early 1978 | age 9/10? One of my favourite pages—of one of my favourite movie scenes! Han Solo bravely chases the stormtroopers into a dead-end! Chewie’s reminiscent of a Bespin Ugnaut. There’s a nice drawing of Luke in panel 5, and a lovely naively drawn image of their busy feet running along… very cute.

SWa9 Special Edition!

But best of all—perhaps—is Leia fixing her hair buns! Here’s a Special Edition version for that panel for you done at age 9 and age 48! “Hold onto your buns baby, ’cause here we go!”


special edition version of part of my star wars comic page

Leia: “Who are you calling ‘common’? You’re the commoner—farm-boy!

Art Notes


Do any of you remember when I steamed-off a pasted-in item last year? – and found original artwork? « Check it out. See the pasted-in green text here? I’d love to see what’s underneath. I daren’t steam it though. Should I find a million euros and commission the National Gallery of London Restoration Department? Not bloody likely! You should see what they did to Holbein’s Ambassadors! It now looks like a mere copy—done with acrylics!

Anyway, I had a go myself at some forensic analysis, and here’s what I found underneath. It begs the question: why did I ever bother to change it? Nuts!

Above: Here’s the current pasted-over version. Below: a Turin-shroud-like peak at what was there before, using the world’s latest space-age infra-red scanning technology! (ahem)

So: it was the same text and it fitted around the artwork just fine. So, what the hell..? What was the point in ruining a perfectly good comic panel? (for a 9 year old)

Here’s the amazing technology that I used for the scan: A scanner, left open, a desk-lamp for back-lighting, and Photoshop to flip the image and bump up the darks. I scanned the back of the page. It turned out better than expected and I didn’t have to try to un-glue the stuck on speech balloon.

scanning a star wars comic page

Scanning the reverse of the comic page, with a basic back-light, to reveal the hidden artwork

Film Notes

Speaking of restorations (amendments might be more accurate)… In the original film, Han chases the Stormtroopers into a dead-end, giving them no option but to turn and fight. But in the ‘more is more’  Special Edition version, Han rounds a corner to find a battalion of them in a TIE Fighter bay. It’s an entirely different kind of gag.

Han Solo runs into a dead end - packed with Stormtroopers!

Top: Original | Bottom: Special edition (from DVD Active)

Thank Goodness for Geeks!

The images and text above come from a great page which you should visit. Around the time that I started this site I visited it and was a bit sniffy about how nerdy it seemed, but I now realise the error of my ways. It’s a meaningful document of changes that have been made to a culturally important artwork.

I don’t think anyone could accuse the late James H. Beck, art historian and world renowned critic of restorations such as the National Gallery’s—of being a nerd who should have found more worthwhile pursuits. Seriously, next time you’re in London go to see Holbein’s Ambassadors. It’s now colourful, bright, scratch-free—and insipid.

The scene from Star Wars wasn’t ruined for evermore—but it was a little unnecessary. Funny, my son Johnny when he was 3 and a half saw a still of it in one of his books and exclaimed: “I don’t remember that bit! – with the TIE fighters?”

Good lad!

Holbein’s ‘Ambassadors’. Now restored—and ruined. Forever.