Star Wars Flashback – The Original Newspaper Strips: by Jonathan Marroquin

The cover of Marvel Star Wars The Epic Collection – The Newspaper Strips

Several weeks ago, I wrote recap/reviews of the Siege of Mandalore episodes from the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Now, I’m back, and in the coming weeks, I’ll be recapping all of the original Star Wars Newspaper Strips that were published between 1979 and 1984. I’m honored and excited to have this opportunity to read and recap these stories, since this is the first time I’ve read them (they were published several decades before I was born).

These strips were released many times with many iterations from Marvel and Dark Horse Comics. Highlights include Boba Fett’s comic debut; Luke’s love interest; Shadow Stormtroopers (which after some design modifications became Death Troopers as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) made their first appearance under their menacing commander, Blackhole; and Han Solo made a second Kessel Run! Every strip was jam-packed with action, and fans eagerly waited each day for the next part of the story.

Blackhole reports to Darth Vader

The Los Angeles Times Syndicate syndicated the daily Star Wars strip. Every Sunday a separate storyline was published. After the first two Sunday storylines had ended, all the strips followed one story.

Countless faces worked on these Star Wars strips, and I felt it necessary to pay tribute to a few. Russell “Russ” Manning, a comic writer, inker, and colorist, was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006 was the initial writer and artist. Manning got his start in comics when he drew cartoons for his army base while serving in the US Army in Japan.

When Russ manning had to retire because of health problems the strip was taken over by Alfredo Alcala, the creator of the Voltar comic series. He was a Filipino comic letterer, inker, and penciller, and receiver of the Inkpot Award in 1977. Alcala’s revealing drawings of Japanese gear and positions during the World War II Japanese occupation of the Philippines helped American forces.

After Alcala’s brief run, the strip was taken to the finish line by Archie Goodwin, who was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics during this time, and Al Williamson, who also worked on projects featuring Daredevil, Spider-Man, and Spider-Girl. Goodwin and Williamson continued the strip to the end in 1984 .

Luke attacks a pair of Blackhole’s Shadow Troopers in a colored reprint of Star Wars


Now that you’ve been introduced to the history of these strips, in my next article, Star Wars Newspaper Strip Spotlight – Issue #1, I will recap, ‘Constancia Affair’.

‘Constancia Affair’ Story Summary:

Hidden deep within a Rebel stronghold, protocol droid C-3PO recounts the Constancia Affair to Rebel archivist droid Mistress Mnemos. The story was originally published Sundays beginning on March 11 and ending on July 8, 1979.

The first Star Wars Sunday strip that begins the ‘Constancia Affair’.

Author Bio – Jonathan Marroquin

Hi, my name is Jonathan Marroquin. My first memory of Star Wars is seeing a dusty VHS tape in the corner, which my grandpa explained was a sci-fi movie. I fell in love with it immediately. In the next few days, I watched Star Wars: A New Hope more times than I could count. I like to say Star Wars was my first love, and it’s stayed true to me ever since. A LEGO enthusiast and stop-motion animator, I enjoy writing fan fiction in the Star Wars and Harry Potter universes. I also design LEGO starships both Canonical and Star Wars-inspired in my spare time. May The Force Be With You, Always!

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