How A Single, Forgotten Marvel Comic Changed The 'Star Wars' Universe
We’re just over two months away from the release of Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which will hopefully dedicate an entire episode to the night of binge drinking that somehow eradicated poor, sweet R2-D2 from his memory. But long before this series, before even The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars franchise’s very first prequel similarly focused on Obi-Wan and was similarly set before A New Hope. It was, of course … some random Marvel comic book you’ve probably never heard of.
Back when Marvel first started publishing Star Wars comics – you know, the ones with the giant green bunny rabbit – a 1979 issue featured a flashback chronicling one of Ben Kenobi’s earlier adventures. This may not seem important, but this comic was the first to crack open that particular avenue of storytelling, which would soon become so fundamental to Star Wars. Unlike the prequel films, though, this comic featured a framing device, in which Leia recounts the second-hand tale shortly after escaping the Death Star.
This issue isn’t just the first Star Wars prequel; it’s also set on a galactic “pleasure cruiser.” Yeah, this 40-year-old comic also inadvertently laid the groundwork for Disney World’s pricey new hotel.
And since Obi-Wan’s movie costume hadn’t yet been established as Jedi robes, here he’s, not only jacked but basically dressed like one of the X-Men.
The story mostly involves space pirates – but Obi-Wan still finds time to murder a random drunken bar patron, which is apparently just a thing he does.
Perhaps the most weirdly prescient part of the book, however, appears in the letters section of the back, featuring a fan complaint that the comics don’t feature enough romance, and specifically, Luke and Leia “act more like brother and sister than sweethearts.”
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Top Image: Lucasfilm/Marvel