. Alone with just a space suit, jetpack and his lightsaber, Luke attacked the Omega Frost-producing device and barely survived the ensuing explosion. Luckily for him, the Falcon flew nearby and Han picked him up!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

In addition to bringing back characters like Fixer and Camie who originally appeared in the first draft of the “New Hope” script and also in the pages of STAR WARS #2, these issues also bring in another fun bit of Star Wars culture in the form of the Imperial Troop Carrier! Toy-minded fans will remember this as one of the vehicles released in 1979. You could pack a bunch of figures in this sound-enhanced vehicle. In addition to popping up on Tatooine in these issues, it also appeared several times in early episodes of “Star Wars Rebels,” a show that has gone to great lengths to mine the archives for all kinds of nods to the designs that went into making this franchise memorable.

Next week we check back in on DARTH VADER by Charles Soule and Salvador Larroca with issues #7-12!

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Han and Chewie meet Jabba, Vader battles Hunter, and Leia seeds hope!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

By its third year, Marvel’s original STAR WARS series had built up its own fair share of characters and adventures to rival the 1977 feature film that introduced the world to Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke, and the rest. In 1979, Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino took a trio of issues—#28-30 to be exact—and zeroed in on smaller stories to wrap up larger plot points and check back in on characters.

In issue #28, Han and Chewbacca finally face came face to face with Jabba the Hut on a rain-drenched planet called Orleon. As longtime readers will remember, a very different looking version of Jabba appeared in STAR WARS #2 in a scene that was shot for “A New Hope,” cut out and later added in to the Special Edition. Before all that, though, he was a name in a script that Howard Chaykin drew in issue #2.

Thanks to some help from a bio-weapon called the Stone Mite, the Millennium Falcon escaped from Jabba’s onslaught. Before taking off at light speed, though, they received a distress call from Jabba who said his ship had been overrun with the acid-emitting creatures. Solo, always looking to take advantage of the situation, made the crime boss an offer he couldn’t refuse: erase their debt in exchange for a ride home. Not wanting to look too eager, Jabba hung around for a while, but eventually took the deal!

Star Wars (1977) #28

Star Wars (1977) #28

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Moving along to issue #29, we returned to the adventures of the cyborg bounty hunter who hated droids known as Valance, who first appeared in STAR WARS #16, but had a change of heart in #27 that made him not want to throw Luke Skywalker and his droid pals to the wolves, otherwise known as the Empire.

Valance, otherwise known as Hunter, even tracked down Rebel deserter Tyler Lucian to stop him from revealing Skywalker’s name to Vader as the person responsible for destroying the Death Star. This led to a battle between the two individuals over the ravaged Rubyflame Lake that only one walked away from. Still, Hunter’s efforts inspired Lucian to protect the name by taking a flying leap in the lake himself.

Finally, issue #30 focused on a Princess Leia solo mission to the factory planet of Metalorn, which the Empire brought its enslaved workforce to. Leia snuck and blasted her way into the place in order to chat to fellow Alderaanian Professor Arn Horada about the Rebellion, which the Empire had completely excised from factory talk. Though Horada proved less than willing, Leia’s resilience and power in the face of the villains—including Baron Tagge from STAR WARS #25 and #26—proved an inspiration to some of the others.

Leia put it best herself at the very end of the issue: “He and others there needed to be shown there was a Rebellion…to see that its leaders survive and continue the fight…to give Metalorn what it’s been lacking before—hope.”

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Around this same time in 1979, Chris Claremont, Mike Vosburg, and Steve Leialoha joined forces to produce STAR WARS ANNUAL #1. Set around the time of the above issues, this story featured Han, Chew, Leia, Luke, and the droids all traveling together in the Millennium Falcon. While stopping at a bazaar on Tirahnn, Luke and Leia ran afoul of the Majestrix of Skye who also happened to have beef with Han Solo and his one-time partner Katya M’Buele. After a tragic attack, Solo flew the Falcon to Skye to settle his old score with the Majestrix. In the ensuing battle, Luke and Leia donned S.H.I.E.L.D.-esque flight suits that allowed the former to participate in a mid-air lightsaber battle and the latter to storm an incredibly high castle!

Next time, Jason Aaron, Simone Bianchi and Stuart Immonen continue fleshing out the universe in STAR WARS #7-12.

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A trio of tales follows Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and more!

Each week Star Wars Spotlight combs through the digital archives of Marvel Unlimited to showcase one classic story from that distant galaxy filled with Jedi, Sith, princesses, scoundrels and droids.

Today’s installment of Star Wars Spotlight offers a trilogy of tales all found in the span of the original Marvel STAR WARS series through issues #2427. The first, a flashback set just after the events of #15, finds Leia recounting a story about her father’s friend Obi-Wan Kenobi to Han, Luke, Chewbacca, and the droids.

Star Wars (1977) #24

Star Wars (1977) #24

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Thanks to a droid named 68-RKO owned by Bail Organa that Obi-Wan agreed to travel with, Leia can recount what happened when the Jedi Master hitched a ride on a pleasure cruiser to get to his destination. Along the way, he encountered less than scrupulous individuals, droid haters, and even attacking ships that he helped avoid thanks to a mix of his advanced pilot skills and use of the Force. With this, Mary Jo Duffy, Carmine Infantino and Bob Wiacek offer fans the first look at old Ben Kenobi before he first appeared in “A New Hope!”

The story told in #2526—by Archie Goodwin, Infantino, Gene Day, and Wiacek—picks back up with the ongoing saga of our heroes as they continue trying to make their way in the galaxy after destroying the Death Star. In this case, Luke, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2 hear of a supposed spice crackdown around Yavin that’s actually a cover for an attack on the Rebel base there by the TaggeCo-supplied Empire.

Star Wars (1977) #25

Star Wars (1977) #25

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Lead by Baron Orman Tagge, a man whose previous battle with Darth Vader left him nearly blind, these attacks decimate the Rebel fleets, even as they beat back TIE fighters. Luke and Leia arrive, but not without rousing Orman’s notice.

Though their new ship fails to make it through the adventure, Luke and Leia discover that the Imperial base lies hidden within the stormy atmosphere of the gaseous Yavin and TaggeCo continues to supply them with new and improved TIE fighters for their attacks. Luke risks his life to acquire a piece of tech from a downed enemy combatant that results in the near destruction of Artoo!

Fueled by revenge and the desire to save the Rebel base on Yavin-4, Luke flies down the planet’s surface and risks his life yet again to destroy an Imperial base. Using the Force, Luke blasts the huge turbine and makes his way out of the collapsing storms to fight again, but also put himself on TaggeCo’s enemy list in the process.

Star Wars (1977) #27

Star Wars (1977) #27

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Finally, the team of Goodwin, Infantino and Wiacek present the return of Hunter in #27. We first met the droid-hating cyborg also called Valance in the pages of STAR WARS #16. Now he hangs out on a backwater planet called Junction collecting bounties and then using the money to pay a droid repairman named Skinker to offer him versions he can simply destroy. This all acts as a way to kill time, however, until he can get his hands on Luke and his droid pals.

Before long, Skywalker and Threepio show up on Junction to acquire parts from Skinker to repair R2 after the injuries he sustained in the previous issue. Valance finally earns the opportunity to take out the droid-loving Luke, but he gives up on his vengeance after C-3PO steps between the attacker and his master, showing human-like concern for another.

As it happens, all three of these stories at least partially focus on the idea of droids being more than just machines. Obi-Wan refers to RKO as a sentient being, Luke feels distraught over Artoo’s attack, and Threepio shows Valance that there might just be more to him than circuits and code.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Orman Tagge first appears in STAR WARS #25, but he becomes a much bigger adversary for both Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader down the road. Orman features in a variety of source and reference books focusing on the Legacy continuity, but his family business, TaggeCo. continues to show up here and there, even appearing briefly on Coruscant in “Attack of the Clones!”

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