Luke's life was in the hands of Leia, Chewbacca and Lando in STAR WARS #50.

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.

As the original Marvel STAR WARS series reached its mid-century mark in 1981, the book had covered a great deal of ground. It began by adapting the original 1977 film before moving into all original stories and sticking around long enough to tell the story of 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back.”

With STAR WARS #50, the series had returned to covering all new ground. At this point, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian carried on, with the safety of the kidnapped Han Solo never far from their minds.

In fact, #50 began with Lando and Chewie flying the Millennium Falcon in an effort to avoid the Empire and find their friend. Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson, Tom Palmer and Walt Simonson threw a wrench in that plan when the duo found themselves following Princess Leia back to the new Rebel base on Golrath.

Once there, we all learned the emergency that garnered Leia’s attention: The Crimson Forever. A mysterious disease had infected a group of Rebels including Luke! It all seemed to stem from a strange red gem that they discovered on a seemingly abandoned Imperial Star Destroyer.

Leia then admitted that she brought the Falcon back to this base because she needed to hear from Chewbacca. Han had told her about a job they pulled that sounded like it might be related to Luke’s current condition. Chewbacca then told the story himself with Threepio translating for him.

After joining up with the Rebellion, Han and Chewie did their best to avoid the Imps, landing on an out-of-the-way planet called Terminus. While trying to remember the location of “that cantina where those two swamp maidens danced,” they got blasted and woke up on Klysk’s ship. He intended to use our heroes and a group of other mercenaries to fly to the Red Nebula, out beyond the known galaxies.

Star Wars (1977) #50

Star Wars (1977) #50

  • Published: May 19, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Writer: Archie Goodwin
  • Cover Artist: Tom Palmer
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There Klysk wanted the mercenaries to steal a pair of red gems guarded by a local priest as well as a huge hairy beast that took a liking to Chewie! Han left his friend behind momentarily to carry the gems to Klysk and his crew. They refused to help get Solo’s second away from the beast and left them both there. After a series of double crosses and reveals, Han and Chewie left the planet with an understanding that the gems, when separated, could lead to chaos.

With one of the gems in hand, the Rebels realized they needed to track down the other. While traveling to the Red Nebula, they encountered another seemingly abandoned ship, this one controlled by Domina Tagge who had sworn vengeance on Luke Skywalker back in STAR WARS #37. She arranged the whole thing to spread disease, but things did not exactly go as planned.

Thanks to some quick thinking by Leia and Lando, our heroes traded Tagge’s salvation for her gem which, when combined with the other, reversed the effects of The Crimson Forever, saving Luke in the process.

With the immediate threat over, Leia sent Domina Tagge and her bounty hunters off in one ship and launching the red gems off into the Great Void.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Though they don’t wind up playing a huge role in this story, some pretty infamous bounty hunters appear in this story. We first saw IG-88 walking through the plague-filled empty ship that brought Lando and Leia to Domina Tagge. She’d hired the droid as well as Zuckuss, Dengar and 4-LOM to steal the gems from the Red Nebula, succeeding where Klysk failed. However, they didn’t plan on the gems releasing the Crimson Forever in their own ship, which lead to the deal with Leia. However, before they left, Lando mentioned to the bounty hunters that Domina might have a price on her head with the Empire. As it happened, this acted as her last appearance in the original Marvel series, so we can imagine what happened there!

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Miller and Andrea Mutti show what happens with the Dark Lords of the Sith rule an entire planet!

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. 

When you hear about a world with a strong, very old Sith population that essentially took over upon arrival, you might think the place filled with blood and red face paint, but that’s not the case in John Jackson Miller and Andrea Mutti’s STAR WARS: LOST TRIBE OF THE SITH: SPIRAL. Instead you get a multi-faceted tale of legend meeting reality and embracing the potential for great good or evil!

This Legacy story took place during the time of the Old Republic, placing it 25,000 to 1,000 years before the Battle of Yavin. The planet Kesh played the setting of this story. Over two thousand years prior to the beginning of SPIRAL, the Sith ship Omen crashed on the planet, leaving Sith Lord Naga Sadow’s minions to create a new society for themselves, taking advantage of the fact that the Keshiri worshiped them. 

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #1

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #1

  • Published: August 08, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2015
  • Writer: John Miller
  • Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
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Back in the present of the story, the Keshiri celebrated the coming of the Sith. Well, not everyone. A rebel calling himself Death Spinner ran afoul of Officer Takara who had him arrested and sent to Grand Master Hilts.

We soon learned that, even though his family came to Kesh with the other Sith, they’d been cast out by the others and made to live with the locals who were themselves treated as slaves. Hilts wound up sending Spinner off on a ship to Alanciar. Takara – Hilts’ daughter – stowed away in a failed attempt at blazing her own trail that resulted in them both attempting a mutiny in a frigid wasteland! 

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #2

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #2

  • Published: September 12, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2015
  • Writer: John Miller
  • Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Those plans eventually lead them to meet another group from the stars known as The Doomed. This group derived from an earlier confrontation between Light and Dark Jedi who nearly destroyed Kesh, while also establishing the myths that the later Sith used to get the Keshiri to do their bidding.

The Doomed’s leader Kaliska explained all this to Spinner and Takara, but also mentioned an ancient Dark Jedi weapon that had been buried thousands of years before. As Takara agreed to learn from Kaliska and her people, Spinner made off with the secret weapon! When the weapon turned out to be Lord Dreypa, though, everyone involved knew that trouble would befall the entire planet, if not the galaxy.  

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #3

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #3

  • Published: October 10, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2015
  • Writer: John Miller
  • Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
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Spinner allied himself with Dreypa as a way to exact revenge against the very same power structure that cast his family out while Takara now feared for the establishment. The threat level jumped up several notches, though, when the well-slept Sith Lord remembered his original mission from 4000 years prior: to awaken Dark Side-Spawn Leviathans. 

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #4

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #4

  • Published: November 14, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2015
  • Writer: John Miller
  • Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
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With the giants poised to run amok, destroying everything in their path and absorbing Force energy along the way, all of the groups joined forces to face the immediate and deadly threat. As his powers returned, he gained even more knowledge from those opposing him, including the secret fact that the Doomed hid a working Jedi starfighter under what became Takara’s home! 

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #5

Star Wars: Lost Tribe Of The Sith - Spiral (2012) #5

  • Published: December 12, 2012
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: May 07, 2015
  • Writer: John Miller
  • Cover Artist: Paul Renaud
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Instead of going herself to destroy the ship, though, Takara sent Spinner to handle the task, while also return her injured mother to her home. She remained on the battlefield to hold of Dreypa and his growing number of minions. Instead of blowing the vehicle up, though, Spinner used it to take out several of the Leviathans and then also trick Dreypa into exploding himself on a mountain!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

In this story that’s already set pretty far back in the past, we also got to see even older lightsabers from 4,000 years before the events of SPIRAL. One major difference you might have noticed in the hardware – one that even Dreypa pointed out – is that the older versions used to have power packs worn on the wielder’s belt running directly to the weapon itself. As you can imagine, this made actually using the sword-like implement far more difficult, but laid the ground work for the elegant weapon first seen in “A New Hope!”

Next week we return to the classic Marvel STAR WARS series with issue #50!

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Cade Skywalker struggles with the Claws of the Dragon in STAR WARS LEGACY by Ostrander and Duursema.

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. 

When last we saw Luke Skywalker’s descendant, Cade, he’d communed with his Jedi forebear and decided to make right a wrong against Jedi Hosk Trey’lis who he had sold out in the beginning of STAR WARS: LEGACY. This latest arc, by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, which ran through STAR WARS: LEGACY #1419, picked up with Cade making good on that promise as he and R2-D2 landed on Coruscant, his former home.

Using the many tunnels he explored as a kid, Skywalker quickly found himself in his old haunts, looking for information and running into trouble along the way. He quickly made his way into the Sith Temple, which had been directly on top of the old Jedi one and got Hosk, but Darth Talon attacked and Nihl finished him off. 

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #14

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #14

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To further push Skywalker towards the Dark Side, Darth Krayt poisoned Cade’s friends Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue with incredibly painful Yuuzhan Vong Coral Seeds. As their bodies turned to spikes, the Sith Lord released Cade and challenged him to save both of them at once. 

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #15

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #15

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After doing exactly that, Cade made a deal with Krayt that if he let Syn and Deliah go, Skywalker would stick around to hear the Sith out. In that very meeting, Darth Krayt not only revealed that he’d been a Jedi previously, but also his true name: A’Sharad Hett. 

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #16

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #16

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At that same time, the assassin Agent Corde – also known as Cade’s mother – re-entered the picture thanks to the machinations of the Moffs who wanted to get their hands on Skywalker themselves. Meanwhile, Syn and Deliah argued about whether to go after Cade or not. They all came together in a bar, along with the Wookiee Chak and his partner Kee to develop a plan of their own for snagging Skywalker.

After explaining his past, Krayt offered Cade the chance to harness his anger instead of burying it, which he actually agreed to! Before long, Cade began his training with Darth Talon as Krayt watched on, hoping to eventually turn the boy to their side so he could heal the dying Sith Lord and Emperor.  

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #17

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #17

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Meanwhile, Cade’s rescuers developed a plan that involved giving some Force neutral Vong Beetles a high-tech upgrade and infiltrating the Sith Temple to release them. They got eyes on him in time to see him making out with Darth Talon. 

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #18

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #18

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Though it seemed like Cade might give himself over to the Dark Side, instead he rebelled and fought against Krayt and his Lords. As they battled, Corde and her crew flew to the Sith Temple and pulled off a nice series of moves to save Skywalker! With the young man safe, Syn, Blue, Chak and Kee blasted off, leaving Corde on planet to take back up her secret identity as a Moff! 

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #19

Star Wars: Legacy (2006) #19

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From the Jedi Temple Archives

As Krayt explained to Cade, he actually served as a Jedi before the Republic gave way to the Empire. Krayt explained that, as a general in the Clone Wars, he learned secrets about Anakin Skywalker that “had they been known, would have gotten Skywalker cast out of the order.” He kept those a secret and came to regret the decision. After Order 66 wiped out most of the Jedi, the man then known as  A’Sharad Hett traveled back to Tatooine to become a War Leader of many Tusken Raider clans, like his dad who you may remember from the STAR WARS Outlander story.

Eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi showed up and told him he could do better with his abilities and the two fought. In losing, Hett was shamed out of his clan. Obi-Wan wanted him to meditate on becoming a better Jedi, but instead he became a bounty hunter and eventually discovered the Sith ways thanks to an ancient teacher named Xoxaan, but only fully embraced the dark ways after encountering the Yuuzhan Vong in person. While imprisoned by them, he realized that the Sith needed to become a force of order in the universe and set out his plans to revolutionize the group and eventually become Emperor.

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Han Solo and Chewbacca find themselves roped into fighting the good fight in STARS' END!

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.

In CLASSIC STAR WARS: HAN SOLO AT STARS’ END, Archie Goodwin and Alfredo Alcala adapted Brian Daley’s 1979 kick-off to the Han Solo Adventures series of novels. Set somewhere between five years and a decade before “A New Hope” in the Legends Continuity, this story found Han and Chewbacca appealing to an old friend named Jessa for help. Instead, Jessa blackmailed them into working directly against the Empire in an effort to save her father. 

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #1

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #1

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With an enemy ship right behind them and knowing that the Millennium Falcon could never be traced like that, Solo started thinking that Jessa and her Rebel pals might have a traitor in their midst.

Swept up in the action right away, Solo then helped Jessa and her people get a pair of robots – Bollux and Blue Max – onto one of the Corporate ships in an effort to get intel on Jessa’s father’s location.  

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #2

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #2

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The op seemed to go well until the enemy got the drop on them, further bolstering Solo’s conceit that a traitor existed in their small crew. Though he and most of the others got away, Chewie got captured!

Setting out to save his friend and Jessa’s fathe, Solo used a mix of smuggler cunning and the deep-down heroics we’d come to see on the big screen to suss out and deal with the traitor. From there, he flew to Stars’ End: Mytus VII, where the stolen beings had been taken. 

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #3

Classic Star Wars: Han Solo At Stars' End (1997) #3

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At Stars’ End, Solo and his crew tried posing as entertainers. Not very good at putting on a show, they started raising a few eyebrows as Solo and Blue Max worked behind the scenes to find their captured friends, save Bollux from a superior fighting machine in a gladiatorial arena and get out of there.

Part of his wild plan even included launching the tower they all found themselves up into near orbit where the Millennium Falcon waited for them. Han, Chewie and the former prisoners got on the Falcon when it docked with the tower after Han put on a spacesuit and blasted at some of the attackers!

From the Jedi Temple Archives

As mentioned above HAN SOLO AT STARS’ END takes its story from a Brian Daley novel, but it was also originally a comic strip! Goodwin and Alcala’s work first appeared in the L.A. Times. Later on, the strips were combined into a three-issue series and presented in the format you see today!

Next week we head back to the future to check in on Cade Skywalker in STAR WARS: LEGACY!

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John Ostrander and Jan Duursema give Jedi Master Shaak Ti time to shine in a 48 page one shot.

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.

The Star Wars films do this great bit of filling the screen with fascinating characters. In doing so, they intrigue us, leaving us wanting more. That’s where many of the comics and animated series come into play, offering deeper looks at folks who only showed up on screen for moments at a time.

Jedi Master Shaak Ti’s a great example of this. She sat on the Jedi Council in “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” and fought in the Battle of Geonisis. However, people wanted more of the Torguta warrior, which lead to the 2003 one-shot STAR WARS: JEDI – SHAAK TI by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. 

Star Wars: Jedi - Shaak Ti (2003) #1

Star Wars: Jedi - Shaak Ti (2003) #1

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On the planet Brentall IV, Shaak Ti and other Jedis fought against Separatist commander Shogar Tok’s efforts to split from the Republic. Aided by Count Dooku, he and his people did an impressive job of holding back the Clone Trooper forces.

After consulting with fellow Jedi Plo Koon, Shaak Ti and a lone Trooper entered a nearby prison, looking to take control of it. In the process, they met inmate Saguro Autem, Padawan killer Lyshaa and a Wookie named Ryyk. Soon Ti sensed another presence in the jail that turned out to be Jedi Quinlan Vos!

Ti and Vos quickly developed a plan that would allow them the opportunity to take down Shogar Tok or disable their cannons, both if possible. With help from Autem, Lyshaa and Ryyk, they infiltrated his fortress, but ran into several opposing forces like the giant snake-like Scrange, laser filled Lighstorm Chambers and attempted betrayal.

Along the way, our title heroine exhibited amazing skills, not just as a Jedi warrior, but also as a compassionate person who mourned the dead and repeatedly offered forgiveness to one who could never truly understand such a thing.

In the end, Shaak Ti and her crew succeeded in both missions, destroying the cannons and removing Shogar Tok from the game board, but the victory rang hollow for the Jedi Master. After healing up in a Bacta tank back home, she met with Plo Koon and spoke to him about how she had questions about their efforts, but not enough time to actually contemplate them given the recurring battles.

Plo Koon offered no answers at the time, but instead offered himself as a meditation partner to his fellow member of the Council.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

Though Quinlan Vos briefly appeared on Tatooine in “The Phantom Menace,” fans know him far more for his ongoing adventures in the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated series. We saw how the Kiffar Jedi pushed the boundaries of his organization while also using his inborn abilities to track people by touching their left-behind things. He could retroactively read their thoughts and experiences this way, which made him very useful to the Republic’s various causes. As the show progressed, he went from taking on Aayla Secura as a Padawan to teaming up with former Sith trainee Asajj Ventress to take down Count Dooku. While that mission ultimately failed, the two did become lovers for a time.

Next time, we check back in with everyone’s favorite good-hearted rogue in CLASSIC STAR WARS: HAN SOLO AT STARS’ END by Brian Daley, Archie Goodwin and Alfredo Alcala.

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Kieron Gillen, Leinil Yu and Salvador Larroca chronicle Darth Vader's adventures.

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.

Though Darth Vader walked away relatively unscathed from the STAR WARS – DARTH VADER crossover called VADER DOWN, he still had plenty to deal with between a war on the mining planet of Shu-Torun and forces within the Empire secretly working against him.

That story ran from DARTH VADER ANNUAL #1 into DARTH VADER #1619 by Kieron Gillen, Leinil Yu and Salvador Larroca. The first installment saw Vader traveling to the planet in an effort to remind the ore-barons and their leaders that the Empire remained in charge. During the visit, Rebel supporters attacked and the king’s third daughter Trios did her best to lead Vader to his death. However, the Sith Lord saw something useful in her and put her in charge of the planet after everyone’s favorite murder droids 0-0-0 and BT-1 killed the rest of the royal court. 

Darth Vader Annual (2015) #1

Darth Vader Annual (2015) #1

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The main series issues picked up a bit later as the Ore Barons continued to lean towards rebellion even as Queen Trios tried steering them in the right direction. With the potential threat of losing one of their main sources of raw materials, the Emperor sent Vader to quell the uprising, assisted by Cylo and his two pseudo-cyber Jedi wannabes Morit and Aiolin. 

Darth Vader (2015) #16

Darth Vader (2015) #16

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On Shu-Torun, Vader found a queen who, while still relatively new to the throne, had grown into the role quite well. She fought fiercely as her enemies used important and even sacred equipment like Delving Citadels and Laval Leviathans against them. With the fearless agent of the Empire by her side, though, it seemed like the Ore Barons didn’t stand a chance. 

Darth Vader (2015) #17

Darth Vader (2015) #17

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At least not a fair one. Which brings us back to Cylo who made a deal with the Ore Barons to sabotage Vader’s vessel in an attempt to destroy his rival while still remaining somewhat loyal to the Emperor. Darth Vader figured out the plot and, thanks in part to some impressive psychological warfare implemented by Triple-Zero, their opponents surrendered. 

Darth Vader (2015) #18

Darth Vader (2015) #18

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Meanwhile, Queen Trios took control of her own command, killed a traitor in her midst and continued on in her mission to unseat one of her major opponents. Upon finding him, she had the man killed and put his own daughter in charge saying, “I’ve found inexperienced youths not expecting power the most easy to manipulate,” to which Vader agreed. 

Darth Vader (2015) #19

Darth Vader (2015) #19

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 From the Jedi Temple Archives

This story featured an interesting array of relationships in Darth Vader’s life at this time. On one side, you’ve got the stern, yet still somewhat helpful and encouraging mentorship between Vader and Queen Trios. On the other hand, he expressly tells Aiolin that he has nothing to teach her, mostly because of her status as a cyborg created by Cylo to appear Jedi-like. Later on, though, when she and her brother attack him, he does move to end her suffering in molten lava, though it appeared only to get one last bit of information out of her. Still, if anyone knows the pain of searing flesh, it’s the former Anakin Skywalker.

Finally, this run also featured Vader’s attempts to reclaim his one time covert op – and the creator of Triple-Zero and BeeTee – Doctor Aphra. She got captured at the end of VADER DOWN and, as we saw in the Rebel Jail story in STAR WARS, she helped Princess Leia stop an unorthodox prison break that essentially won her her freedom. The Sith Lord put out an anonymous call to bounty hunters to find her. When Beebox came back with a pile of bones, Vader knew it wasn’t Aphra and killed the liar. At the end of the story, Inspector Thanoth claimed to have found her and wanted to talk to Lord Vader about her. For more on that, you’ll just have to wait until we return to this series down the road!

Next week we travel back to the Clone Wars as John Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons showcase a hero in STAR WARS JEDI – SHAAK TI!

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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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Tom Veitch and Jim Baikie close out the Dark Empire trilogy with Empire's End!

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.

“Return of the Jedi” might have made it seem like Emperor Palpatine’s story ended at the bottom of an enormous shaft, but comic readers know differently. Darth Sidious used cloned bodies to restore himself in the pages of DARK EMPIRE and then continued making trouble for the Rebel Alliance in DARK EMPIRE II. Now, with EMPIRE’S END, Luke Skywalker and his crew finally get the upper hand.

In this two issue series from 1995, Tom Veitch and Jim Baikie laid the stage for the Emperor to further solidify his power base and finally crush the opposition with only Luke Skywalker and his burgeoning Jedi Order. To topple the Empire, though, they need to battle each other face to face!  

Star Wars: Empire's End (1995) #1

Star Wars: Empire's End (1995) #1

  • Published: October 24, 1995
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 15, 2015
  • Writer: Tom Veitch
  • Cover Artist: Dave Dorman
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Armed with a weapon called the Galaxy Gun, the Emperor could destroy targets all over the cosmos without leaving Byss and did exactly that with the Alliance Troopship Pelagia, killing a hundred thousand in the process. Palpatine used the fear this weapon spread to bring more and more planets under his rule.

The Emperor almost finished off the Alliance completely with the weapon, but the missile proved a dud. That bit of luck saved Luke, Leia, Han, their three children, Chewbacca and the droids from utter annihilation, but it also gave the good guys a chance to examine the technology before fully evacuating the planet.

Luckily for the Alliance, the Emperor resided in a flawed clone body thanks to Luke destroying his stockpile. In need of Jedi genes to restart his clone project, Palpatine sent his people to Ossus. At the same time, Luke and a few Jedi decided to scout that same planet – inhabited by descendants of Jedi – to use as their new headquarters.

Luke and company arrived just as the Stormtroopers left with their genetic raw material. Before long, though, they crashed into the stronghold on Vjun to save the inhabitants of Ossus and also put a stop to Palpatine’s schemes once and for all. They fought a valiant battle that lead to the incarceration of Palpatine’s right hand man, Sith Lord Xecr Nist before the Jedi took off for Korriban to finish the mission.

Palpatine hoped that the Sith necropolis in the Valley of the Dark Lords would sustain his crumbling body, but soon realized that his best bet would be to inhabit the body of Han and Leia’s newborn son Anakin. So, he ordered his people to give chase and follow their ship.

After more planet-hopping, space chases and feints, the Emperor finally tricked his way into the place Leia hid with her children. She used her own Jedi abilities to hold him back, but the Sith Lord overpowered her and almost walked away with the child. The Jedi burst in to save Anakin, but not all of them lived to tell about it.

At the end of the battle, though, the Alliance won the day, the Emperor ceased to be and the galaxy became a better place, at least for a time.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

EMPIRE’S END saw its characters jumping around the cosmos, including the planet Vjun. This one’s interesting because it marked the location that Darth Vader built his own personal palace, Bast Castle. The former Anakin Skywalker used the place as a sanctuary, but after his death it stood empty for a time. As seen in this story, though, it’s existence became known. The location proved intriguing enough that it’s been used in video games like “Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron” and “Star Wars: Jedi Knights – Jedi Academy.”

Next week, legendary artist Walt Simonson re-boards the good ship STAR WARS with #49.

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Princess Leia goes undercover, plus Boba Fett silently stalks his prey in STAR WARS: EMPIRE #5-7!

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.

As we’ve previously mentioned, STAR WARS: EMPIRE offered a variety of writers and artists the opportunity to work together and build up the world around the original three films in the Legends continuity. The first story revolved around Darth Vader dealing with traitors while the next three issues focused on Princess Leia and Boba Fett.

In STAR WARS: EMPIRE #5-6, created by Randy Stradley, Brian Daley and Davidé Fabbri, Princess Leia proceeded with a top secret mission three weeks before the Battle of Yavin.

Landing on Ralltiir under the guise of diplomatic mission, Leia soon found a local band of Rebels trying to overthrow the Empire’s Lord Tion. And they had good reason considering Tion ordered the population “purified.”

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #5

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #5

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Before Leia even got inside, the locals began their own assault. This proved a distraction so one of their number, Basso, could convey information to Leia that he’d absorbed via Hypnotic Imprint. After stowing the man on her own speeder, Leia then proved her bravery further by standing up to Darth Vader himself!

Though they got off planet with Basso thanks to Leia’s clever manipulation of Tion and his all-hearing security system, the Princess still wanted to help the people of Ralltiir. She then traveled to the Kattada spaceport of Haleoda, a place known for it’s efficient and trustworthy smugglers. After talking to Haledoda’s elected leader Mia Ikova, they struck a deal to get supplies to the Rebels on Ralltiir.

Just as Leia planned on returning home to Alderaan, an Imperial ship landed and immediately placed everyone under arrest by order of Lord Vader. Though she intended to go along peacefully, Leia ordered her people to fire on the Imperials after they shot Mia and her guards.

As his people called for a retreat, Commander Karg stood with a blaster against Leia’s head and would have pulled the trigger had one of her people not blasted him with their ship’s turret. Showing her own incredibly mercy, Leia ordered that both Mia and Karg be taken aboard the ship to save their lives.

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #6

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #6

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On the ship, Mia died gracefully, asking that her father honor the promise she made to help Leia smuggle the supplies to Ralltiir while Karg demanded attention and proved the kind of baseness that the Empire promoted.

Not long after, Basso came out of the bacta tank and Leia asked him for advice in how to handle the situations on Kattada where they’d stranded an Imperial squad on the ground. She struggled with the reality that these actions would most likely lead to bloodshed. Ultimately, she joined her forces along with those from Kattada to defeat their shared enemy.

While one of her men tried explaining to her that she made a better leader and figurehead than someone who should be rushing into battle, her side won the fight, though she’d remember the experience forever as it tempered her into the leader we saw on the big screen and beyond.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

STAR WARS EMPIRE #7 by John Wagner and Cam Kennedy offered a one-off look at what Boba Fett’s life looked like after immediately after the events of “A New Hope.” The Empire fully embraced wiping out Rebel Scum wherever they saw it, even on remote outposts like Solem, where the bounty hunter chased all over the place trying to find the freedom fighter’s figurehead, Yolan Bren. As it turned out, his own brother put the call out of his head. He then tried to weasel out of paying Boba Fett which, any right-thinking sentient in the galaxy knows, does not go over well in the end.

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #7

Star Wars: Empire (2002) #7

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Anthony Daniels co-writes C-3PO's 1997 adventure!

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.

Many say that the best way to write a character is to really get inside of them and figure out what makes them tick. So, who better to work on a story focusing on everyone’s favorite protocol droid, C-3PO, than his big screen portrayer Anthony Daniels?! He, Ryder Windham and Brian Daley wrote a one-shot called STAR WARS DROIDS: THE PROTOCOL OFFENSIVE with art by Igor Kordey that debuted in 1997. 

Star Wars: Droids - The Protocol Offensive (1997) #1

Star Wars: Droids - The Protocol Offensive (1997) #1

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Set a few years before the events of “A New Hope,” this tale starred Threepio and his longtime pal R2-D2 during a time when they represented the Tion Hegemony in their efforts to set up a trade route with Tahlboor, home to the warring Hobors and Troobs. Said negotiations took place on a space station hovering above the planet.

The two droids proved themselves to their new owners after Artoo fixed his boss’s datapad and Threepio revealed that the existing interpreter had not been strictly truthful. After everyone agreed to allow ol’ Goldenrod to act as translator, they took a recess which gave readers a look at the extensive ship, including its huge bar and casino.

Once there, General Krax of the Troobs attempted to buy Threepio, a request that Tion representative Jake Harthan denied. However, Madam Krax won the droid in a game of Sabacc played against Harthan’s father! This move lead to even more mistrust on the side of the Hobors whose Chief Nimondro saw this exchange of property as potentially detrimental to the process of making a fair deal. 

To prove their power, the head of the Hobors said the planet spoke through him and then called up a huge beam of light that shot out from a mountain and nearly blinded everyone on the ship floating in orbit. Having demonstrated his powers, Nimondro then demanded that they reconvene the talks on planet and also desired to purchase Artoo because he’d help them win at space slots!

That night, the two groups went to war after it seemed like Nimondro’s daughter Larka killed Krax’s son. Worse yet for Threepio? It sure looked like Artoo helped facilitate the young woman’s escape!

As Jake and Threepio tried to figure out the best way to get off planet and avoid this war, Artoo tried keeping the supposed murderess alive in a cave with a monster. After receiving the coordinates from his partner, Threepio stole a speeder bike of sorts and took off to save his friend! From there, Threepio learned some very interesting truths about the Hobors, including the secret behind their supposed power. Nimondro also learned something, that his daughter loved the Krax boy and would never harm him. 

In an attempt to stop the impending war, Threepio made a transmission to everyone explaining that Larka had not killed her lover, but instead it had been committed by Jake Harthan himself so he could use the weapon hidden in the mountain to take over his own planet.

In the morning, with Jake no longer a threat, the two groups started making inroads to peace, but Larka planned to leave the planet with her new droid friends.

From the Jedi Temple Archives

STAR WARS DROIDS: THE PROTOCOL OFFENSIVE marked the one and only time Anthony Daniels wrote a Star Wars comic, so far. As Ryder Windham noted in the book’s Afterword, he came into contact with the actor while working on various DROIDS projects. He also came to know Brian Daley who had not only written the Star Wars radio adaptations, but also Han Solo-starring novels. He worked with Windham to come up with the story which Daniels also had input in. The idea would be for Daley to write the script with Artoo’s words and then Daniels would fill out Threepio’s lines. Daley wrote up a rough outline, but then had to work on the radion version of “Return of the Jedi,” which he completed just before passing away in 1996. Windham eventually came back to the Star Wars fold to help finish the story which came out in 1997.

Before “A New Hope,” Princess Leia goes undercover as seen in the second arc of STAR WARS: EMPIRE.

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