|Way of the Wookiee|
1 BBY or earlier
Way of the Wookiee was a story published in 1979 in three parts in Marvel UK's Star Wars Weekly 94-96, and written by Archie Goodwin. It was later reprinted in 1981 in Marvel Illustrated Books Star Wars 1. It was named after the first part of the comic, originally published in Star Wars Weekly 94. The other two original parts are Chewbacca Fights Alone and Switch.
Not long before the Battle of Yavin, Han Solo and Chewbacca travel to the planet Formos to pick up a load of Kessel spice from N'Mrith, a contact of Jabba the Hutt. Before making planetfall, they have a run-in with an Imperial prison ship commanded by Commander Quirt, who suspects them as smugglers. Although Han successfully talks his way out of trouble, Quirt remains suspicious, eager to meet his quota of new prisoners for the Spice Mines of Kessel.
Han and Chewie flirt again with arrest when Chewbacca spots a fellow Wookiee named Hronk, a captive of a group of Quirt's Stormtroopers, and goes berserk. Han is forced to stun blast his partner, and only another bit of quick thinking saves them from arrest. Chewbacca subsequently explains that his grudge against Hronk stems from an old family feud on their homeworld of Kashyyyk. Han suggests simply allowing the Imperials to take Hronk to the Spice Mines, but Chewbacca is not satisfied.
Chewbacca subsequently sneaks aboard the Imperial prison ship to rescue Hronk, inciting a riot among the prisoners. Fleeting back to the Millennium Falcon a few steps ahead of Quirt's troops, Chewbacca, Hronk, and Han make a hasty getaway with their newly loaded cargo of spice.
N'Mrith betrays Han and Chewbacca by informing Quirt that the Falcon is carrying both a cargo of illegal spice and the escaped prisoner. By jettisoning their cargo and disguising Hronk as Chewbacca, they manage to fool Quirt and make their getaway. Quirt announces irritably that he intends to make N'Mrith replace his missing prisoner, allowing him to still meet his quota.
Han and Chewbacca release Hronk -- who is decidedly irritable at now being in his enemy's debt -- in a nearby system. Unfortunately, the partners realize that they will have to inform Jabba that they have lost the spice they were supposed to deliver.
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Behind the scenesEdit
This story was originally intended to describe the failed Kessel Run that led to Han Solo's debt to Jabba the Hutt. A. C. Crispin's Rebel Dawn, the third book of her Han Solo Trilogy, alludes to the events of this story, but implies that the price on Han's head stemmed from a subsequent Kessel Run.
At different points in this story, Quirt's rank is alternatively described as Commander (a naval rank) and Colonel (an army rank). When Han mentions these events in Rebel Dawn, he refers to "Colonel Quirt."
The prison ship that Han Solo had a run-in with in the story resembles the Doomgiver ship used by the Imperial Remnant.