early 1978 | age 9 You can write this stuff JOHN but you can’t say it. I love this page, partly because it’s one of the oldest, earliest ones, but even more because of this crammed-together line by Han Solo:

Unfortunately we can’t ride out of here on a drifting odor! from what an incredible smell you’ve discovered
—Star Wars age 9, 1978

han solo in the trash compactor comic page detail

Han tries to hold back the converging walls

Poor Han—what a mouthful of text to speak all at once! I reckon young me dashed headlong (as usual) into the text and realised I’d forgotten to use that choice “incredible smell” line earlier on. So in a split-second decision: in it went. Can’t waste lines like those you know!

Leia says, “Don’t just stand there GASPING.” I mustn’t ever have heard of the word gaping before.

luke in the trash compactor comic page detail

A partial ‘Special Edition‘ treatment of this page

“Don’t just stand there gaping at eachother!” the Princess urged them, “Try bracing them with something.”
—The Novelisation, by Alan Dean Foster

Biggs in County Cork

(written around 2013?) So, we went off for a drive and passed through a small town in County Cork. Hence the lateness of today’s installment. Anyway, as we walked around it, having decided to take the place in, on foot for once; we were finding it an incredibly dismal, dreary place. Previously I’d praised it and even thought of holidaying there, but perhaps the recession has hit badly it. Plenty of derelict shopfronts. Imagine my surprise when we popped into the local Super Valu to pick up some milk to take back to the rented holiday home (yes, rented – we didn’t all go mad during Ireland’s so-called economic boom). Well, check out the name on the sign!

biggs shop store sign

Biggs Darklighter—retailer

We walked on. Biggs also on the side of an Oil Truck, Biggs also on the local biggest Builder’s providers outlet. My God, maybe he didn’t die over the Death Star after all? I mean, it looks like his ancestors are practically running this town!

‘Rogue One’ is here!

paul bateman

Paul gives a HUGE thumbs-up!

(written 14 Dec 2016) The new Star Wars film is going to hit and the early reviews seem to be overflowing with praise for it. My pal Paul Bateman, film designer, Rebel Force Radio Guy, friend of the late Ralph McQuarrie, and nice bloke, is crazy about it. He said on Facebook last night: “Better than The Force Awakens”—and Paul loves TFA. He still watches it once a week, and after he saw it last year, he said it was his favourite SW film after Empire. He added that once Rogue One is out on BluRay, he’ll probably watch it once a day. He wrote a wonderful, thoughtful, intelligent review of it on Facebook, which contained not a single spoiler, and now we’re dying to see it. As of today, his favourites–from 1st to last are–ep5, 4, 6, R1, 7, 1, 3 & 2.

Paul echoes the feeling that’s going around, that Rogue One really achieves that OT feel. So, once again Disney seems not to be forgetting us older fans who were there in the cinema in 1977.

I have no problem with that! Also, after getting through each of the Prequel movies—after years, with the promise of seeing Darth Vader, and then only seeing him for 5 minutes or so at the end of the last movie (“Noooooo…”)—I’ve always thought that we needed an Episode 3.5. Well… it looks as if I may have finally got my wish!

I’ll be seeing it with my wife and son this Saturday, so I’m being very careful to avoid reading too much about it beforehand. I’ll also have to hold off from listening to Rebel Force Radio’s review show until Saturday night. And you know, I loved their shows about The Force Awakens. Yep, it’s gonna be a good weekend!