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The original Marvel Star Wars series

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Over the years I have seen various posts bringing up the original marvel series that ran from the late 70’s to mid 80’s , seems like a lot of affection for it from various members , myself included , I would love to hear your recollections , musings and posts about it .For me it was a monthly childhood ritual of riding my bike to the local pharmacy to go get each issue from the spinner rack and maybe get a charms blow pop , some big league chew gum , or a cassette tape .It was the only way to re live and expand the story of the movies available to me at the time .Fond memories . To that end , I have been making homages and re creations to the covers of that series which can be viewed in my gallery here …https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/ Looking forward to hearing peoples thoughts on the series .thank you .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Not a fan myself, would much rather read the Dark Horse lines from the 90s and 00s or the current Marvel lineup, although I appreciate peoples fondness for them.

Not enough people read the EU.

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I’m too young to have grown up with those old comics, but I do have two recent trade paperbacks that collect everything from the first film adaptation to just before Empire, and I’m a fan.

The Drink in Question

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In those days when the only way to get a dose of Star Wars was to go to the theater, the Marvel book was my lifeline. They are the reason I have a certain meat eating space rabbit living with me. 😉

I don’t think there ever was a dedicated comic book shop local to me back then, (I never actually visited one until the 80’s) so the spinner rack at the local drugstore or Kmart was about the only place to find them. Sometimes I couldn’t find them at all. No idea if they sold out or stores were fickle in what they stocked. I’m sure Marvel and DC had more monthly titles than could fit on the rack.

The only downside of the collected editions is you don’t get the ads of the era, (especially for now really tacky dated SW merchandise) or the Star Words letter column. It was an interesting snapshot of the early fandom, with arguments about whether Leia should choose Luke or Han, when was Vader coming back, could Vader ever team up with Dr. Doom, etc. Also some kvetching when Carmine Infantino took over drawing our heroes. It was almost as crazy as this place gets. 😛

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Read most of the original Marvel run a couple years ago, big fan. Some of my favorite Star Wars stuff out there.

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Even though I was 13 when the series ended, I only bought two issues during the original run. I loved them, and probably read them each 50 times. I’ve picked up a few used issues here and there since. I’ve got the first two volumes of the new omnibus reprints. They are OK. The coloring is bad in the reprints. The art in the originals looks so much better, but it’s a lot cheaper than buying the back issues. I should have bought more as a kid when they we a quarter.

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They went up toe 35 cents at one point and I think they were 75 cents at the end of the run. It’s been said Star Wars saved Marvel at a time when superhero comics were in a bit of a sales slump.

I’m fearful of handling my original issues too much these days. Why they can’t keep the original colors in the reprints I have no idea. Would be nice to see them beyond the limitations of cheap newsprint.

The recolored CGI enhanced versions of the movie adaptation from a few years back are an abomination worse than the Special Editions.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I don’t know why good color is such an issue with reprints. Even the DC Comics Archive Editions and Marvel Master Works look terrible because of the bad re-color jobs and those were expensive. A color photocopy of a moderately aged original would have more eye appeal.

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Is it a ploy to avoid residual payments to colorists?

IIRC, the movie adaptation got reprinted so many times in different formats that money became a thorny issue with the original creative team on the comic.
I have a paperback version of the movie adaptation inexplicably printed in black and white. Later SW Marvel paperbacks were in color though.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I have a big treasury size issue containing the latter half of the film adaptation, and I never even thought to compare it to my trade. I’m going to do that right now and see how bad the recoloring is.

The Drink in Question

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Someone please correct me because I will say in advance that I have no idea what I’m talking about, but many years ago, I had a conversation with someone who claimed that since they never had any plans to reprint old comics years later in order to make a reprint old comics from company archives were put through a process that destroyed the original but reproduced an inked copy without color which then have to recolored. I don’t really know, but the context was the person was explaining why reprint covers often had to be redrawn on the left margin. Since they were working from company archive copies which had been bound into books the left margin of the cover was unrecoverable. The fact that the left edge of covers often had to be redrawn is obvious in some cases. For instance, there’s a flash cover in an archive edition which is mildly famous for replacing flashes foot with what looks like a flipper.

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I haven’t heard anything about that, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

I took a picture of a page in the 70s treasury edition issue vs the reprint and yeah, I see what you mean about the recoloring. Not just the coloring itself, but there are actual mistakes in the recoloring. Please excuse my poor photography:


The corridor visable above Han’s left arm is yellow in the reprint, and, less obviously, there’s less shading on R2 than the older issue. These are both reprints, but I assume the much older treasury size reprint issue is closer to the look of the original issue #5.

The Drink in Question

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loving the content and musings in this thread , I am wondering if there is a difference between colors in the various reprint trades , dark horse started the recoloring with the series of trades called A LONG TIME AGO , which were colored by digital chameleon and I own those , then a few years later they printed them again in their omnibus collection , they also did two issues each of the movie adaptations of the OT with new cover art by Al Williamson, Arthur Adams ,Cam Kennedy etc . and those were the first recolorings of the movie adaptations . and now that Marvel has the license back , they are also putting out trades of the original series . I also own the hardback movie adaptations that Silverwook mentioned and I like some of what they did but think they went too far in some places like the asteroid chase in Empire where they actually erased some of Al Williamson’s artwork in favor of " enhancements " which is an affront to the artist in my opinion seeing that he is deceased and has no say in it . I have always wanted to see the entire series recolored though , but in a way that respects the artists and keeps the work intact and corrects things like the way Luke has a yellow or red saber , the two tone face of Chewbacca that makes him look like a monkey ,etc . those things bugged me even as a kid . I would buy the trades again if they put them out like that .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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I’ve got them all in the Dark Horse omnibus collections. Colors look pretty good to me, but I don’t have much to compare them to (only have a couple original issues).

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I have all of the original individual issues as well as the 3 annuals and the ROTJ limited series , I will have to compare them as well , in the intro to the third trade paperback of the A long Time Ago series , digital chameleon claims the colors are spot on to the originals and they even dare people to compare

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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I’m looking at the cover to the actual issue #8 and comparing it to the reprinted cover, and the original Han’s cheeks are highlighted in a redder color than the rest of his face. In the reprint it all one solid color (I’ve got photos, but I can’t figure out how to attach them).

You have to look closely to see the difference, but even when not comparing them side by side the original feels more complete and the reprint is noticeably simpler because there are so many little ways that the reprint cuts corners on coloring.

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screams in the void said:

what are people here’s favorite issues or story lines from the series ?

95 and 96 will always be near and dear to me because they were the only ones I had as a kid, and read them until they were worn out. It involved Luke losing to a fight with Lumiya because her whip had energy and material elements and Luke could only handle one of the other with his light saber. In the end Luke beat hear by using a light saber AND a sword at the same time. See, he also had a energy weapon and a physical weapon. Makes sense, right?

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I’m rather fond of the whole Seven Samurai homage storyline with Han and Chewie down on their luck, (having had their Rebel reward stolen by pirates) being enlisted by farmers on a bigger desolate hole than Tatooine to protect their small community from a local tyrant. And not just because Jaxxon was introduced. : )

I also liked The Wheel storyline, as it finally brought Vader back to the comic. Luke’s mishap while attempting to meditate using The Force was chilling. Han and Chewie being tricked/forced into a gladiatorial zero gravity arena to the death was great. (Many angry fan letters attest to fact they thought Han really died.) Wheel administrator and former senator Greyshade and his companion Master Com can be interpreted as the first robot/human couple in Star Wars, decades before Futurama did it.

The resolution of the Crimson Jack subplot (the leader of the pirates who robbed Han and Chewie back in issue 7) was also really good. Pirate lady Jolli had an interesting arc. Pity they didn’t keep her around to join the Rebellion or something. Plus, it would have given Leia someone to relate to with her scoundrel issues.

Last, but not least, the flashback issue with Luke and Biggs on Tatooine. Pity we never saw Skyhoppers take flight in the OT. And the SE doesn’t count. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Yeah , I like that Seven Samurai homage as well and the old marvel series was way ahead of it’s time , they even did a similar storyline in the Clone Wars animated series . Those early issues you mentioned such as the wheel saga and the Biggs issue were some of my favorites as well . I would have to say the Shira Brie storyline is my favorite of the series , especially from about issue 58-63 .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Luke’s temporary fall from grace as a hero of the Rebellion was a good storyline. It coincided with one of those times I wasn’t able to find a copy on the rack, so I missed the crucial issue where Luke’s trusting in the Force got him into trouble.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

Luke’s temporary fall from grace as a hero of the Rebellion was a good storyline. It coincided with one of those times I wasn’t able to find a copy on the rack, so I missed the crucial issue where Luke’s trusting in the Force got him into trouble.

#NotMyLukeSkywalker