159: “It’s Ben—his spirit!”
early 1978 | age 9 Cor… action! And Ben’s spirit makes another intervention from beyond the grave. Wait… I don’t remember that in the film?
So easy, a trained monkey could do it
There are some bloody weird looking faces in this one! From very late 1977 or very early 1978. Just check out Luke in panel 1! Maybe I was watching the Planet of the Apes TV series too much? Luke’s face is very simian!
But it must have been fantastic fun just lashing these pages out. I’m assuming they were done pretty rapidly—even for a 9 year old.
Also, check out the actor in panel 4. Luke is being played by none other than the number 1 or number 2 footballer in the world: Lionel Messi!
As usual (thank you for your indulgence reader) these are my favourite pages. Raw, rapid, whacky looking and they give you more stuff that George deprived us of in his, uh… version.
More juicy extra bits
Who can explain to me what the heck this is all about? Did Luke change his mind? Or try again successfully? Or did Han Solo shoot the TIE Fighter after Luke missed?—and said “Got him!”
“I missed Solo and —
— I got him!”
But, as long as I unsderstood, that was all that mattered. I rarely showed the comic to anyone. Just to a couple of friends.
So that’s why he was such a great shot!
Did you know that Luke’s fancy shooting during this scene was largely due to Obi Wan’s ghostly guidance? I know, I know: it wasn’t in the film. Yes, our George saved Ben’s helpful intervention from the other side until the crucial, climactic blowing-up-the-Death-Star- bit; but 9 year olds know little of subtlety and restraint and given the chance of doing something fun, sooner rather than later… let’s just say that
More is MORE!
So what about later on in the story, when Ben tells him to turn off the targeting computer at that critical climactic part of the film and to trust his feelings? There’ll simply be no dilemma at all—and no suspense. Luke will just do it.
Actually there is a touch of the force in the 1977 novel:
“Luke tried to relax, to become a part of the weapon. Almost without being aware of it he was firing at a retreating Imperial.”
Also, in the excellently scripted Marvel adaptation, Luke appears to close his eyes as he fires at the last TIE fighter (see picture) – just as he does in my own definitive version. The text in the Marvel comic says nothing of it though. It’s almost as if Howard Chaykin played-up the spiritual aspect, and Roy Thomas played it back down again.