Let’s play a game of Dejarik! Oh… wait, maybe not. Maybe let’s not play a game. Not with him anyway.


“G A R R O ! R”

Yes, that’s right: s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g! And even if youre was the right word to use in this instance, I’m pretty certain that the apostrophe wouldn’t be THER’E! But you know what? I shouldn’t complain. Because—let’s face it—this comic wouldn’t be half as much fun if I’d been an academically gifted kid. Just b’ein ho’nest.

Art Notes

The comic shorthand for expletives is odd—but I like it! Do any of you comic buffs out there know if this was common back in 1978? I suspect I might have bought a Fightin’ Marines comic—published by Charlton—that used this visual code: stars, swirls, hammers etc. Bonkers! Or, maybe it was from seeing that Asterix comic that my Kiwi pal owned…

Film Notes: Dejarik

dajarik star wars chess

Available to buy. Oh my God—there are probably international tournaments!

Did you love this scene when you were a kid? My pals and I really did, and we’d often talk about it in the schoolyard. The game itself looks very 1960’s Ray Harryhousen-esque now, but it doesn’t matter. You know, in a modern film it’d be fairly convincing CGI, not stop-motion animation, which we nowadays often call Claymation. And it’d probably go on a bit longer—because lets face it—it’s a lot easier these days. And it’d be all very dramatic with loads of camera angles and cutting back and forth between the game and the players…

And: it’d be boring.

Do you know why I think we liked this scene so much? Not because of the effects or the game concept but because of the script and the performances. The ‘arm-ripping’ banter between Han and Threepio, the idea that Chewbacca might have a darker more dangerous side, and all topped off with Chewie reclining and brushing his paws back over his hair with great satisfaction. A bit like Luke does in Empire after he and his, er… sister have that long wet kiss. Oo-er. Well, we can discuss that one, another time. But it was a very very funny scene. Star Wars was funny, once upon a time. Wasn’t it wonderful that The Force Awakens gave us some laughs again?

So, readers—what did you think of the Dejarik Holographic Space Chess scene? Why not let me know in the comments—below.

↓ Transcript
Chewbacca and R2-D2 play a game of Dejarik onboard the Millennium Falcon—watched by C-3PO and a wary Han Solo.
"How's the game coming Threepio?"
"Oh, R2 is beating your handyman Chewbac..." Threepio began to reply until Chewie erupted into a rage.

We see Chewie close-up as he roars.

(inset) PANEL 3
Chewie has seen Artoo's holographic player slash his sword across the chest of one of Chewie's players. 'Sklat! Wip!'
(An Asterix-style speech balloon of symbolised expletives issues from Chewbacca)