c.1983? | age 15 or 16? This is a fight you cannot win Darth. Yes, that’s right, he said ‘Darth’. Because Darth is Vader’s first name—not his rank.

It’s not like he’s saying “You can’t win General—or Lord—or Sir”, he’s saying his first name. And that’s significant because it plays into the shared history that they have. That they were once on first name terms, as Master and pupil. That Darth was a boy, when Ben was his adult teacher. It’s friendlier, and feels more compassionate than saying ‘Vader’. It’s as if Ben is trying to appeal to the person he once knew, before that person turned to evil.

By the Immortal Gods of the Sith?

Are you wondering where that line came from? Was it the novelisation? The comic? It sounds more like my old 1970s Tomb of Dracula comics. Actually, it’s in the Marvel Star Wars comic—during the Last Battle (of Yavin) when Vader’s wingman is destroyed by Han and Chewie. It doesn’t appear in the comic or the novelisation during this scene. But the Sith really have Gods? Obviously, I liked the idea and the expression.

Art Notes: Getting Serious

I just noticed something! Some of the drawing in this has been done in black and blue ballpoint! And not in revisions. I mean, I seem to have consciously decided to do bits on black and bits in blue. Never noticed it before. I’m going to keepan eye out for more of that.

princess leia in a star wars comic page detail image

Leia looks… nice. What the hell is going on?

Is Han Solo smoking a pipe (of some kind) in panel 1? On closer inspection I realised that it’s the still smoking muzzle of his blaster.

I must have been 15 or even 16 when I did this stuff. At least I think I was. Some of it is not bad at all! Lots of drama, variety, a mix of wide-shot and close-up, and even inventive speech balloon use in the middle panel.

Leia’s verging on looking pretty too! I suspect I copied it from the following image:

I can’t get over how young Carrie looks in the original film, to my—now—older eyes

And I like the side view of Han—I’d obviously made my mind up to be a comic artist by then (pity it never happened). I think when I stated, in art college interviews in 1985 what I wanted to do for a living the art tutors probably cringed. Though I have to say, one of them, Jim Savage in Limerick College of Art—a dead ringer for John Lennon responded with “Have you seen RanXerox?” And I felt quite hip being able to respond in the affirmative! A couple of months before, a worldly media hipster in the village had loaned me a pile of very startling HEAVYMETAL magazines.