Star Wars #106
Luke, the Hoojibs and the Hiromi sneak aboard the Tofs' flagship--- which looks like a big metal pirate ship, complete with masts and everything. Sheesh. Luke, the Jedi knight with supposedly all sorts of crazy powers...uses BOMBS to destroy the ship. Yes, bombs, my least favorite catch-all plot device.
Star Wars #107
Some time has passed, as the Alliance and the Nagai have signed a treaty and are working together. Even some straggler Imperial forces have joined up. They plan a big assault on the remote planet Saijo, where the Tof and their prince have set up their command. Lumiya is still bent on revenge and has joined up with the Tof.
Luke leads the small ground attack and the Tof prince surrenders. Lumiya tries to shoot Luke in the back, but she is shot (and potentially killed) by a Tof... who turns out to be Bey, in disguise, and working for Admiral Ackbar. Everyone's happy and Luke speculates that all the different people and races can live in peace.
Luke runs around shirtless, totally ripped, and with long hair. He looks like He-Man, or more precisely, the early 90's He-Man from some weird British revival. Dani and Den Siva are also an item, now, yet still hate each other. Not much justification for why they're together, so chalk it up to Stockholm Syndrome on Dani's part. Fenn, Lando, Chewie and Wedge also make cameos (Lando leads the space attack against the Tof, which lasts all of 2 pages).
The letters page just thanks a bunch of fans and interns (and the Japanese inspirations of Cynthia Martin) and signs off. No real requiem or goodbye.
Huh. While everything's seemingly wrapped up, this is NOT the way you would've expected Star Wars to go out.
Final Wrap/Exit Interview
In short, if you're ever thinking of reading of these: don't. It's mostly curious sci-fi indulgence that just doesn't feel like Star Wars (yes, I've said that almost 107 times while recapping these). But give Marvel some credit, at the time (1977-1986), there wasn't much Star Wars stuff aside from the movies. They were kinda' learning as they went along, just like the fans were. The only "expanded universe" crap was the 3 Han Solo paperbacks, the "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" sequel novel, the Holiday Special and (towards the end), the awful Lando paperbacks. Not exactly required reading for even the most hardcore Star Wars fan.
Marvel did have some involvement with the kiddie-oriented Star Wars titles: "Droids" and "Ewoks", as part of their STAR imprint. "Ewoks" lasted the longest, like all of 16 issues or so. On television, "Droids" only ran for the 84-85 season, but "Ewoks" made it into a second season (or at least a second season of airing; who knows if they were new stories or just re-runs). We shall not speak of the two Ewok TV movies. The licensing agreement between Marvel and Lucasfilm may have expired.
The biggest problem --- and maybe the reason these comics don't "feel like Star Wars" --- is the Force. In all 8 movies, the Force has been a pretty big plot element. Even in Rogue One with that bad-ass blind dude and Darth Vader. Luke RARELY used the Force in all 107 issues. Cut out the movie tie-in issues and he probably used it less than 20 times. Obi-Wan's ghost only appeared to Luke ONCE in the non-movie stories. Ditto Yoda. I mean, you have 50 some issues of original content since "Empire" and you ignore Yoda?! YODA?!! I understand that some things were "off limits" by Lucasfilm, but c'mon...
The highlight of the title is probably David Michelinie's run from issue 51 to 69. I'd actually recommend those to die-hard fans. It has more of a Battlestar Galactica feel, but flowed well. Not surprisingly, Luke's biggest use of the Force was in those issues, when he shot down Shira Brie.
Since this title ended so...lamely... I was never into the whole "Expanded Universe" stuff that began popping up a few years later. I'd just roll my eyes and think back to Fenn, Dani, Plif and Jaxxon. I tried to get into the random Dark Horse comics in the mid-90's, but found those incredibly lame. I kinda' liked "Dark Empire" from 1992, but it felt like a weak re-hash or wannabe. "Dark Empire II" from 1994 into 1995 was awful and I felt ripped off (back when I thought I had to try out everything that was on the comic racks; crap, I even picked up Gen 13 for awhile).
I don't know what I'll re-read, next. After almost 200 issues of Star Wars and Swamp Thing, I think I'm ready to go back to some good ol' fashioned Superhero Stupidity.