Star Wars: unfinished tales, 1980-81
Disclaimer: it would be really, really dumb of me to claim that I own any part of Star Wars, because I don’t.
If you’ve even glanced through the “kid comics” section of ArtValt, you may have been impressed by the number of projects I carried all the way to the finish line as a youngster. To be honest, it didn’t seem like anything special to me then or now. To be a successful comic book artist (whether money is involved or not), that’s just what you do; finish what you start. Honestly, I was sort of amazed to learn as I got older how rare that drive was.
For the sake of full disclosure, it should be known that I did NOT in fact finish EVERYTHING I started. This collection right here rounds up five separate homemade Star Wars comics that didn’t reach their respective finales for one reason or another.
This was one of my occasional attempts to break away from the standard-format comic book narrative into more of an illustrated novella. Odds are I just didn’t have a strong enough idea for the plot to get past page 1, so I dropped it in favor of something else.
I’m guessing this one had a similar explanation. I really liked – and still like – how the first page looks, but it wasn’t enough to motivate me into drawing a second page. Sorry, exiles, I guess you’re still exiled.
You may remember my first graphic novel was titled Escape from Yavin, but that was done prior to the premiere of Empire. A year later, with all the new tones and elements roaring through my head, I thought I could do a better and more intense version. But it never went past this title page. I probably decided it wasn’t worth retreading old ground.
This story was based on the Star Trek episode Devil in the Dark. I hadn’t seen it, but I read a description of it somewhere and decided to do a Star Wars take on it. This was the only page I drew for that incarnation, but it wasn’t the end of this particular idea.
In fact, I liked it enough to upgrade it to a rare, full-color version. I managed to get seven pages in before deciding that it wasn’t worth continuing and moved on to another idea I liked better (though I don’t remember which one that was; there were so many back then). Anyway, here’s what I managed to finish…
The last entry from the archive of unfinished tales went on for quite a bit longer than the others. I picked up the term “Shock Troops” from somewhere and thought it sounded cool. Back then, a cool term was enough to spark a story for me, so I went with it.
Danger: Shock Troops went on for more pages than many of the other Star Wars comics I’d completed. I had all the momentum I needed, it seemed, until I got to the climactic fight and it just dribbled away. I still don’t know why. Whatever itch the name gave me was thoroughly scratched by the time I got to the bottom of page 24. I’ll just say Luke Skywalker won the fight and that’s really all you need to know. But here’s the whole thing either way…
When I dug all those unfinished tales out of the vault, I found a smattering of one-off illustrations in the same folder. Enjoy.
And don’t worry, more completed Star Wars comics are on the way. LOTS more.