Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 4th, 2017, 6:07 pm #191

Star Wars #87
In a story that was supposed to run awhile ago, it picks up from issue 82, as Luke, Plif, Kiro and the Rik Duel gang head to another recruitment planet, Shawken. Like most of these "new" planets that have been popping up in the past 50 issues or so, all the locals wear a toga. Shawken kinda' looks like Naboo, but I think it's all coincidental. Cuz' Naboo really didn't look too weird, when you think about it.

Rik, Dani and Chihido wander around, ending up in some ancient caverns and accidentally activating an old doomsday device. Kiro saves the day when he takes Luke's lightsaber and zaps a big giant face idol. Things blow up and after a LOT of dialogue and explanation throughout the story, this whole resolution is in one page. Ending felt VERY rushed. The big idol thingie probably had more prominence in the original story idea.

Rik and friends are tagging along so Luke "can keep an eye on them". Dani still has a crush on Luke, but begins sweetening up to the naive Kiro. Chihido still doesn't have anything resembling a personality; just that he's part of Rik's gang.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 6th, 2017, 3:14 pm #192

Star Wars #88
Leia, Mon Mothma and the droids hit up the planet Herdessa; an oppressive slave planet where the ruling class lives it up, while everybody else scraps for food and wears rags. They run into Lumiya, a cyborg and "head of planetary security". A few Storm Troopers suddenly show up to help her...hmmm.

Leia inspires an uprising and yet another planet's economy and social structure is destroyed. Lumiya's armor blows up and she disappears, vowing to return.

Marvel promoted the crap out of this story, yet it's quite lame. The front cover says: "Darth Vader is dead. Love live the NEW Dark Lord", referring to Lumiya. Lumiya will turn out to be Shira Brie. While that name is not spoken in this issue, Marvel used her name in all their solicitations for it. So any secrecy on Lumiya's identity is non-existent. But Lumiya willl disappear and return in about 10 issues.

The concept and character of Shira Brie was pretty cool (well, cool for Star Wars), so this is a less than stellar effort for her long-awaited return. I remember reading this, as a kid, and feeling it was a flop. Think I got this around July 1984. It had been over a year since "Jedi", so I was losing excitement and starting to move away from all things Star Wars.

One of the locals in the uprising is named "Finn", for what that's worth. Again, probably just coincidence. He's neither black nor a Storm Trooper. The name "Finn" seems to be used a lot in 80's sci-fi or fantasy.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 9th, 2017, 5:13 pm #193

Star Wars #89
More like a short story in "Heavy Metal" (the sci-fi/fantasy magazine), as Luke is on a new world and falls in love with a girl named Mary. She dies, of course. Another out-of-place "guest creative team/one-shot issue" that had the following qualifications for selecting a writer: "hey, want to write a sci-fi story? You know the names of some characters in Star Wars? GREAT! Go for it!" No references to anything that has been going on.

Since "Return of the Jedi" hit, Marvel seemed to be letting this title die, on the vine. And yeah, I FINALLY hit the nail on the head on how to describe these random stories: "Heavy Metal Wannabes". Marvel was still publishing their "Epic Illustrated" magazine, which was their answer to the adult sci-fi/fantasy comic mags of the time, so it's quite likely that's where the vibe kept coming from.

Star Wars #90
Luke and Leia both make it back to Endor, which has become the "Smurf Village" for the "Alliance of Free Planets". They try to add some plot cohesiveness, as Rik, Chihido, Dani and Kiro all arrive. Subplot begins that Kiro may have tapped into The Force in issue 87. Kiro's enthusiastic and wants to learn more, but Luke declines teaching.

The first meeting of the Alliance is shown in one panel... where you can spot some familiar Star Wars creatures. A Max Rebo alien, a Walrus Man alien and even the Cantina band alien! (whatever all those respective races became known as)

It's also clarified that Luke and Leia haven't told anybody that Darth Vader was their father and/or that they're siblings. Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar mention that, due to their collective absence from the Alliance meetings, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and Lando have lost the right to vote on any decisions. Well, Lando, Chewie and Han were all still supposedly on a mission for the Alliance, so that's kind of a dick move.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 9th, 2017, 10:44 pm #194

Star Wars #91
Han, Chewie and Lando visit Kazyyyk (or as it's known, now: Kashyyyk). Yup, the "Wookiee World"! They run into a goth dweeb called "Knife" who's trying to re-start the Wookiee slave trade...for some unknown entity. Clearly not the Empire, but Knife laughs at being compared to them. Knife even has Chewbacca's BROTHER-IN-LAW, Vargi, working for him. The heroes are able to stop the slavery operation, but Knife escapes in Lando's Cobra.

So, yeah, this is the first time since the Star Wars Holiday Special that we've seen "Wookiee World"! Including Chewie's wife (Mala) and son (Lumpy). There's also "his father", but the name "Itchy" isn't used. I'm probably weird, but I think it's awesome that Chewbacca's a family man...and lets his dad live with 'em. More reasons why Chewie's my favorite Star Wars character.

Through a quick flashback, they mention that the Empire enslaved all the Wookiees. This may have been the first time the "Wookiee Slavery" concept has been mentioned (late 1984). It eventually evolved into true "Star Wars Canon", even. Maybe it was in the 70's Han Solo paperbacks, but I can't recall.
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Erick Von Erich
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October 12th, 2017, 3:07 pm #195

Star Wars #92
A special double-sized issue that's a sequel to Annual #3. Whaaaaa? I didn't read Annual #3, in-line, so went back and read it. In a nutshell, two kids are caught in the middle of an Empire/Rebellion conflict and their home is destroyed. One (Barney) joins the Rebellion and the other (Flint) is taken by Darth Vader as an apprentice. Timeframe for Annual #3 was sometime around issue 74. Marvel's Annuals were rarely included, in-line, with the regular title.

Issue #94 involves a refugee from another planet flying to Endor for help. The Empire has taken over his world, so the main cast (and Barney) investigates. They get there and find the place has been devastated by Storm Troopers and Flint-- now in a shiny knight's armor suit that looks like a minor league Darth Vader. After seeing Barney, Flint re-considers his allegiance and detonates a bomb, wiping out the Imperial forces.

Also included is a recurring dream sequence with Luke, involving YODA(!), Obi-Wan and Anakin/Darth Vader. I think this may be the last time we see all 3 of those characters in the series. A worthless swerve is also included about the refugee-- turns out "he" is actually a "she", masquerading as her deceased twin brother. She dies in the end, and both siblings meet Yoda in the after-life. They're playing up the "everyone wants Luke to train them to be a Jedi" subplot, too.

Not too bad, overall. Weird that Barney hasn't been seen until now. Flint is something of a let-down, but it's not clear if he survives. While it has the usual comic cheese, this story actually "feels like Star Wars".
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Erick Von Erich
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October 13th, 2017, 4:40 pm #196

Star Wars #93
While it's usual writer, Jo Duffy, this is yet another one-and-done issue. Involves a planet of cat-like people in the "Outer Territories" who have the whole Rebels vs. Empire conflict confused.

Star Wars #94
The Ewoks go to war with the Lahsbees over a romantic misunderstanding. Played for laughs, as it's the two "cute" little fuzzball races fighting. It was all orchestrated by the laughable Hirog-- a cowardly beetle like guy who has suddenly become Admiral Ackbar's aide. He'll stick around for the rest of the title, unfortunately. Also the debut of the series' final penciler, Cynthia Martin. She has a very unusual style for the time with a Japanese influence.

Around this time (we're in early 1985, now), Kenner released their final wave of Star Wars toys, "The Power of the Force". So it certainly felt like there were new plans for the franchise (I picked up a few: General Lando and two Ewoks...but they were upstaged when I went to the next toy store and saw NEW 1985 GI Joe crap). The "Droids" and "Ewoks" cartoons and toys were also off and running. But very little makes it into 1986.


Oh...another laughable element that has consisted in these books since issue 47: Luke's hand. With issue 92, they began showing him with a noticeable glove on his right hand---remember, the one that was famously cut-off by Darth Vader, then replaced with a robotic one? Yet before that, his right hand appeared perfectly normal. You can No-Prize it and say: "oh, he was just wearing a flesh-colored glove", but it's still a big error--- just like the use of Luke's lightsaber.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

October 16th, 2017, 3:41 pm #197

Star Wars #94-97
The new bad guys are finally officially introduced: a buncha' goth lookin' Japanese anime leftovers called the Nagai. With the help of some Empire remnants, they're setting up shop in the Star Wars galaxy. So they're basically a clean slate, as they don't know about all the history. Their motives aren't clear, they just want to conquer.

Han, Leia and 4 new (male) Zeltron emissaries run into Knife and more more Nagai on one planet. They're able to defeat them, but Luke, Kiro and Dani run into serious Nagai trouble on a remote planet. Luke gets defeated by the new-and-improved Lumiya and her energy whip... but comes back and beats her the next issue. Her helmet rips off and it's revealed that she is, in fact, Shira Brie.

Kiro and the Nagai Den Shiva fight over Dani and fall into a river. They both disappear and it's teased that Kiro may have died. Everybody else escapes, as the Nagai invasion fleet officially lands.

The 4 male Zeltrons all dress like 1985 suburban "break dancers" or like some weird Duran Duran fanboys. Imagine if Hot Topic had been around, then. That's their gear. Dani herself gets something of a make-over, dropping the black cat-suits for a more practical flight suit. Surprisingly, she actually looks a bit hotter.

Weird trivia: issue 97 features one-panel of a new, unidentified type of Storm Trooper. Its helmet looks like a cross between the regular Trooper and Darth Vader. Plus some extra shoulderpads.

So, with the new (goofy-lookin') threat established, you'd think they'd jump into that, full-on, right? Well, here comes...

Star Wars #98
Writer Archie Goodwin returns in another one-shot Heavy Metal wannabe! Han and Nien Nunb go on a supply mission to meet the "guildmaster" who makes all the ships. The Guildmaster wears a costume right out of the 1960's, even. Yeah, Nien Nunb, since Chewie's on leave on Kashyyyk. Oh, and since it's Archie Goodwin, Han flies through space in a jetpack. He sure LOVES that plot device.

Well, so much for any momentum. What happens next is even messier. Marvel screws up and flip-flops the release of issues 99 and 101. Yet #100 runs as scheduled. These three issues are actually tied-together, continuity-wise, as some important characters appear "first" in issue 101. So the correct order of reading turns out to be: 101, 99, 100 (and I'll be recapping them in that order).

The plot of issue 101 is even promoted in the "next issue" box at the end of issue 97. Big, big mess, especially book-ending a big "Anniversary" issue that they've been pointing to for the last 10 issues or so. Really confused the few readers who were left. So it's no surprise that the title drops to bi-monthly with issue 104, then quickly ends at 107.
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Erick Von Erich
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October 17th, 2017, 2:31 pm #198

Star Wars #101
Han, the droids and Plif(!) are sent out to observe some weird energy pockets. They end up in another lame world, where everybody dresses like the Renaissance Festival. Plif (and his fellow, un-named Hoojibs) actually help the plot with their energy-draining capabilities.

Before Han's mission, the big news is that Fenn Shysa has returned to help the Alliance. Also joining up is Bey-- an 8 foot tall guy with spiky white hair, who is supposedly a heroic legend to everybody. Of course, Bey looks like a leftover from Robotech, or like a He-Man character.
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Erick Von Erich
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October 17th, 2017, 4:42 pm #199

Star Wars #99
Yet another follow-up/tie-up to the Stenax/Drebble/Lando stuff. The idols that Lando had been swindling are key to the planet Godo's survival. In all of the post-"Jedi" Lando and Han scenes, they've come off as good friends; which is refreshing.

It's established that Bey knew Han, growing up. Fenn mentions that the Nagai have been attacking "his world" (Mandalore) and that Bey and some other "outsiders" were the difference. Not much else of notice, aside from one-panel cameos from Nien Nunb and Wedge.
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Erick Von Erich
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October 18th, 2017, 3:41 pm #200

Star Wars #100
The Nagai attack Endor and are privy to the Alliance's defense plans, thanks to their "inside agent"-- Bey. Bey turns out to be a half-breed, Corellian and Nagai. His mother was an advance scout for the Nagai, years ago. Her intelligence told the Nagai that they'd let the Empire and Rebellion fight it out, then pick up the scraps. Thus, their invasion, now.

Lando leads the space forces in turning back Lumiya and the Nagai ships. On the ground, a buncha' fat Nagai robots try to wipe out the Alliance brass, but Luke slices them apart. It's then mentioned that the Alliance has evacuated and finally left Endor, off-screen.

It's also revealed that Knife is Bey's younger half-brother. Some quick flashbacks about Bey and Han, growing up. Of note, is that Bey wins the "Corellian Bloodstripe"-- the vertical stripe that Han always wore on his trousers. Bey himself is/was something of an update of a guy named "Alexander", from the Han Solo paperbacks of the late 70's. Alexander wasn't a Nagai or traitor, just a tall Corellian with white hair (like Bey) who mentored Han, growing up.

Oh, and Fenn appears to have a squadron of Mandalorian pilots at his command.

Overall, it's about an average story. Not really worthy of the extra-sized "anniversary" treatment, but at least some stuff happened. Kinda' weak that the big reveal (Bey) is a character who has only recently appeared, just 1 issue ago (or 2 issues if you follow chronology).

Cynthia Martin has some real trouble drawing the usual Star Wars ships, though. Everything has gradually become more boxy and inconsistent. One example, the Millennium Falcon traditionally has the cockpit arm on the right side, but she'll occassionally flip it to the left. Sure, it's an frickin' space ship and it could be upside down... but the "top" of the cockpit arm and the guns are still on the roof/top of the Falcon.
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