Hello and welcome to the third day of Laughing Place’s issue-by-issue analysis of Marvel’s original Star Wars comic book. Issue #3 was first published on June 7, 1977, about two weeks after the movie itself hit theaters, which makes it the first to become available after people had actually begun seeing the film. As always, I’ll be going through each page panel by panel, looking for any interesting differences from the movie or other notable oddities worth commenting on.
- Cover: The “ST” and “RS” in the title are finally connected (see yesterday)! It’s not clear where the characters are supposed to be standing. Doesn’t quite look like the Death Star, but it does kind of look like the Millennium Falcon cockpit. Though why there would be a stormtrooper in there is anybody's guess. Most likely this cover illustration is just meant to represent an amalgam of what readers will find inside. Luke’s lightsaber is still pink.
- Page 1: The title of this issue is “Death Star!”, which makes sense as that’s where the bulk of the action will take place.
- Page 2 (panel 1): Darth Vader seems more subservient to Grand Moff Tarkin than usual here. He even calls him “sir.” It’s hard to imagine that word coming from James Earl Jones’s voice in this role.
- Page 3 (panel 2): Luke sure is taking a long time to catch on to this whole “The Force” concept. I guess that’s what happens when you need to have some expository dialogue at the top of each issue.
- Page 3 (panel 4): How did Han get into that middle seat? Did he climb over Chewie?
- Page 4 (panels 5-6): “Yes, Ben Kenobi!” “Ready light-sabre!” “Light-sabre ready!” Just some funny lines.
- Page 6 (panel 1): The Falcon’s cockpit and the Dejarik table seem to be in the same room.
- Page 7 (panel 2): It’s weird to see the title “Mr.” in Star Wars.
- Page 9 (panel 5): This sounds nitpicky but the caption calls the Death Star’s hangar bay the “hang-bay.”
- Page 9 (panel 7): “…the fool or the man who follows him?” I like the way it’s phrased in the movie better.
- Page 10 (panel 3): TK-421 has become TX-421.
- Page 13 (panel 6): Cell block 1138 has become “TX 138” – a just-as-obvious reference to one of George Lucas’s previous films, THX 1138.
- Page 16 (panel 1): They make a pretty big deal here of Luke heroically shooting an unarmed Imperial officer in the back.
- Page 18: “Next issue: Ben Kenobi vs. Darth Vader– to the Death!” Can’t argue with that.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.