149: Kenobi vs Vader!
early 1978 | age 9/10? Yes readers, it’s the most spectacular rendition of a duel in movie and comic history! It’s Ben Kenobi versus Darth Vader as you’ve never ever seen it before! Gnork!
Art Notes: Now that’s more like it
I love the pages from this 1st or 2nd version of the adaptation. The drawings are SO wobbly and SO crude! You can tell I was loving doing it, drawing unihibitedly like the wind, with wild abandon. I was most likely still only 9 years old.
Do you ever watch this duel as an older wiser adult and wonder“Had Alec Guinness ever even held a sword before shooting this”? To me, as a kid it was incredibly exciting. But look at old Alec now, nervously twirling his saber in wee circles, and feebly chancing little jabs as if he’s afraid of poking Dave Prowse in the eye! Our George noticed the drama-deficit too. It must have grated with him. In the following two films the saber duels were vastly superior—but the dialogue was still important, like it was in this scene. In the Prequel Trilogy (sigh) we got some extraordinarily choreographed and balletic sword fighting, but not much else. To each his own. George remarked that in A New Hope (this film), the two Jedi were old and tired. But the Prequels afforded him the opportunity to show the Jedi “in their prime.”
I actually have a strong urge to read old Beano comics now. But to be honest, the last time I did that, they were staggeringly unfunny. Still, lots of charm! It’s another fascinating world.
More ZZIP please sir!
9 year old me must have felt that this scene – as exciting, and more importantly as moving as it was—needed a bit more oomph. So Ben’s cockier and—moves a bit.
Original On-Set Noises! (in a comic)
Guess what else? We get some of the the on-set production sounds too! Before Ben Burtt laid on his brilliant sound effects all you had was the sounds of the actors’ painted, revolving wooden sticks banging each other. But this comic retains the ‘SCRAPE‘ noise of Ben’s stick striking Dave Prowse’s helmet! Wow! A wee nugget that wasn’t tweaked into oblivion. Maybe someday, George’ll put it back, when he does his movie adaptation of my comic: just like he added the sound of the Stormtrooper banging his head off the doorframe in the Special Edition!
(Am I actually mad or something?)