Ossus Library Index Star Wars Timeline




A newspaper strip graphic novel by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson (1994, Dark Horse Comics)
Book 2 of the Star Wars Newspaper Strips
1 year after Star Wars: A New Hope

Luke, Han and Leia travel to Ord Mantell, learn about Vader's super star destroyer, and evade the Imperials from friendly to not-so-friendly places.



3 stars

Read June 15th to 19th, 1996  
    Really good stories!  These are credible adventures.  This volume of the Classic Star Wars newspaper strips can be divided up into five stories, each one fairly independent, except that one leads directly into the next.  Even worse, it ends on a cliffhanger!

It starts out with Luke and Leia on a scouting mission.  Imperials destroy their ship while they are out in the jungle, and they end up on the run.  They are listed as killed by the Alliance command, so Han decides to go and rescue them.  The rescue was quick, and neat, but the Falcon takes damage.  It barely qualifies as a real story in the volume, but why not?  It does lead to the next part.

The Falcon puts down on Ord Mantell for repairs.  The authors were obviously anxious to use the mysterious planet mentioned in Empire.  There, of course, they are tracked by two bounty hunters.  The hunters capture Luke and Leia, and use them as bait to get to Han.  Solo, of course, rescues them again, and out-maneuvers them into the clear.  But still, the bounty hunters chase them.  Han can't figure it out until Luke discovers there's a tracking device hidden inside his lightsaber. 

Han sends the tracking device out on an escape pod, and the bounty hunters are arrested by an Imperial training fleet (which has been orbiting Ord Mantell), for disturbing the peace. 

The next story deals with the construction of Vader's super Star Destroyer.  Vader wants to get rid of the commanders that oppose him.  So he sets a trap for them, and gets them to contact the Rebels, telling them about the project.  Luke volunteers for the mission, because he is jealous of the affections Leia is giving Han.  He figures if he does something daring enough, she'll give him attention, too. 

Luke immediately makes contact with one of the Admirals, as well as a beautiful and very forward tug pilot.  He fends off her advances, and discovers the super Star Destroyer.  He, R2D2 and C3PO make recordings of the project before being summoned to meet with the Imperial conspirators.  That, of course, is a trap, but Luke escapes, because he senses Vader's presence.  Vader abandons his attempt to get rid of the Admirals, and focuses on Luke.

But Luke's female friend followed him, and rescues him, leading him to a supply ship she's stolen.  They take a path through hyperspace and crash onto a planet.  It turns out she has been doing this for a while, sending parts to the "serpent masters", who have enslaved her family and her people. 

The leader of the serpent masters controls the flying serpents, and keeps her people in bondage.  Luke finds a way to mimic the control that the serpent masters have, and ends up killing their chief.  The newly freed people are very grateful, and Luke is ferried off-planet by the woman who saved him from the Imperials. 

Of course, Leia sees their parting kiss, and seems to be jealous, herself, but they have no time for it, because that planet, formerly "neutral", is under attack by Imperial forces.  Han gets them off the planet, disguising the Falcon as an Imperial bomber, but, of course, sustains damage in the process.

They are lured by an Alliance homing beacon to a junkyard surrounding a collapsing star.  The person who lured them there is an Imperial physicist, who was irradiated by a Rebel attack years ago.  He has created the collapse of the star, and lured many rebels to their deaths here.  Han and Luke incapacitate the madman, and trigger a shockwave that both destroys the star, and allows the Falcon to escape its gravity well. 

However, they suddenly reach word that the Yavin base is under attack.  They can't reach headquarters with news of Vader's super Star Destroyer.  They take a detour to a new member of the Alliance, on an underwater colony headed by a mercenary from Han's past. 

Han tries to get Leia to see that Silver Fyre does not have the interests of the Alliance in mind, but Leia won't believe it.   Han lets Fyre get word about the spy information R2D2 is carrying, in order to prove it. 

Suddenly Silver Fyre has planned a dangerous hunting trip for Luke, Han, and Chewbacca.  And that's where it ends.

The stories were engaging, and pretty fun.  But I wonder at the wisdom of having Luke right under Vader's nose, and to have Han rescuing everybody all the time.  Sure, we want to read about our main characters, but they seem to be taking a lot of chances, and end up in a lot of trouble.  But I guess there's a lot of trouble to go around.

Unfortunately, the comic was not memorable enough that I could make this summary without having the book right in front of me, for each and every story.  That tells me something.


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