The Chewbacca You’ve Always Wanted

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If you are anything like me, you watched Star Wars as a child and had dreams of robots, aliens, and flying through hyperspace.  For most fans there is at least one scene or character that just grabs you and becomes a favorite.  For me, that is Chewie.  Chewbacca the Wookiee.  I don’t know if it was because he growled and threw people around, or if it was the way Han somehow knew what he was saying, or just that he was so darn BIG.  Whatever it was, I’ve been collecting everything from backpacks and mugs, to action figures with his likeness.

Kenner and Hasbro have been doing Star Wars action figures since the movies came out, but a relatively new company named Hot Toys just created the Chewbacca you have (well… I have) always wanted.

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Wookiee Madness! The Russ Manning Comic Strips

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It’s Wookiees Gone Wild!

From the moment Chewbacca graced the silver screen in 1977, the word Wookiee (two e’s at the end, please) became a household name. Until Episode III, we only saw Wookiees as background characters. There was the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, but many fans (and even George Lucas) don’t like to think back on that bit of riveting TV as part of the real Star Wars universe.

Back in 1979, however, there was a weekly comic strip that ran in many newspapers by Russ Manning. It was a fun strip that ventured into all kinds of areas and explored many plotlines. Many planets were traveled to, including Kashyyyk – home of the Wookiees.  The planet name was going through a bit of a transitional phase at that time. It was part of the 1978 Holiday Special, but was pronounced “Kazook.” In the Russ Manning comics it’s spelled Kazhyyyk (with a z). The expanded universe finally got a hold of itself soon after and decided that the proper spelling would be Kashyyyk and that one stuck.

Special thanks go out to my friends Rich Handley and Matt Bracher for these great scans.

Here’s a short description from Rich about the strip:

These are the only Star Wars comic stories from the L.A. Times newspaper strips (except for “Planet of Kadril”) that have never been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics. They represent one of two stories that ran on Sundays during the “Gambler’s World” storyline, which ran Mondays to Saturdays. (The other story was the one about Constancia, which was reprinted in a K*B Toys one-shot by Dark Horse.) Neither of the Sunday-only stories was printed with a title.

Here’s a quick word from Matt:

The impetus is that they were ALL posted on alt.binaries.starwars at some point and I’m re-experiencing their beauty and wonder. The poster even included a week of Russ Manning dailies that I’ve never seen before; part of the Tatooine story that never saw print. (Although, missing are the two weeks of dailies that Al Williamson did adapting the first film.)

What a great trip down memory lane for comic lovers.  Enjoy!

Russ Manning Comics Set 1

 

Russ Manning Comics Set 2

Jedi Master Yoda

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There’s no doubt that Yoda was one of the greatest Jedi Masters of all time. A lead Council member, instructor and a fierce yet reluctant fighter, he went toe to toe with the most formidable of opponents. Unfortunately, Episode III saw him retreating into exile to bide his time until an opportunity arose to set things right. Let’s take a look at some of Yoda’s deleted shots and scenes.

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Meanwhile, Back on Coruscant…

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Episode III turned out to be one of the most galaxy-spanning films of the series, mostly due to the fact that the Clone Wars were still happening. It became necessary to show Jedi and other characters at war all over. Our main characters also traveled heavily. Meanwhile, the puppet master and phantom menace himself – the soon to be Emperor Palpatine – was cementing his place of power on Coruscant, the heart of the galaxy. Here are a few more scenes we didn’t get to see concerning Coruscant.

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Coruscant: Capital of the Republic

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The city planet of Coruscant was known as the capital of what was yet to become known as the “Old Republic”. The prequels play out over the backdrop of the falling of the Republic and the establishment of a new Empire, still controlled from Coruscant by Palpatine. In The Phantom Menace, however, these events are only starting to rear their heads as the bureaucrats and senators go about their busy lives, unaware of the plot that’s being hatched beneath their very noses. Our time on Coruscant in The Phantom Menace is relatively brief but does result in a few interesting bits that fall into the area of cut or altered scenes. Let’s take a look at some of these. Read More