From October 1982: A Marvel STAR WARS adventure which will seem a lot more familiar to British Starloggers than our American cousins: WORLD OF FIRE.
This Chris Claremont penned adventure (art by Carmine Infantino and Gene Day) was first published in March 1980 in the pages of STAR WARS WEEKLY (issues 107-115), one of several "buffer" strips inserted into the UK run whenever it looked close to running out of material (Marvel were smart enough to realize a repeat of an Apeslayer style deadline crunch should be avoided at all costs). By this point, SWW was already the first-run outlet for the strips, appearing in the UK before they were 'reprinted' (albeit in colour) in the US monthly.
It's unclear whether this, and the other UK exclusive strips emanating out of the US Bullpen, were ever penciled into the American book's schedules or whether they were always created on the understanding that they would only be seen oversees. If the latter was the case, it's interesting that by 1980 the NY office didn't just tell the post-Revolution British Bullpen (by now adept, albeit sometimes reluctant, at producing strips in-house) to "sort it out yourselves".
It's also odd, but presumably down to licensing and cash, that the US didn't see the launch of a second, companion, title to the core monthly ala the multiple Spider books of the era (partly created to ensure that the British weekly was never short of reprints). A second book would almost certainly have increased overall sales (even if the core book took a slight hit) and would have helped ensure the Weekly was kept well-stocked.
Regardless of plans, this adventure was left on the shelf once THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK hit and Marvel switched to a succession of self-contained post-movie stories. Once again, they could have presented it as a post-movie adventure (with, perhaps, new wraparound bookends to position it as a flashback tale) but it turned up here, as a hard-to-find, black & white paperback instead.
I've never seen a copy in stores (at a guess I would say UK distribution was virtually non-existent) so I eventually took the plunge and ordered this copy on-line.
It's officially STAR WARS 2 because Marvel had already published the 1977 paperback version of the movie adaptation. They presumably chose to ignore that they had already published a second SW paperback: the 1980 outing of The Empire Strikes Back.
Ironically, the strip is actually pretty symbolic for me as issue 110 was the first issue of SWW I ever owned. Although, thanks to School Fairs and a market stall, I soon amassed a substantial selection of earlier issues.
For the record, the other UK-only strips that appeared in SWW were Way of the Wookiee (SWW 94-96), The Day After The Death Star (97-99) and The Weapons Master (104-106). SWW also reprinted the strips from PIZZAZZ magazine which also didn't form part of the regular US run.
These extra strips (and their excellent original covers) are usually omitted from compilations of the US runs but they can be found in the WILD SPACE collection (along with the latter post-ESB British created strips and other oddities). Snap up a copy of this Dark Horse published book whilst you can as it will, presumably, drift out of print now that the license has shifted to Marvel again. Those hefty hardback Marvel omnibuses are, once again, skipping these adventures. They've never been published in colour (SWW and this paperback are both black & white) and, presumably, the colour work was never completed.