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- "Obi-Wan Kenobi-- help me! You're my only ho--"
- ―Leia Organa
Star Wars 1 is the first issue of the Marvel Star Wars series of comic books. It closely follows the opening events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Released for sale on April 12, 1977, this first issue actually predated the release of A New Hope by a month.
Imperial Forces led by Darth Vader capture Princess Leia Organa's ship, which is on a mission for the Rebel Alliance. Two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, manage to escape from the Rebel ship with data critical to the Princess' cause. After arriving on the nearby planet Tatooine, the droids are acquired by young moisture farmer Luke Skywalker and his uncle Owen Lars to work at their farm. Luke finds part of an urgent message from Leia to Obi-Wan Kenobi in R2's memory. R2 escapes from the farm with the intention of finding Kenobi on his own; Luke, fearing punishment from his uncle for losing the droid, pursues R2 to the Jundland Wastes, only to be attacked by a band of ferocious Sand People.
In celebration of Star Wars Day on May 4, 2016, Marvel re-released Star Wars 1 as part of its "True Believers" budget reprint program, which reprints popular comic titles for the suggested retail price of $1.
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Behind the scenesEdit
This is part one of the six-part adaptation of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
The story in this issue includes a couple of Tatooine scenes that were cut from A New Hope, including Luke Skywalker witnessing the opening space battle, Luke telling Camie and Fixer (who refer to Luke by his nickname "Wormie") what he saw, and Biggs Darklighter telling Luke of his plan to join the Rebellion.
This issue contains one page of text titled Star Wars: The Ultimate Space-Fantasy, describing the background of the film's story and creators. Since there were no fan letters to publish in the first issue, writer Roy Thomas used the letters page, titled Star Warriors, to explain how Marvel Comics came to acquire the rights to the comics adaptation.
The cover for this issue was based on Howard Chaykin's original convention poster, which became one of the most valuable posters in the Star Wars collecting world. The artwork includes Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, although they would not appear in the series until issue 2, and X-wing, Y-wing, and TIE fighters, which wouldn't appear in the series until issue 5. Also, Darth Vader is incorrectly colored green and Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber blades are incorrectly colored red on the cover.
On the cover of both this issue and the following one, the first and last two letters of the Star Wars logo are not attached to each other.
The original cover price for this issue was 30 cents, but Marvel printed a 35-cent version with a limited distribution of about 1500 copies to six markets within the US. Due to the low print run, the 35-cent version is considered more valuable than the 30-cent one. There were also several reprint versions. Reprints are noted by the word REPRINT that runs along the spine of the book inside of the logo box, the phrase "THIS IS A REPRINT OF A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ISSUE" on the inside indicia, or both.
There is a common misconception about using a diamond vs. box to identify reprints in this series. This misconception was first widely spread when the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide published the technique as a valid method of differentiation. The Overstreet guide stated that issues #1-9 were reprinted and that they should have the word "REPRINT" in the upper left-hand corner of the cover or inside, "or price and number inside a diamond with no date or UPC on cover." In actuality, not all reprints from the early part of this series have the price and number inside a diamond, and not all copies that have their price and number inside a diamond are reprints.
Comic books distributed through Curtis Circulation to newsstand clients were returnable for a full credit in the event that they did not sell. The diamond box cover modification was the primary method used by Marvel to distinguish between copies sold through Curtis Circulation and other distributors. The primary client for these cover-modified issues was Western Publishing, which distributed non-returnable issues in "Whitman three-packs" to drugstores in the 1970s and 1980s.
There are believed to be eight versions of Marvel Comics Star Wars issue #1: A 35-cent Newsstand first printing with UPC (1500 printed, 400 estimated to still exist), a 30-cent Newsstand first printing with UPC, a 30-cent Newsstand reprint with marked cover with UPC, a 35-cent Diamond Series first printing with UPC (only two known to still exist), a 30-cent Diamond series first printing without UPC, a 35-cent Diamond series reprint with marked cover and no UPC, a 35-cent Diamond series reprint with clean cover and no UPC, and a 2007 reprint included in Hasbro's Comic Packs, which included action figures of Darth Vader, a green-colored IT-O Interrogator, and a "Rebel Officer."
This is one of the most reprinted comics of all time. It has been reprinted along with the other five parts of the adaptation in standard formats, and also large treasury size and small novel size editions.
In 1994, Dark Horse Comics acquired the rights to reprint this issue and the other parts in the adaptation. Since the return of the the franchise to Marvel in 2015, this issue has been twice reprinted in collections.
The comic includes the first reference to the concept of the Cosmic Force. Darth Vader's iconic line "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force" is modified to specify "the Cosmic Force." Over 35 years later, in "Voices," an installment of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Cosmic Force's connection to the Living Force was revealed.
- Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 1
- The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of Star Wars
- Marvel Special Edition Featuring Star Wars 3
- Marvel Movie Showcase 1
- Classic Star Wars: A New Hope 1
- Classic Star Wars: A New Hope (TPB)
- Classic Star Wars Box Set
- Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... Volume 1: Doomworld
- Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago.... Volume 1
- Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Volume 1
- Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire
- Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Original Marvel Years Volume 1
Notes and referencesEdit