DrunkWooky’s Crystal Ball Spec just in time for the release of Star Wars The Force Awakens
Recently, I was reading through my old Star Wars vol. 1 issues. I came across the “Star Words” column in the back of issue #41 and found a curious tale about the illustration of Yoda in #42 being based on the concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Because Yoda’s appearance was a closely guarded secret prior to the June 20, 1980 release of The Empire Strikes Back, McQuarrie’s depiction of Yoda in concept art was all the pencilers had to go off of.
The original depiction of McQuarrie’s Yoda appears in The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of The Empire Strikes Back paperback book. The reason for this is that the Paperback book was published in May of 1980, a full month prior to the release of the Empire Strikes Back Film. Issue #42 of Star Wars vol. 1 was published on September 23, 1980. This gave Marvel time to adapt Yoda to the cinematic depiction.
The Empire Strikes Back Illustrated McQuarrie version of Yoda.
Star Wars issue #42 Yoda.
What’s interesting is that Star Wars vol. 1, issue #42 is also widely considered to be Boba Fett’s “first appearance.” The book goes for $50.00 and upwards, depending on condition, raw on eBay. Graded copies can reach the $300.00 mark.
Cover to The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of The Empire Strikes Back
I recently purchased a few copies of this paperback which collects Star Wars vol. 1, issues 39-44. The book can be found in varying degrees of condition for $5-10. Will this book heat up? Who knows. Boba Fett’s Mandalorian Krayt Dragon symbol was seen in The Force Awakens trailers, however, this likely just an Easter egg for hawk-eyed fans. Boba Fett has always been a wildly popular character and, objectively, has little screen time between all six films.
Krayt Dragon Flag in Force Awakens Trailer.
If Boba Fett appears in the Force Awakens, we have huge potential for a speculative boom around Boba Fett. If not, the character will always remain popular. The fact of the matter is that The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of The Empire Strikes Back is Boba Fett’s first comic appearance, even prior to his cinematic debut.
Now, some die hard fans will say, “What about the Star Wars Holiday Special!? That aired on November 17, 1978!” Yes it did, Die Hard Fan. But George Lucas made it clear that that will never see the light of day as an officially licensed product. Disney may disagree, but the fact of the matter is that, even if it were released, comics will always be more collectable than a dvd or blu ray.
For now, DrunkWooky out!
Boba Fett’s other “first appearance” in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
Alex Ross’ bad-ass adaptation for Marvel’s Darth Vader #1