Now that Marvel is going to get the license to publish Star Wars comics for the first time since 1986, we started thinking about the last time they published comics set in that far away galaxy so very long, long ago. For those of you that don’t know, when Marvel started work on their adaptation of Star Wars back in 1977, the first (fourth?) film hadn’t even come out. As a matter of fact, the first six issues of their series adapted the events of Episode IV – A New Hope but the first issue came out a month prior to the film’s release in May of 1977.
That’s not the most interesting bit though. Between May 1977 and May 1980, the release of Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, there were no Star Wars films. Does that mean that there were no Star Wars comics? Nope. So, with nothing to adapt, what did Marvel do? What Marvel does best, make up a combination of awesome, funny, and totally spectacular nonsense featuring the original Star Wars cast. So, after some research, we’ve compiled a few of the goofier items that we’d like to see Marvel work into whatever new Star Wars comics they decide to publish. Not only would this be entertaining as heck, but it would fit into the grand Marvel tradition of embracing its goofy past and working it into modern comic book aesthetics.
Who or what is this? Well, say ‘hello’ to Jaxxon, a Lepi smuggler from the planet Coachelle Prime. You might be thinking that he looks like a man-sized anthropomorphic rabbit… And you’d be right!
Why should he come back? Well, he’s a man-sized anthropomorphic rabbit who apparently eats space-carrots. Do I need another reason? No, I don’t. But I have one anyway. It’s rumored that George Lucas hated the character and we’d consider bringing him back fitting punishment for a certain annoying Gungan that I don’t care to name…
Editor's note: His "Lepi" race is an obvious play on the word "lepus," which is Greek for "hare." There's a constellation by that name.
You might be wondering why this guy is goofy aside from the oddball name. Well, if you happen to be decently well-read, a fan of Broadway musicals, or a fan of cartoons featuring anthropomorphized coyotes and pandas, you might recognize that this guy’s name and appearance resemble a certain Don Quixote de La Mancha.
In comic terms, Don Quixote was created by writer Miguel de Cervantes and first appeared in issue one of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de La Mancha published in 1605. A short-lived character, he died in the second and final issue published in 1615. Now published in one volume, this work is considered the first modern novel and the second bestselling text after the Bible.
The story features an old man who, as a result of reading too many books about knights and chivalry, convinces himself at an advanced age that he is a knight-errant and brands himself Don Quixote. Similarly, Kihotay fantasized about being a Jedi Knight and as a result of too much reading of their lore and history deluded himself into thinking he was one. Originally named Hess Korrin, he took on the name Don-Wan Kihotay and set off to save the galaxy.
Tell me this doesn’t sound like potential comedy and dramatic gold. Sure, he died in the original comics, but when has that ever stopped a comic publisher?
Editor's note: According to Bruce Burningham, a Spanish and Comparative Literature professor at Illinois State University and guest lecturer of the Chicago Humanities Festival, Don Quixote (the novel) was, along with Star Wars, a primary inspiration to Mel Brooks’ classic Spaceballs.
Confused? Well, when Marvel started publishing Star Wars, apparently no one from the film told them exactly what Jabba looked like. Either that or there was some massive miscommunication because this yellow guy with the green gloves is the original Marvel Jabba. Technically, he isn’t even a Hutt as he more resembles a race known as Nimbanels, or the Nimbanese. Considering that Jabba didn’t actually onscreen in the original films until Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, perhaps Marvel can be forgiven for the lapse; however, the fact that the scene between Jabba and Han in the hanger bay on Tatooine was actually filmed for Episode IV leads one to think there would have been a detailed description, photographs, or concept art that would or could have been shared with Marvel when they were creating their adaptation.
At any rate, some wonderful storytelling (or at least gags) can be created in comics when explaining apparent lapses in continuity. Perhaps, we can have a Real Jabba vs. Imposter Jabba showdown in the manner of DC’s infuriating Lobo redesign. Get on that, Marvel!
Editor's note: The 1977 mass market paperback novelization of Lucas's Star Wars script describes Jabba as a "great mobile tub of muscle and suet topped by a shaggy scarred skull", but gives no further detail as to the character's physical appearance or species. (Wikipedia)
She’s a space pirate, a gunslinger, a smuggler, and a looker. Why would we bring her back? The answer should be obvious, comics don’t have enough pointlessly scantily clad women to serve as accessory to the blatant male power fantasies.
Editor's note: Also, she kind of looks like something Lady Gaga would come onstage wearing.
But only if he wears this glorious gold and pink number with the disco collar and the Cyclops/Geordi La Forge hybrid goggles.
Editor's note: I got nothin'.
Thanks to Wookieepedia, The Star Wars Wiki. Much of the research for this article was conducted on their excellent site.