c.1978/79? | age 10/11? It’s a wibbly-wobbly, hard to read one today. It’s hard to tell when it was drawn, too. The stormtrooper, top-right looks to have been quite carefully copied from somewhere. I’m guessing it was from the Marvel comic version. But the rest is more obviously dashed off by a very juvenile hand. It was drawn on letterheaded paper dated March 1978, when I was still 9, but it still could have been drawn much later after my dad brought the unwanted paper home from work. (Nice slatted wardrobe doors by the way)

Copy & Paste

I wonder if that photo was trimmed from a newspaper, or Star Wars Weekly comic? Wherever it came from, every minute scrap of Star Wars imagery was like gold. Adding it to the comic would have—in my young mind—also added more credibility and professionalism to it. It made it feel more like an official publication, on sale on the shops, which would have been my thrilling fantasy whenever I worked on any of my comics.

‘Young-Reader Edition’

Before The Empire Strikes Back was released in Ireland in 1980, the day before my birthday; John S and I rushed down to the amazing local village newsagent in Ballymore Eustace (« described previously) because one of us had spotted that the novelisation of the long-awaited sequel to Star Wars, of a couple of years earlier had just come into stock.

The empire strikes back novelisation, young readers' edition 1980

This is my own copy, that I bought in 1980!

I’ll explain why it was an amazing local newsagent: We excitedly dashed in the front door of the shop—which was basically a 1-storey cottage—and scanned the kitchen table which, pushed under the front window of the kitchen/parlour served as the display area for all of the newspapers, magazines, comics and the occasional book. The books were usually Mills and Boon romantic novels. But there they were! There was a regular copy, and an easy-reader version for youngsters. We looked at the money in our palms. The ‘Special Young Readers’ version was cheaper—around 90p—so I got that. John S and I had them read cover to cover by 10 o’clock that night! My, oh my, we were more excited than ever about the new film. It did give away one or two of the big surprises but didn’t spoil it at all when we finally saw it in the very same very basic Dara cinema, where we’d seen the first film, in Naas town.

And about those spoilers: I seem to recall that Marvel’s Star Wars Weekly comic had already given the game away about Luke’s dad long before!

We need a SWa9 Easy-Reader Version!

I appreciate that this page is genuinely hard-to-read—so feel no shame readers, as I provide you with the easy-reader transcription. You’re far too hard on yourselves, it’s really young John’s fault for being… young:

[The comlink – in this version – built into the desk, pleads]


[Troops get thru (spelling learnt from Marvel) door]

KLIK “Theyve gone… huh that cabinet!” KLIK

“HELP!” Cries Threepio from behind the door.

“Blast, just a pair of droids.” says the Trooper in disgust.

“Theyre madmen sir theyre heading for the prison level” pleads Threepio.

“Right men lets go get those blasted rebels”

“…OME IN THREEPIO” crackles the comlink again

[whisper]”Master Luke! Shh!”

—Star Wars age 9, 1978 or ’79?

Written a few years ago: Congratulations to reader T.Gatto and family!—on the birth of wee Ruth Elisabeth! He says Salacious Crumb was rejected from the baby names list).