The Unintentionally Comic Adaptation of 1977-83

Star Wars age 9: The Unintentionally Comic Adaptation of 1977

The Opening 'Crawl' [0]

The Star Wars opening crawl with the Tantive 4 over Tatooine - star wars comic page
c.1980 - age 11/12

The state of that inside cover?

Autographed by Steve Sansweet (Ex-LucasFilm) Apr 2011

I touch on the Flash Gordon/Star Wars connection, I meet Steve Sansweet - ex-LucasFilm, and my (then) 4 year old son groans during the interminable crawl

Film Notes

"Let's do the Crawl"

the 1940s Flash Gordon crawl

The original 'Crawl' from Flash Gordon, 1940! Watch it on YouTube (Many thanks to Dan Pollard for finding it for me)

The famous 'crawl' - depicted here, doesn't really become any more exciting when crudely drawn in felt-tip pen does it?

My son who also loves Star Wars (he was 4 in 2010), watches the opening crawl with mounting boredom, irritation and finally anguished tears.

"Oh, oh... here it comes!" he says, as one crawling paragraph drags to a finish.

Then another begins, "Ohhhhh! No, not more!" he groans.

I've grown accustomed to skipping it.

Legend has it that George's original intention was that his Sci-Fi film would be a homage to - or even a remake of the Flash Gordon serials he'd watched in the cinema every Saturday as a boy. The scrolling crawl would seem to be directly taken from those 1940s films.

steve sansweet's autograph

Steve Sansweet (Ex-LucasFilm) enjoyed seeing the comic in April 2011. What a nice man he is! Read about our encounter here >

Art Notes

I'm pretty sure that there's no hyphenation on the crawl in the film. But then, being professionals, I expect the crawl people actually planned out the flow of the  text.

You know, planned it.

Now I suppose I COULD HAVE lightly sketched it in, in 4H pencil, got it right, marked-in horizontal lines with a ruler, then carefully felt-tipped-in the text and rubbed out the pencil once the felt-tip was dry...

But: nahh. Too much effort!  Get the "writing" done, and then it's "space-ship time. Whoo-hoo!"

Meeting Steve Sansweet - 2011

What a nice man he is! you can read more here >

Steve Sansweet

"Of course, Steve realises that by posing for this photo, he's officially endorsing the comic." I said.
"Of course!" He chuckled. [April 2011, Dublin]


Chapter IV --- STAR WARS.

Wobbly text fills top 2/3 of the page, in emulation of the Opening 'Crawl' of Star Wars. "It is a period of civil war, etc etc."

Below is my youthful interpretation of what the Tantive IV looked like. It's like a cross between the actual ship and an X-Wing! Space is white - as always - with the dull-looking twin-suns in black biro, beside a flaming Tatooine. Tatooine and the Tantive are rendered in colourful felt-tip marker pens.

Steve Sansweet Autograph

Steve Sansweet autographed this one, in the bottom-right corner. He wrote - thoughtfully careful not to go over any of my artwork - the following:

Steve Sansweet

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Older Comments Archive

# Rod Hannah 2010-05-29 14:26
Hey, where did you get that neo-Corellian Corvette ship design from? It looks like a hybrid Corvette and Federation Pursuit Ship from Blake's 7. I love it. What a great cross! I so want a model of this now.
# John White 2010-05-31 20:52
Search me! Your prescience astounds me. Wait until you see the SHURE 55 microphone meets Blakes 7 ship's arse design.

(Now people will suspect I'm just creating these pages to order. "How does he fake them? Does he draw them with his feet? Does he have gangs of blind children in a basement drawing them for him?")

Nope your honor. Mea culpa.
# Dan Pollard 2010-06-01 20:26
That opening crawl is a funny old beast, the initial thrill cos you're watching Star Wars, followed by the clock watching middle section, and finally the anticipation of real action that comes with the last paragraph...

On a side note, if it weren't for those Flash Gordon serials, I might be a Concert Pianist today, Mum thought I wasn't interested in the piano lessons, but I was just MORE interested in the Flash Gordon repeats in the summer hols...
# John White 2010-06-01 20:58
Yes, I must teach Johnny that anticipation is the greater part of enjoyment!

I like the 'side note' Dan. Other people's stories are often far more interesting than they themselves will credit. Thanks again for the YouTube research.
# researcherAlex Newborn 2012-01-01 15:43
At first glance I thought the crawl was quoted directly from the film or novel, then I realized it was rewritten to include references to the name of the Rebel Blockade Runner, as revealed years later in the Star Wars Radio Drama. Brian Daley named the ship "Tantive IV" in his expanded audio version of the story. Looks like you had heard the RD by this time, but hadn't seen that name in print, judging from the TWO ways it was spelled in your crawl. Ironically, I just found this site from a Facebook page devoted to the Star Wars Radio Series.
# RE: researcherJohn White 2012-01-03 09:09
Hi Alex,
Welcome to the site! Interesting - I actually never realised that the ship's name was from the Radio Drama! So my 1981 date for this page has been given increased accuracy. I don't know why I thought it was pronounced 'Ah-tanti-vay'.

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