Published: April 1, 1978
Script Writer: Donald F. Glut
Artist/Co-plotter: Howard Chaykin
Co-artist/Embellisher: Tom Palmer
Editor/Co-plotter: Roy Thomas
Layouts: Alan Kupperberg
Colourist: Françoise Mouly
Letterer: John Costanza
The Behemoth, a giant reptilian monster, is on the rampage and Han Solo may be a small village’s only hope.
For issue 10 it was all change for the creative team. A strange decision for me early on especially mid-arc, but comics did function differently in those days. Out for this issue also was the now legendary Archie Goodwin with Donald F. Glut coming onboard as Script Writer and after all these years that really took me by surprise. I knew the name rang a bell, but why? Then it hit me, Glut was the writer who novelisation of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. I had never realised he was involved in Star Wars at such an early stage.
Last time out, the village shaman had raised the ‘behemoth’ from inside the mountain as Han Solo and his band of misfits defended the village from Serji-X and his Cloud Riders. The shaman seems to be in control of the behemoth’s actions, and it is taking its toll on the Cloud-Riders, helping Solo and his team in their efforts. Serji-X has noticed that it is the shaman that has control of the behemoth and heads in to attack the old man. As he swoops close to him the behemoth brings down his giant foot crushing Serji-X and the shaman beneath it.
The Cloud-Riders fall back when they see their leader’s fate. Solo and his team regroup and try to formulate a plan. There is no one controlling the behemoth now and that could be the end of the village they have sworn to protect.
The story takes a huge twist in the first phase of this issue. The shaman being struck down by his own actions is either a huge misjudgement on his behalf, taking out Serji-X is all well and good, but he pays the ultimate sacrifice. In the last issue I has assumed that Don-Wan had been killed when protecting Amaiza and I was ‘amazed’ to see him back in action here. Saved by his armour, who’d have thought it?
Jaxxon takes the situation into his own hands and breaks ranks followed by Amaiza. He attacks the behemoth, but boulders rain down on him, pinned a scrabbling for his blaster Amaiza pulls him clear as a boulder lands where he was stood.
Now it’s the turn of Don-Wan to take on the behemoth. He sneaks off from the group while they are distracted. Solo turns to see the old Jedi Knight moving towards the behemoth and calls out.
Princess Leis is aboard her space cruiser heading off on a mission to help Luke. She knows she could do with Han Solo and Chewbacca for help right now, but it’s up to her locate Luke.
I am starting to understand why Jaxxon has such a cult following. The creature shop at Lucasfilm over the years have come up with some absolutely mind-blowing aliens over the years. The way I describe him is a 6-foot bipedal green murder rabbit, although he is more lovingly known as a Lepi. The reason he is loved so much, is down to his arrogance and humour. He is unique and very human in every sense of the word and I am sure we will see more in the new era comics soon.
I like the use of the interlude at this point where we see Leia starting her search for Luke, yearning for the assistance of Han and Chewie. This where you get the feeling that she has forgiven Solo for leaving the cause to pay off Jabba.
For all his foolishness attacking the behemoth alone, it looks Don-Wan is onto something. His light-sabre (Note: This is not a misspelling on my behalf) seems to have an unusual influence on the beast. Solo notices these, but Hedji is next to join the action. Firing his quills at the behemoth but they have no effect.
Solo has an idea about the light-sabre. Chewie grabs Han and they race towards Don-Wan taking the glowing blade from his hand. Solo makes it to the behemoth and secretes the blade deep into the beast’s body. The beast goes berserk as they all dive for cover. Then a huge explosion within the beast brings it to the ground.
Mission accomplished for Solo and his team. Merri and the villagers approach them, but she makes a bee line for Jimm, “The Starkiller Kid”. She wants Jimm to stay on at the village he left when he was younger. He agrees to stay, but she thanks Solo for bringing the man out the ‘kid’ and says farewell with a kiss. Solo laments not getting the girl on this occasion as he and the remaining members of the team mount their Banthas and head off into the twin sun set.
The character development for Han Solo has been unusual. It was leaning towards him being seen as a cad, bounder and womaniser early on, but the hero we all love is back in the forefront again until his thoughts about Merri at the end. For me, Chewie at this point in time has been portrayed as just a sidekick and the brawn of the operation but I am sure that will develop in time.
Solo’s team are an eclectic bunch. Some bits work, but some don’t. The Don-Wan character was not a good choice, but I can understand why he was there. At this time, the only Jedi we knew was Obi-Wan Kenobi and we knew nothing about his or the Jedi’s past. Is the ‘Wan’ part of the name meant to signify a Jedi name? Also, there’s the suit of armour. Again, we have since seen Obi-Wan using clone armour in The Clone Wars, so this isn’t as farfetched, it’s just the design that makes him medieval looking.
Although a bit corny and a little too real world in places, on the whole, this is quite a neat story arc to start off the Expanded Universe. It introduces so many new characters in such a short space of time and we are soon whisked away from the comforts of the events of A New Hope. The Empire is not the enemy, and that is refreshing. At this point, it is very evident that the creative team have been given free rein to create pretty much anything they want. The artwork has improved issue by issue. It feels like they didn’t have much reference material to guide them and that left them finding and feeling for their way a little.
Issue 11 is entitled “Star Search!”, so what will be in store for us next? It definitely will be interesting to see what comes next.
The original Marvel Star Wars series ran from 1977 to 1986, encompassing 107 issues. Star Wars (1977) #10 is currently available in digital format from the Marvel Online Comic Store, via the Marvel App, comiXology or by subscribing to Marvel Unlimited. A physical copy can be found in one of the many trade paperback releases from Marvel. Please check with Amazon UK and US or your local comic bookstore for availability.