DrunkWooky’s Crystal Ball Spec: First Appearance of Boba Fett

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.
image (11)The Empire Strikes Back Illustrated McQuarrie version of Yoda.
image (12)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.

However, if The Empire Strikes Back paperback was released four months before issue #42, the Empire Strikes Back Paperback would actually be Boba Fett’s first appearance.

image (13)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.

image (14)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!
image (15)Boba Fett’s other “first appearance” in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
image (16)Alex Ross’ bad-ass adaptation for Marvel’s Darth Vader #1

12 thoughts on “DrunkWooky’s Crystal Ball Spec: First Appearance of Boba Fett”

    1. I am one of the many people who have picked up a bootleg DVD of it over the years. I was 4 when it came on so I do not remember it well. The Holiday Special is something else. I have had my kids watch it and it is so out there

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  1. I always thought it was amazing that the Marvel comics issue of STAR WARS #1 also came out one full month before the movie showed up in theaters. I remember buying that issue (still have it!) and loving STAR WARS before I ever saw the movie.

    1. Wow I never knew that, I always assumed the comic was out after the film. It was probably out before the film then because they believed Star Wars wouldn’t be popular so felt no need to avoid spoilers etc

  2. Saw the film yesterday. Loved it. No spoilers here.

    I think it’s silly that the tpb isn’t considered Boba Fett’s first appearance. I bought the single issues of the ESB adaptation about 10 years ago from Ebay. It was my first Ebay purchase and I literally sent change in an envelope to the seller as payment. I think the whole set, including SW #42 for around $5.00 shipped.

    Now it goes for $45.00 to $50 raw routinely.

    1. I think the trade paperback actually came out after the magazine special edition comic and then was later reprinted in the book and then the comic series but not 100% sure. I think the reason for this is the grading companies will not grade the book and therefore do not count it as the first appearance.

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