|Han Solo at Stars' End|
Han Solo at Stars' End is a comic strip that was based on the novel of the same name by Brian Daley. It was adapted by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Alfredo Alcala in 1980. It was also nearly the last Star Wars–related newspaper comic to be written.
Upon discovering that they need a special Waiver in order to operate the Millennium Falcon within the Corporate Sector without running afoul of the authorities, Han Solo and Chewbacca attempt to get in touch with Doc, an outlaw technician. However, Doc's daughter Jessa informs them that Doc has vanished, presumably abducted. Han works out a deal with Jessa: in exchange for the Waiver and upgrades to the Falcon, he and Chewbacca will help out in the effort to discover what happened to Doc and other enemies of the Corporate Sector Authority, the capitalistic and authoritarian organization that oversees the Corporate Sector. As part of this effort, Han and Chewbacca escort two droids, Bollux and Blue Max, to the planet Orron III, where they meet with Rekkon, the leader of the missing persons search. Blue Max, a small computer probe hidden away in Bollux's chest cavity, is able to infiltrate the Authority's computer network and begin searching for the location of the abductees. However, Rekkon's small group has been compromised by a traitor, and their activities are discovered. During the group's attempt to escape the planet, Chewbacca is captured by Espos (Authority Security Police) and taken away. Han and the others manage to escape the planet aboard the Falcon. During liftoff, the traitor shoots Rekkon and destroys the data that Blue Max gathered. Before dying, however, Rekkon is able to leave the words 'Stars' End, Mytus VII' scrawled on the Falcon's game table. Han realizes that this must be the location of the Authority's covert prison facility. After unmasking and dealing with the traitor, Han and the remaining members of Rekkon's group fly to Stars' End. Masquerading as interstellar entertainers, they infiltrate the facility and rescue the kidnap victims, including Doc and Chewbacca. The facility and staff members are destroyed in the escape.
Down on their luck after a botched smuggling run, Han Solo and Chewbacca resort to accepting a job offer from an anonymous employer. However, after flying the Millennium Falcon to the planet Lur for the pickup, they discover that the cargo they're meant to be shipping is a load of slaves - something neither Han nor Chewbacca has any tolerance for. After dealing with the slavers' attempt to commandeer the Falcon, and still in dire need of funds, Han and Chewbacca head for the planet Bonadan, where the slavers' leader was meant to meet his contact for payment. Instead of the contact, though, they cross paths with Fiolla, an assistant auditor-general with the Corporate Sector Authority. She convinces Han that his only chance of getting paid now is to help her in tracking down the slaving ring. The slavers are watching Fiolla and are now keeping their eyes on Han and Chewbacca as well, forcing the two smugglers to split up. Chewbacca takes the Falcon, while Han and Fiolla board a cruise liner. The two parties make plans to meet on the planet Ammuud, to investigate the slavers' connection to one of the governing clans there. Han and Fiolla arrive on Ammuud and uncover the evidence Fiolla needs to implicate high-ranking Authority officials in the slaving ring. Outwitting the Authority forces who have been sent by Fiolla's superior to detain them, Han and Chewbacca are able to collect their payment at last and depart the planet safely.
While taking a well-earned break on the planet Rudrig in the Tion Hegemony, Han Solo and Chewbacca are approached by Badure, an old friend, and his female companion Hasti. Badure has a lead on the fabled Queen of Ranroon, the treasure ship of Xim the Despot, which has been believed lost for centuries. Though Han is initially reluctant to join what he considers to be a pointless treasure hunt, he and Chewbacca decide to accompany Badure on his search. Accompanying them on their quest are Skynx, an alien historian from the planet Ruuria, and Han's droid companions, Bollux and Blue Max. Han's group is not the only one on the trail of Xim the Despot's treasure, however. After landing on the planet Dellalt, Han and his companions are attacked and forced to abandon the Millennium Falcon. Their attackers steal the Falcon and fly her to a distant mining camp, where they intend to search her for clues to the Queen's location - by tearing the Falcon apart, if necessary. Han and the others set off on a trip overland to recover the Falcon. On their way, they are captured by a group of religious cultists, descendants of the Queen of Ranroon's crew. The cultists are determined to keep Xim's treasure safe, and are about to unleash an army of Xim the Despot's war-robots to destroy the mining camp - and the Falcon. Through the ingenuity of Bollux and Blue Max, the war-robots are stopped. Han and the others recover the Falcon and fly to the location of Xim's fabled treasure, only to find that the treasure isn't quite what they were expecting, consisting of technology that was state-of-the-art in Xim's era but is now commonplace and inexpensive. The book ends with Han and Chewbacca taking the badly-reassembled Falcon back into space, with plans to borrow money from Jabba the Hutt for an attempted Kessel Run.
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Behind the scenesEdit
This strip almost ended up being the last Star Wars newspaper strip to run in the Los Angeles Times. In January 1981, the LA Times dropped the Star Wars strip, citing lack of interest. The Star Wars Fan Club wrote a letter of protest on the subject, which convinced the LA Times to allow the strip to continue, beginning with The Bounty Hunter of Ord Mantell.