Star Wars #2: "Six Against The Galaxy!"

Star Wars #2
"Six Against The Galaxy"
August, 1977

Roy Thomas: Scripter/Editor
Howard Chaykin: Illustrator
Steve Leialoha: Embellisher/Colorist
Tom Orzechowski: Letterer

Luke Skywalker, young farmer on the planet Tatooine, has been knocked unconscious by the Sandpeople. At the moment, they have not bothered to kill him, and have turned their attention to his landspeeder, when -- WHOOOOOO As the echoes of the howling moan pass through the canyon, the Sandpeople pause in their collective pillaging ---

They flee in terror as if from some unseen monster! To the android Artoo Detoo, the approaching figure proves to be hardly monstrous... a man whose face has been cracked by the exotic climate. He tells the little droid that his young friend will be fine! Luke is glad to see Ben Kenobi and tells him that the droid claims to be the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi. That is a name that Ben hasn't heard in a long time. Luke's uncle claims to have known him, but says he is dead. Ben says that Obi-Wan is alive and he should know because that's him! He hasn't gone by the name of Obi-Wan since before Luke was born. Ben doesn't remember owning a droid. Right now, they'd best get inside before more Sandpeople show up. They go off in search of Threepio and find the very dented and damaged droid half-buried in the sand with one arm broken off! The droid had taken a bad step.

Inside Ben's small hovel, they watch the holographic message for General Obi-Wan Kenobi -- Princess Leia Organa presents herself in the name of her father, Bail Antillies, viceroy of Alderaan. Years ago, Obi-Wan served the Old Republic in the Clone Wars; now Bail Antilles begs him to aid them once again in their darkest hour. Princess Leia's mission to Obi-Wan has failed, and she shall soon be captured. Vital information necessary for the survival of the rebel alliance has been placed in this R2 unit and must be delivered to Alderaan! Obi-Wan Kenobi is their only hope... Ben was once a Jedi Knight -- just like Luke's father! Luke was told by his uncle that his father was a navigator on a spice freighter! Luke's Uncle Owen did not agree with his ideals -- and thought he should have remained on Tatooine, and not have gotten involved. Uncle Owen was afraid Luke's father's adventures might influence him. Ben has something to give him. Luke's father wanted him to have this -- when he was old enough. If he touches the brightly-colored button by the pommel -- he will see for himself!

At the touch of a button, a brilliant beam of intense light appears... This was his father's lightsabre -- the weapon of a Jedi Knight! The Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic -- but Luke asks Ben how did his father die? Luke's father was betrayed and murdered by a young Jedi named Darth Vader -- a youth Ben was training -- one of his brightest disciples and his greatest failure! Darth Vader used the power of the force for evil -- to aid the Empire in hunting down and destroying the last of the Jedi Knights. Vader had been seduced by the dark side of the force -- and it had consumed him. The force is an energy field created by all living things; it surrounds and binds the galaxy together. Knowledge of the force is what gives a Jedi Knight his power. Luke must learn the ways of the force -- if he is to travel with Ben to Alderaan! Right now, Luke wants to get back home! Ben needs Luke's help because he is getting too old for this kind of thing. Luke can't get involved! He hates the Empire, but there's nothing he can do about it! That's Luke's Uncle Owen talking. Ben reminds Luke that the force is with all beings, binding them together; one's suffering is the suffering of all! Luke can take Ben as far as Anchorhead, from there, he can get transport to wherever he is going. Luke must do what he feels is right, but right now, he doesn't feel too good about it!

Aboard the Empire battle-station known as the Death Star, Darth Vader prepares to discuss the location of the hidden rebel base with Princess Leia. As the cell door closes, her screams are scarcely heard in the outside corridor. Back on Tatooine, Luke's landspeeder heads for what is left of the Jawa sandcrawler that stopped by his uncle's place only yesterday! All the Jawas are -- dead! By the looks of it, the Sandpeople are responsible! There are bantha tracks -- and parts of their gaffi sticks, too! Luke has never heard of them hitting something this big! Ben knows they didn't... but they are meant to think so. Only imperial stormtroopers have blast points this precise. These are the same Jawas who sold Artoo and Threepio. The stormtroopers must have been searching for Artoo because of Princess Leia's message! If they tracked the droids to the Jawas, they may have learned who they sold the droid to. And THAT would lead them back -- HOME!

As Ben tries to warn Luke that it's too dangerous, the young farmer is already in his landspeeder, and leaves Ben alone with the two droids. Ere long, he is running toward the smoking ruins that were once his home with Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen! There he sees two smoldering remains which had once been his relatives... Back on the Death Star, Grand Moff Tarkin, the regional governor of this sector of space, has joined Darth Vader before a viewscreen which reveals the galaxy. All systems are operational and they must decide upon a course to set. The Princess has proven resistant to the mind probe and it will be some time before they are able to extract any useful information from her. Governor Tarkin suggests an alternative form of persuasion and thinks it is time to demonstrate the full power of the Death Star by setting course for Alderaan! The bonfire is still burning when Luke returns to Ben and the droids. The force is with Luke because if he had been there, he would have died -- and the droids would now be in the hands of the Empire! Luke wants to go with Ben to Alderaan because there's nothing here for him now! He wants to learn the ways of the force and to become a Jedi -- like his father!

The landspeeder takes its passengers to Mos Eisley Spaceport, where Ben tells Luke they won't find a worse wretched hive of scum and villainy! Imperial stormtroopers surround the landspeeder and ask Luke how long he has had these droids, if he comes from the south, and to see his identification! Ben interrupts them by telling them that they do not need to see his identification, that these are not the droids they are looking for, and that Luke can go about his business. Fortunately for them, the force has a strong influence upon the weak-minded... Most of the good freighter pilots frequent this particular cantina -- but they must watch their step because this place can get a little rough.

Young Luke soon finds out what Ben meant when two fellow bar patrons decide to pick a fight and warn him that they have the death sentence on twelve systems! When Ben tries to calm things by offering to buy them drinks, one of them shoves Luke to the ground, and the other draws a blaster -- and as the bartender yells "No blasters!" -- Ben Kenobi activates his own lightsabre -- and an amazed Luke Skywalker is suddenly reminded that elderly Ben Kenobi was once the Jedi Knight known as Obi-Wan Kenobi!

Only when the two would-be assailants lie down in sections of the floor does Ben Kenobi appear to relax... The young farmer remains speechless as the various Cantina patrons give Ben a respectable amount of personal space at the bar. The incident has only lasted a few seconds. Ben speaks and introduces Luke to Chewbacca, a Wookie. The young farmer has heard of Wookies, but had never expected to meet one. The seven-foot anthropod is not gentle-looking nor does its deep-throated response do much to put Luke's mind at ease.

Chewbacca is first mate on a ship that might suit their immediate needs. As Threepio and Artoo wait outside, they see someone exiting the cantina, and then approaching the two Imperial troopers. Threepio does not like the looks of this. Inside the cantina, Chewbacca escorts Ben and Luke to a corner, where they meet Han Solo, captain of the Millenium Falcon. Chewie has told him they are looking for passage to the Alderaan System. When by Ben if it's a fast ship, Han reminds them that the Millenium Falcon is the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve par-secs! Han's outrun Imperial starships -- not the local bulk-cruisers -- but the big Corellian ships. The Millenium Falcon is fast enough, but Han wants to know what's the cargo? An old man, the boy, two droids, and no questions asked. They would like to avoid any Imperial entanglements. For that kind of trick, Han wants ten thousand... in advance.

Luke remarks they could buy their own ship for that amount of money! Han asks who would fly the ship? Since they don't have that much on them, they can give Han two thousand now, plus another fifteen thousand when they reach Alderaan. The answer to the seventeen-thousand question is docking bay ninety-four, and they will take off whenever they are ready. By the looks of things, two Imperial stormtroopers have taken an interest in the old man's handiwork...! After asking the nervous bartender some questions, the two Imperial stormtroopers move towards the booth in the rear, and they find a space-pilot who lacks a light-sabre and a very big Wookie. The nervous bartender can only shrug his shoulders in response. Ben informs Luke that he will have to sell his landspeeder. Luke is okay with this because he will not be coming back to Tatooine!

Inside the cantina, the two Imperial stormtroopers have already left, but as Han Solo prepares to leave the booth, he is greeted at blaster-point by Greedo. Han tells Greedo he was just on his way to tell Jabba that he has the money, but Greedo informs him that it's too late, and that his boss wants his ship. That will only happen over Han's dead body. As Greedo prepares to comply with the requirement, the hapless bountyhunter is blasted by his would-be prey. As Han and Chewbacca leave the cantina, the space-pilot throws the bartender a coin, and apologizes for the mess.

At a used speeder lot, Luke regrets the deal since the XP-38 came out, his landspeeder just hasn't been much in demand lately. It will be enough because Ben has the rest they need to cover the rest of the fee. Ben and Luke fail to notice the shadowy figure watching them intently as they pass through another alleyway. At docking bay ninety-four, Han meets with Jabba, and explains why he had to fry Greedo. The next time Jabba wants to tell him something, he has better not send one of his blaster-happy twerps instead of himself.

If only Han hadn't dumped that shipment into outer space. Where would Jabba be if every pilot who smuggles for him did that at the sign of an Imperial starship? Even Han gets boarded; and he had no choice in the matter. The space-pilot has got a charter now and can pay Jabba back -- with some interest. Jabba tells his men to put their blasters away! He is only doing this because Han is the best and he needs him. If Han were to disappoint him again, Jabba will put a price on his head so high -- he won't be able to travel to any civilized system again for the rest of his life! Han promises Jabba his payment, but not because of the threats. He will pay him because... it's his pleasure to do so. Back on the Death Star, Darth Vader has been informed of the fruitless search at Mos Eisley Spaceport. It is only a matter of time before the droids are located! It is Princess Leia's hope that the data being used against the Empire enables her to resist the mind-probe. When she learns it has been destroyed, Princess Leia will break!

At that moment on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker is getting his first glimpse at the Millenium Falcon. The ship is a piece ofjunk and doesn't look like it could possibly go above sub-light speeds. Han assures his passengers that the ship may not look like much, but the Millenium Falcon has got it where it counts... because of special modifications he's added himself. The ship will go point five beyond light speed, and FZZAP The sudden arrival of Imperial stormtroopers signals the need for immediate departure -- for the passengers and their pilot! ZZRAK! FTIK FTIK Chewbacca activates teh deflector shield with a surly GRUNK!

The next moment finds the Millenium Falcon's departure being observed by the various denizes of Mos Eisley. As soon as they appear on Han Solo's radarscope, three Imperial stardestoyers appear out of nowhere... These giant starships are one hundred times the size of the Millenium Falcon -- with a firepower which dwarfs the smaller ship! Two of the stardestroyers are trying to cut them off. When Luke remarks that he though the ship could outrun them, he is warned by Han to watch his mouth or else he will be floating home alone. They will be safe enough, once they make the jump into hyperspace. Han also knows a few manueuvers that should lose their pursuers...!

A near miss causes the entire ship to shudder as the phototrophic shielding is almost overcome! This is where it starts to get interesting! When asked by Ben how long it will be before they make the jump to light speed, Han says they just have to wait for the navi-computer to make the calculations for the coordinates. At the rate the stardestroyers are gaining, they have only a matter of minutes -- and Han reminds Luke that traveling through hyper-space is not like dusting crops! Without the necessary calculations, they could pass directly through a star, or come too close to a supernova... and that would shorten their trip considerably! They have lost a deflector shield, but are now ready for the jump to light speed!

At that moment, the Millenium Falcon shakes violently, and Threepio must hold on for his very android life-- and Artoo sways beneath the thundering impact of the incoming laser blasts! BEEPADEEP BEEPADEEP Threepio asks to no one in particular if this trip was necessary, and how could he possibly forgotten how much he hates space-travel!

On the cover of Star Wars #2 by Rick Hoberg and Tom Palmer, Luke Skywalker strikes back, and urges Ben Kenobi to swing his light-sabre -- or they're finished!

I suppose we should be grateful that Luke didn't tell Ben to shake his bootie, instead!

By the looks of the cover, Luke and Ben are the only humans on Tatooine, and the aliens must be recovering from one heck of a hangover by the looks of it.

Howard Chaykin and Tom Orzechowski were kind enough to sign my copy of this issue.

Back in 1977, the only way to see Star Wars was either in the theater or by reading the Marvel Comics adaptation.

One asks why Luke's landspeeder didn't have a car alarm?

Sandpeople are also known as Tusken Raiders.

Threepio took a bad step and didn't mean to arm himself.

Clones were very big for Marvel Comics in 1975.

The force is a strong influence on the weak-minded and the Marvel Comics adaptation had a strong influence on the young and impressionable readership.

"Negola Dewaghi Wool-Dugger?!?" is what the alien tells Luke in the cantina.

If I were Luke, I'd be like, "Sure, Negola Dewaghi was a wool-dugger, but she's a nice lady!"

Some days, you're a Jedi Knight, and other days, you're the guy who got cut through by the Jedi Knight.

Wookie fashion includes a handy bandolier (and little else).

Greedo got too greedy for his own good.

Jabba should have sent Stingy or Cheapo instead.

One wonders if the used landspeeder once driven by a little old lady from Tatooine got good mileage.

Jabba looks different than his later appearance in Return Of the Jedi.

Even in a galaxy far, far away, nobody likes or appreciates smart-mouthed back-seat drivers.

Steve Chung
"Six Against The Review!"