While recently rifling through the boxes of stuff I still have cluttering up my parents house, I found one containing my old Star Wars Weeklycomics from the seventies.
For many a young Star Wars fan in 1970’s Britain this was their first exposure to the galaxy far, far away.
While the movie was released in London at the tail end of 1977, over half a year after it debuted in the US, it took many months to reach the rest of the country outside the capital. The Marvel Comics adaptation first appeared on UK shores in the shape of a reprinted large format 2 issue US Treasury Edition, but more widely in February 1978 with Marvel UK’s immensely popular Star Wars Weekly.
The 6 issue monthly US run was divided and published across 12 black & white weekly UK issues – with various age-innapropriate back up stories making up the rest of the comic.
While itshared a few covers with its monthly US cousin, the vast majority were different – and at times bear little resemblance in terms of look, plot, or character to the actual movie. What they do have in spades is bombast and melodrama.
This was the way I understood Star Wars until I was actually taken to see it (in April 1978, a year after it’s US release). Seeing these covers reawakened evocative memories of those months before I saw the movie, of what I thought was happening in the story, rather than what actually did.
So here they are – to experience for the first time or to rekindle childhood memories – the first twelve Marvel UK Star Wars Weekly covers.
Checking out these covers was quite a blast down memory lane. One thing I do remember is that I was often more excited than my friends about the latest issue coming out. For instance I have a vivid memory of taking issue 5 out on the playground to read (in the rain) because I couldn’t wait until later, while my friends just wanted to run around. Even then it seemed I was a bigger Star Wars fan than my peers.
Star Wars is now back with Marvel Comics (as they are both owned by Disney), and a new generation of Star Wars fan is going to grow up with their own movies – starting with The Force Awakens – and hopefully a Marvel Comics adaptation too.
I can’t help but wonder if my daughter will have her own memories of Star Wars comic covers, as vivid as those I have for these British ones.