Thursday, 10 September 2015

Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?

Starcat reviews Star Wars comics: STAR WARS (part three)

The story so far: Luke has taken his first step into a larger world.

Is that supposed to be Alderaan exploding in the lower left of the first panel there?

The story swiftly moves on to the Millennium Falcon arriving at the Death Star.

Governor Tarkin says
I'll find that hidden fortress -- if I have to destroy every star system in this sector!
Perhaps this is a reference to one of the great film influences on Star Wars, Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress?

Darth Vader's footnote has been censored, maybe it referred to an earlier comic, or perhaps even one of the never-made earlier Episodes of the Star Wars saga?

Ben Kenobi asks Han Solo
Who is more foolish -- the fool, or the man who follows him?
which is a subtly different philosophical question from the one he asks in the film.

Luke has stolen TK-421's* armour and they use it to ambush the baddys. This baddy in particular makes a funny face before he is thlapped by Chewbacca.

Ben Kenobi goes to turn off the tractor beam keeping the Millennium Falcon here, leaving the others behind to hide.

* 421st of the TKs. This joke (c) Adam Buxton.

Luke also has a hidden footnote as he fills Han in on the plot so far, and he promises Han will get moneys if Han will help him rescue Princess Leia.

Luke, Han and Chewbacca go off to do their rescue plan, leaving C3PO and R2D2 behind to hide. C3PO uses his ingenuity to keep them from being captured by Stormtroopers, although this bit is not depicted in the comic.

Surprisingly, here we see the most famous and oft-quoted line in the whole of Star Wars
"Prisoner transfer from cell block 1138."
is different. As it is well known that Mark Hamill improvised that line on set, I am given to wonder if the dialogue in the comic is based on the original script and not copied from what was really said in the finished film?

Chewbacca goes into Batman mode here, fighting the baddys with a full range of sound effects including "ARROOOO", "GNRRR", "ZIK", "ZURK", "HNGH" and "FRAP"!

Why open a door when you could blast it? Much more dramatic. Here is one area where the comic takes an opportunity to definitively improve on the film. It must also serve to help convince Princess Leia that Luke really is a rescuer, as a real Stormtrooper would never shoot open one of his own doors (unless of course he was aiming at something else, lol).

Princess Leia can also tell because Luke is too short to be a real Stormtrooper. She must be very perceptive, since none of the real Stormtroopers noticed.
I am too long to be a Stormtrooper, which is good because I am not a Stormtrooper. I am a cat. Mew.

Here is one of the biggest omissions in the whole comic (akin in magnitude to Tom Bombadil being missed out from adaptations of The Lord of the Rings) when the whole escape into, and then out of, the garbage masher is covered over by a single caption.

This is a shame as that section allows C3PO and R2D2 to be seen to be clever when they avoid the Stormtroopers and then rescue their friends, and it shows Princess Leia take charge of her own rescue. Here we only see Princess Leia take charge by arguing with Han, which is not quite the same thing and not as strong in story terms.

Han calls Princess Leia "your Holiness" so he has mistaken a Princess for a Pope. Silly manny!

On that bombshell I will leave it for now. Join me next time when there will be a lightsabre fight and... well, isn't that enough?

Appendix 2

The third set of adverts during the September 1983 showing of Star Wars on the Grampian region of ITV fell as Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke and Han were trapped in the garbage masher and unable to raise C3PO on the communicator. These adverts are:

1. The Home Computer Course magazine (short version)

An abbreviated version of the advert shown during the second ad break.

2. British Airways

This advert for "the world's favourite airline" does not seem to be on the internets, but it is very boring so that may be for the best.

3. A Finger of Fudge

A musical advert featuring the same song as in the above video, but with different visuals. The song would later be referenced in Games Workshop's Warhammer Quest.

4. Persil Automatic

A complete West End Musical in miniature, one of the most fabulous of adverts and a great favourite with cats. We don't know what Persil Automatic is.

5. Headland Homes

Almost no information seems to exist about Headland Homes on the internets, never mind any videos, making this one of the most obscure adverts.

6. Scotrail Spectacular

"This is the age of the train". An age we don't talk about any more because of the manny who advertised it.

7. Superman III

A cut-down version of the above trailer, mainly featuring footage from the last 10 seconds. Superman III was released in UK cinemas in July 1983, making this advert the best source for dating the TV broadcast of our copy of Star Wars.

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