Posted Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 by Barry

Star Wars (1977) 107

Do you remember the Star Wars Holiday Special? The Splinter of the Minds Eye? Kenner Star Wars Early Bird set?

If you do, you probably remember the first issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comic book. You may not recognize today’s issue, though. Star Wars issue 107 was the final in the original installment of Marvel comic books. It almost seemed to pass unnoticed in July 1986.

For the first six issues, Marvel adapted Star Wars. Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino continued the adventures prior to issue 39 when The Empire Strikes Back was retold.

Another six issues for the second installment of the original trilogy and Marvel was turned loose again to create three more years of adventures before Return of the Jedi.

This time the adaptation would fall outside the main series and be told in four issues between the cover dates of October 1983 and January 1984.

Marvel soldiered on a while longer.

Jo Duffy took Luke, Leia, Han, Cheiwie and the remaining cast as far as she could. No easy task considering they were already far, far away.

Plus, she and Marvel were hamstrung by Lucas Films Limited and their decree that nothing meaningful happen. No commitment for Han and Leia beyond the fleeting, on-screen kisses. No teaching position at a new Jedi academy for Luke. No return to Malla on Kashyyk for Chewie.

Duffy took the gang as far as she could and was rewarded with what was basically a cease and desist from Lucas and company.

Granted, this was about the time the television specials were failing, Kenner’s action figure line was beginning to languish in the discount bins and talk of another trilogy was speculation.

So, it wasn’t with any fanfare the series came to an end.

Star Wars (1977) 107

Star Wars would be a cherished memory for the next few years. And, Marvel wouldn’t publish another Star Wars comic book until 2015.

Today is the day we remember the past. We remember the past, the present and the future.

Though the franchise seemed doomed to become a faded memory after conquering a generation of imagination, it returned, not with a whimper, but a flourish. And, with it, the return of the original magic. Or, at least the semblance, though new generations were swept up in the return of Jedis.

Today is Star Wars Day; May the Fourth (be With You).

There are so many ways to celebrate the day. Choose from one of 10 movies in the scheme of the original three trilogies.

Or, there’s Solo. The Mandalorian. The holiday special. Droids and Ewoks cartoons or the two Ewoks made-for-television one-shots.

Replay a favorite video game.

And, there are the comic books.

From Marvel to Dark Horse to Marvel.

The choices are nigh endless.

Whatever you choose, remember, “…the Fourth will be with you – always.”

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