Ossus Library Index Star Wars Timeline




A newspaper strip graphic novel by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson (1996, Dark Horse Comics)
Book 4 of the Star Wars Newspaper Strips
1 year after Star Wars: A New Hope

The rebel fleet leaves Yavin 4, running an Imperial blockade on the way to Hoth, while Han deals with more bounty hunters from Jabba the Hutt.



3 stars

Read June 30th to July 11th, 1996  
    A great conclusion to the stories.  Introduction of Boba Fett, and Darth Vader's pursuit of Luke.  It didn't require either of those villains to be inept in order for the heroes to escape.  I consider that a good thing.

The story opens up with the fight between Vrad Dodonna and Luke.  Luke, of course, overpowers the other man, and convinces him that killing Luke would only get him into deeper trouble.  They race off to find Vader's ship, and Vrad strands Luke.  Then he uses the power gem to try and attack the super star destroyer.  While Vader is distracted, Han and Chewie pick Luke up, and attack the star destroyer's unprotected back end.  Vader's ship is temporarily disabled. 

Luke returns to tell General Dodonna that his son was a hero, and the Alliance finally begins the evacuation to Hoth.  Dodonna sacrifices himself to destroy an Imperial attack on the main building.  I guess it survived the explosion, since Luke used it for the Jedi Academy.  But as I said for the other ones, continuity was not in existence in the early years.

The fleet escapes into space, but must still face the Imperial blockade.  Admiral Griff, who had been in charge of letting Luke infiltrate the Super Star Destroyer project earlier, is in charge of the blockade.  The Mon Calamari attack part of the blockade, to try and lure off some more fighters, but Griff suspects that they will try and leave by a hole that would form if they were successful.  He attacks the fleeing rebel fleet.  Han is sent to find an alternate route, and finds a very close passage to a star.

Against his advice, the rebels take that route, and escape into hyperspace.  But they have pursuit.  Griff follows them, and in trying to outrun them, makes a mini-hyperspace jump, which lands him on top of Vader's ship.  Griff is destroyed, but Vader's ship is untouched. 

The Falcon is damaged by a solar flare, however, and must put down on a strange planet for repairs.  Luke goes out scouting, and is lured away by a woman impersonating Tanith Shire, the woman he fell in love with escaping from Vader earlier.  But the woman ends up being a power-hungry witch, who sends the creature that attacked them on Yavin 4 after him, and who then causes the stone ruins to fall on him.  But her exertions kill her, and Han rescues Luke. 

Repairs complete, Luke and Han return to Hoth, but are followed by a bounty hunter ship.  It turns out that Raskar (the man from whom Han retrieved the Power Gem) is interested in the reward that Jabba the Hutt has put on Han's head. 

Luke offers him a bigger reward instead:  Han's reward money from rescuing Leia on the Death Star.  But Han has already spent that.  Raskar doesn't believe him, and they go down to the planet, where Han and Luke bluff their way into a canyon.  Luke detects some spice in the caverns, so they are saved from Raskar.  Unfortunately, there is a spice worm in the cavern also.  They narrowly escape, but when they return to Raskar's ship, Boba Fett and a bunch of bounty hunters are waiting for them.  They lock Raskar up and return to Ord Mantell, where they contact both Vader and Jabba.

While this is going on, a vengeful bounty hunter attacks Han and Luke, which helps them escape.  They don't get far before the bounty hunters come after them.  But before they can lift off, Raskar rescues them in his own ship.  He tells Han goodbye, and departs with his spice. 

Vader is disappointed to see Luke's escape, but plans another trap.  Unfortunately, the trap is sprung by R2D2 and C3PO.  Luke and Han have to go after the duo.  When Luke is thrown unconscious, Vader probes him from far away, using a probe droid as a link, trying to get the location of the Rebel base.  Luke is strong, though, and Vader is trying to probe him from a large distance, but is still almost successful.  Han destroys the probe droid Vader is using, revives Luke and they leave for Hoth in a hurry.

This one was not quite as good as the last one, more on the level of the first one.  But they are all around the same caliber.  The third volume seems to rely on characters out of past stories for most of its plots.  I have nothing against that, but it all seems too much like coincidence.  It's kind of nice to see how the rebels finally leave Yavin 4, and why the Imperials didn't send out the whole fleet to destroy them when they finally knew where they were located.


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