That’s no moon, it’s a giant green tennis ball. And I actually wrote “HOLYSHI- – -“? Well, I must have been growing up when I did this page, and feeling a bit more confident at home around my mum and dad!

Han Solo says holy shit!

Youth in Revolt

I still remember describing something as ‘crap’ when I was 7 or 8 in Scotland and my dad said—very seriously:

“John, you shouldn’t use that word. It’s nearly as bad as saying ess—aych—eye—tee”.

original Death Star model

Allegedly, the originalDeath Star model. An interesting living room centre-piece. (From the collection of Tim Williams, Patrick Franklin, and Todd Franklin)

I was really scared. But by 1981 or ’82 I’d obviously got over it! Though, on the other hand, I might have thought that they’d never see this page. Now I didn’t grow up in a Quaker household or anything, but we never ever swore—like The Osbournes.

Art Notes

More far-too-thick black felt-tip.

Tell you what I do like though—the red arc behind the little TIE Fighter. Or more specifically, the way it changes direction.

In panels 1-2 it sweeps right—then sweeps left in panel 3, and back again in panel 4. In this series of panels – that Scott McLeod in the classic ‘Understanding Comics’ would call Moment-to-Moment transitions, so popular in Japanese comics; the action works simply, but well. The Death Star also gets larger and the Falcon gets smaller—an exaggerated inverse-relationship that works well.

howard chaykin's marvel version

Howard Chaykin’s Marvel version. He copied mine—obviously

I’d like to say it was all down to my own early brilliance—but Howard Chaykin did it first. I did make the frame for the bottom panel all explosive looking though. I even made the stars shake. I can imagine how I was excitedly drawing that. I used a different layout to him, which might have been because the A5 size I was drawing on was just so small—or, I might have wanted to try something a bit different.

Well that that was a bit boringly technical wasn’t it? Tell you what though, later in life I became an animator for several years.

Next time: things are really getting exciting!

↓ Transcript
(Here's a transcript of this page from the Star Wars comic book adaptation )

The Millennium Falcon is pursuing the TIE Fighter.
"That TIE's heading for it!" Solo says.

But ben replies, "Thats no moon Mr. Solo. It's a space station!"
Solo blurts out, "It's way..."
(The 'moon' is closer now)

"...too big to be a sp..."
(We can make out the surface detail of the Death Star)

"HOLY SHIT!" yells Han Solo, as he sees that Kenobi is correct and the TIE Fighter has disappeared inside the space station.