1978 | age 9-10 This page has some fun things in it, including a very un-characteristically irritable line of dialogue from Ben! Poor Artoo, he’s just trying to tell them something fairly important—you know?—about the Princess—who sent them on this mission: “She’s here!”

“Whatever he’s saying, he can save it…”
Ben Kenobi, Star Wars age 9

It’s a funny line of dialogue, that. For some reason, it reminds me of my older sister during her grumpier 1970s moments! ” ‘E can flamin’ save it!” And check out the Fan-made Special Editions! By Elijah & Noah Gatto (aged 3 & 5), sons of SWa9’s pal, T. Gatto. Thanks boys!

Ben also narrowly avoids a sudden death inflicted by those ridiculously dangerous Death Star blast doors – or whatever they’re called. I mean really, even if Vader wasn’t onboard, the staff would be on tenterhooks constantly – nerves in shreds – just trying to walk around the gaff.

Scary Death Star Killer doors

The scary Death Star killer Blast Doors

Stormtrooper 1: “I need to visit the loo, but my nerves are in shreds…”
Stormtrooper 2: “What do you expect me to do about it?”
Stormtrooper 1: “Hold your hand over the switch while I go in? Pleeeeease?” (hopping up and down)
Stormtrooper 2: “Oh, you and your portaphobia anxiety disorder. Ohhh-kay then.”

Art Notes

This is a very unusual early page, purely for its use of so many panels! There are 8, maybe even 10—if you count the space that contains Luke’s speech balloon, and the final part with Luke and Han which seems to have been sub-divided too, instead of being a 2-shot. I wonder why I sub-divided it so much?—and put so much of this scene into 1 A5-size page? Usually, these very early ones are 2 panels at most. 

I do like that very animated looking Artoo in panel 1. He’s trying his best to be heard like the baby of the family at the dinner table. Did you know, that the late Kenny Baker was good enough to «sign this comic last year—did I mention that? For free and all. Fair dues to him.

I can think of no other person I would rather have write their name in large blue permanent-marker across the original 30 year old artwork on the cover. I tried to thank him but he probably feared I was trying to mug him or something. Kenny, if you ever see this?

“Thank you so much Mr.Baker.”

Doesn’t Luke have an strangely flattened face in that last panel? So I was still trying to learn about perspective and foreshortening at 9 or 10 years old—or not.

mantegna dead christ

Above: C’mon, give me a break? Even Mantegna couldn’t do it.

Fan-Made ‘Special Edition’ versions!

Before I could say in a Ben Kenobi voice, “I don’t think you boys can help…” they did! And thank goodness they did. The first Special Edition page here is by Noah Gatto, the second one is by Elijah Gatto, both boys hail from the USA. It’s an honour to have you boys contribute to the comic! Who the heck needs Photoshop, when you’ve got wax crayons—eh?

Fan-made 'Special Edition' version by Noah

Above: Fan-made ‘Special Edition’ version by Noah (age 5). Below: Elijah’s version (age 3) Awww…

Fan-made 'Special Edition' version by Elijahshare-banner