Wednesday 24 July 2013

1980: STAR WARS WEEKLY issue 100 (Marvel UK)


I teased it yesterday but here it is: the cover and feature pages from the landmark 100th issue of STAR WARS WEEKLY, published in January 1980.

The main attraction was an extended instalment of the SW strip: the first 17 pages of the 1st US STAR WARS ANNUAL (US annuals were/ are one-shots, boasting an extended page count, published in the usual comic book format and not to be confused with their British hardback namesakes) but it's the supporting text features which are the most fun to see again.

The retrospective of the first 100 issues is unusual although, in addition to the quoted credits, it would have been nice to see the cover artists name-checked as well.

The 'co-stars of the future' montage looks like it could double as an add for FUTURE TENSE (launched late the same year) although only Warlock, Star-Lord and the Micronauts actually appeared in the short-lived anthology.

C-3PO never did get to see issue 200.  A schedule change to monthly in late 1980 (coinciding, not coincidentally, with the launch of Future Tense) drastically slowed the release schedule and the original numbering was abandoned - in favour of resetting with a new launch issue - with the release of RETURN OF THE JEDI.


  1. My memory of the SW strips is very poor but I'm sure there was a Marvel version of Jabba the Hut long before the famous one in ROTJ - this Marvel Jabba was an alien but humanoid looking. Of course in the 1977 film there was a human Jabba so 3 versions in all.

    1. Yup, there was. Twice. As Marvel was preparing their adaptation (which - contractually - had to have the first couple of issues on sale BEFORE the movie came out) the Jabba scene was still in the film but - of course - hadn't been completed. It was shot with a tubby chap and the plan was to replace him in post-production. That plan, for cost, time and narrative reasons, was abandoned but - crucially - after Marvel had to deliver. So they made a 'best-guess' interpretation... and hoped for the best.

      They later - in the period between TNH and ESB - brought the character back. It's interesting that Lucasfilm, who were notoriously hard work to deal with later (one of the reasons Marvel cited for abandoning the still steady-selling license in the mid-eighties) seemed to have no problem.

      Marvel didn't make any attempt to reconcile the very different looking Hutt's later.

    2. In the SW Special edition we see a CGI Jabba replacing the original actor but I got the impression from ROTJ that Jabba was so hideous and bloated that he never went far from his palace and certainly didn't wander around the back streets of the local towns on his own. They should have dropped that whole Han/ Jabba scene altogether.

    3. I agree completely. And the CGI was pretty hopeless too. It seemed to me to be something that they chucked into the film to give them a promotable hook to hang the numerous press coverage, magazine articles and behind-the-scenes programmes and features that accompanied the re-release of the trilogy.

      Come to think of it... most of the CGI was pretty poor... they could't even make the landspeeder look convincing in the new shots.

    4. I don't understand the obsession with CGI - the models in the original trilogy were fantastic and realistic . But in the late '90s they went overboard with the new technology - it wasn't just SW, I was horrified at the remake of The Haunting, one of the best ever films about the paranormal, which was utterly ruined by a garbage plot and a total orgy of CGI.

  2. Last night I went on an epic journey back through all your posts - you certainly have a lot of stuff but not very much on '70s Spider Man, is that still to come ? I never knew that Dez Skinn tried to block the U.S. X Men comic but some must have got through as I bought a copy of X Men 120 " Chaos In Canada " in April '79. Your post on the Dracula lolly reminded me of the Space: 1999 ice lolly , I suppose there were other themed lollies but that's the one I remember most.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to have a look back. I hope you found some cool stuff there that stirred some memories.

      Yup, you're right: I've not done a great deal with the 1970s Spidey weekly. That's partly because there are so many of them and I can't claim to have a full collection. In fact, it's scattered across several locations and I'm not sure exactly what i do have... or how large the gaps are. I'm pretty certain that the first 50-100 issues are pretty sparse, although I do have a copy of the first issue filled somewhere.

      I think media tie-in ice lollies were pretty common. I remember that there were STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE ones which came with a free trading card in the packages (none of which I kept - doh!) that could be easily damaged if the lolly leaked. A Darth Vader ESB lolly also rings a bell but I don't recall if it had a card.

      Strangest food-based tie-in: I can remember (being very little at the time) seeing tins of long-life milk (no idea which brand) which had a THE BLACK HOLE tie-in. The label-back (if such thing is possible on a circular item) contained stills from the film and - I'm sure - there was some sort of competition or mail-away offer as well (there usually is). For some reason, my Mum never saw the need to buy long-life milk just so that I could admire the tin. I think I saw them in a branch of the chain INTERNATIONAL (my small town also had a LIPTONS, a TESCO and a MACE on the same high street) which is another blast-from-the-past.

    2. I wish I could say I had any of my '70s Marvels but not a single one remains- I know my first SMCW was No. 103. That's what's so fantastic about the internet- being able to see them all again, even if it's only the covers and there are all those Marvel Essentials paperbacks with the actual strips although it rather depends on what Forbidden Planet happens to stock.


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