1978 or ’79 | age 10 or 11 Han and Chewie pull through after Hawkeye Pierce & Co. do their stuff!

injured chewbacca is unloaded from the falcon on a gurney—star wars comic page detail

Above: This looks pretty cute!

Art Notes, etc

I like this page a lot. It’s cute and it also has a bit of tension in it. It’s also interesting that this life or death medical drama is playing out while that—possibly forgotten—R-Bomb lies smoking and ticking-down outside on the jungle floor!

Chewbacca in the operating theatre—star wars comic page detail

Above: M*A*S*H meets Star Wars

You can see that the mid-blue felt-tip pen of the previous page continued into this one and abruptly stopped. I’m not sure if that means I immediately switched to the only other pen I had—a red biro—or if I left the comic for a while and returned at a later date to continue it.

Han Solo in the operating theatre—star wars comic page detail

Above: Han wearing a hat—then not wearing one. “Sack the continuity person!”

Han Solo in the operating theatre—star wars comic page detail

Above: Out of the woods! Foreshortening, especially in faces is always a challenge.

Han’s also made to look vulnerable, not only during, but after the operation. There he is, in a wheelchair, possibly in pyjamas. And look how he treats the droids? He’s nice to them. “R2, hi there. Oh hi Threepio.” Extraordinary. Ordinarily Han sees droids the way some people see farm animals—or irritating office printers. In the Emire Strikes Back movie, which would come out over a year after this comic, Han would be a real arsehole to Threepio. Sometimes when Threepio was doing his best to help! Solo was a character who didn’t as readily buy into the idea that some robots were such sentient beings—with apparently real feelings that should be respected almost as if they were people too. It’s a topic that’s explored in the new Solo movie. But decades before, in the Star Wars radio drama—written by Brian Daley—Ben and Luke actually briefly discuss the topic of droids becoming almost like people, in Mos Eisley, before they head off to Docking Bay 94.

Han Solo in a wheelchair, greeted by R2-D2 and C-3PO

Above: Han looking more vulnerable and less cool than is usual. And being nice to the droids!

The R-Bomb explodes on Yavin IV!—star wars comic page detail

Above: Threepio might have said: “Oh, the damage doesn’t look quite so bad from up here.”

SOLO: A Star Wars Story

And so to Solo. I saw it for my 50th birthday present, and liked it. I wasn’t blown away by it but I enjoyed it. I definitely didn’t feel gutted and let-down the way I did after my viewing of The Last Jedi. Like the Last Jedi, I went to see it again yesterday—and LOVED it. What a good, fun Star Wars film! More please!

My only quibble? It’s a very dark movie. And I mean that in the most literal sense. Here’s is what the poster should have looked like. However, my mate Finn Van Gelderen said to make sure that the cinema is projecting in 4k. Apparently 2k is the reason why my second showing yetserday was so dark. Darkest film I’ve ever watched. Darker than any scary movie! Why’s everything so techy & complicated nowadays?

Clint Howard

I saw Ron’s brother Clint Howard’s name in the Solo credits. But do you know what? This is not Clint’s 1st appearance in Star Wars. D’you think I’m kidding? I—am—not. I bet even Clint’s forgotten about it! I present: the 1st time Ron Howard’s brother Clint worked in Star Wars! Yep, back in 1978/79, Clint starred as the Imperial Gantry officer in SWa9. A role he made his own! «Check it out on SWa9

Fan Wars

Apparently there’s huge debate, protest, outrage, over the current state of Star Wars. Because of Solo? The Last Jedi? Disney? I dunno. I haven’t paid much attention. Thank goodness My life isn’t that invested in Star Wars. But I am thankful that SW movies are now fun again.

I saw one fan remark on Twitter that, “It’s often said that Trek fans are bound together by what they love, and Star Wars fans are bound together by what they hate.” I said earlier that I felt gutted and let-down after my first viewing of The Last Jedi. The second viewing remedied that. But I really felt, leaving the cinema, that it was the end of new Star Wars and me. I wasn’t annoyed or outraged, just deflated and a bit depressed, especially at how emotionless I felt watching it. During the Canto Bight stuff, I just wanted to leave. But now, I’m really onboard with Disney’s Star Wars. I’ve adjusted. Not through effort or blind obedience. I’ve just got used to it and made mental switch.

Not everyone will though. It’s kind of crazy. Maybe the simple solution is for LucasFilm to survey and mind-read every Star Wars fan on earth and then make multiple versions of the same film. Couple of 1000 variants might do it.

We would be honored if you would join us… and leave a comment below. I love to read them.