084: The Destruction of Alderaan
I cringe looking at this page, although (or because) it depicts Alderaan’s destruction with great emotion. Motti looks like Mr.Hyde! He also has that Warlord Comic «evil Nazi look again.
There must be a couple of pages missing here. I hate to say it, but they were probably thrown away. They must have existed—because otherwise, so much good dialogue has been omitted, such as:
“…holding Vader’s leash.”
“Charming—to the last.”
“You are far too trusting…”
The photo references for the Death Star super-laser came from my pal Niall F‘s Star Wars Storybook, which I always coveted. When Niall brought that into school and I saw that page I was so excited. You didn’t often see shots from the film with laser effects in them. I’m guessing that we mostly saw production stills, with maybe some airbrushed effects over them. I seem to recall how the image of Vader and Ben duelling with their lightsabers crossed, tended to look quite grainy, as if it was always a blown-up frame from the actual movie. Perhaps it was?
Destruction of Alderann on PBS
The Brilliant Radio Drama
You know, this scene was even more thrilling in the PBS radio drama of 1981? I listened to it in broad daylight on the train recently and it really gave me the tingle-factor. The actors performing Tarkin and Leia—Keane Curtis and Ann Sachs—played a blinder. If you’ve never heard it, or at least haven’t since you were young (I hadn’t in 30 years) I strongly urge that you do. Absolutely magical exciting stuff. It greatly adds to the film. Curious? You might like to join the Facebook page.
“You may think you’ve seen the movie; wait ’til you hear it!”
—A Slogan for the series
Apart from the Alderann genocide scene in which you really get to feel the full evil of Tarkin and Leia’s grief, other notable goosebump moments are: the messy, unplanned killing of a certain Imperial Lord who’s name I’ll omit so as not to spoil your enjoyment (Ann Sachs is electrifying once again); and the TIE Fighter attack on the Falcon. Could that really be as good as the film? It could. In in some way, is even better (gasp!). The Beggar’s Canyon race is a real rush—as is the Battle of Yavin.
Director John Madden said,
“Anyone who’s ever listened to radio drama will testify to the fact that a play you hear will (remain) in your mind – twelve years later you’ll remember it vividly. And the reason you’ll remember it vividly is because you’ve done the work… it lives in your imagination.”
He’s right, I remembered so much of it after 30 years!
The scene is in the observation room of the Death Star.
Princess Leia says to Governor Tarkin, "They're on Dantooine... you won't destroy Alderann?"
Tarkin merely replies, "Motti, you may fire when ready."
"What, no! You said..." blurts Leia.
"You are far to trusting!" replies Tarkin.
"With pleasure says the evil Motti."
We see the inside of the super-weapon, as the laser charges up. "Firing sequence locked in!" shouts a Death Squad commander.
PANEL 3 & 4
The Death Star laser fires and becomes blindingly bright
The laser hits Alderann and destroys it. We see Leia's face, superimposed on the scene, crying. "NO!" she screams.