Thursday, February 27, 2014

And the toys have to go back in their box.

Today's lessons: no matter how cool you are, there's always somebody that won't be impressed. Sometimes, there's no way not to make the same mistake twice. And even though this blog's ostensible purpose is a hedge against senility, I remember this issue well enough to blog most of it from memory! From 1984, Star Wars #81, "Jawas of Doom" Written by Jo Duffy, pencils by Ron Frenz (breakdowns) with inks and finishes by Tom Palmer and Tom Mandrake.

This was Marvel's first issue set after Return of the Jedi, and seemingly takes place the next day. Han Solo bumps into a Rebel pilot, who wonders where Han's been. Slacking off or ducking out, no doubt. Han tries to explain he was frozen by Boba Fett, thawed out in the palace of Jabba the Hutt, then led the assault on the Empire's shield generator on Endor. The pilot is remarkably unimpressed. Or he may just be cheesed, that Solo owes him money. Which seems like a bad proposition all around: Han, while lovable, is sketchy as hell. There's no guarantee he wouldn't be killed; but it was wartime, so there was no guarantee the loaner would survive either, I suppose. And were Rebels even paid?

Feeling at loose ends, Han needs a hug from Chewbacca to get him going again; and he decides the first thing he should do is straighten out his finances. Which of course involves a quick hyperspace hop over to Tatooine, with Leia and Artoo--the latter because he can talk to the computers and sort it out. Meanwhile, already on Tatooine, the Jawas have been scavenging around Jabba the Hutt's exploded sail barge, and have made an interesting discovery...

The Millennium Falcon has trouble even getting clearance to land, since air traffic control remembers the last time Han took off in a hurry, without paying his docking fees, and they thought he was a piece of sculpture now anyway. Leia has to use diplomatic clearance so they can land, but Han's trip to the bank also goes badly. Meanwhile, the Jawas, emboldened by the power vacuum created by Jabba's death, steal Artoo. Visiting one of the air traffic controllers, who gives Han quite a bit of lip, Han and Leia "borrow" a couple of his landspeeders to look for the little droid, who finds himself meeting Boba Fett! The Jawas' droid believes him to be "unintelligent" and have been spit up out of the Sarlaac Pit.

As Han and Leia try to stop the Jawas' sandcrawler, events are complicated by an attack by the sandpeople, but Han gets find himself looking down the barrel of Boba Fett's rifle! Luckily for him, Fett was still shellshocked, not knowing who he was, or who Solo was...until he heard Leia yelling his name and remembered. Just in time for the sandcrawler to drive straight into the Sarlaac Pit, with Boba Fett still in it. To his credit, Han tried to save him, but wonders if the universe is really going to change any after all they've done.

Silly name aside, this is still one of my favorite of Marvel's Star Wars, and easily the best of their post-ROTJ issues.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Don't normally buy Marvel SW issues, but this one looks like a winner. It's goin' on the list!