Star Wars Newspaper Strip Spotlight – ‘The Constancia Affair,’ Part 3

The panels in this week’s article were published each Sunday from April 29 to May 20, 1979.

Previously in ‘The Constancia Affair’…

After being deactivated and jettisoned right before the destruction of Luke Skywalker’s Y-Wing, protocol droid C-3PO and astromech R2-D2 hold little hope of survival. But suddenly, who should appear but Han Solo, legendary smuggler, and pilot of the famous freighter, the Millennium Falcon. After rescuing the droids, Han questions Threepio, and finds out that Luke was on a secret mission to Constancia for the Rebel Alliance! But before Han can begin theorizing as to Luke’s mysterious mission, an Imperial TIE Bomber spots the Millennium Falcon! Despite passenger Gyla Petro’s protests, a fight is imminent. As we rejoin our heroes, only a single TIE Bomber is left chasing the Falcon…

Now, back to our story!

To the delight of passenger Gyla Petro, the final TIE Bomber chasing the Falcon gives up, returning to its assigned Star Destroyer, and she gives Han a grateful hug. But Gyla’s delight soon turns into surprised irritation when Han begins to approach the nearby planet, Constancia, contrary to Gyla’s desire of returning to her home. Suddenly, an odd sight meets the passengers of the Falcon: a series of laser cannons on an asteroid, surrounding a hangar bay. Han voices the overall mood, “Is this a threat… or an invitation?” Not a word greets the Falcon over the comms as it enters the mysterious hangar.

Han instructs Gyla to stay in the cockpit, and he is greeted by name from a strange sight: “A battle droid! Or a human in battle armor… and it knows my name!” The battle armor-encased human wears pink armor mounted with many laser cannons, and topped with a helmet. Han admits to the figure that he doesn’t recall having met them before. The figure responds “Oh… we have never met, Han Solo!-” the young woman inside the suit removes her helmet, revealing a head of white feathered hair, “… but a friend of yours has been telling me all about you!”

The woman, named Sharlee, welcomes Han to the station called, Outpost 8, and compliments Chewbacca on his piloting. Han calls to Chewie, still in the cockpit with Gyla, “Hear that? You’ve got an admirer!” Han begins asking Sharlee a barrage of questions, but is interrupted by none other than Luke Skywalker himself! Luke explains that he was rushing a short woman in a red jumpsuit, who he introduces as Gamine, to the planet below when the Empire caught them. So Luke and Gamine left the droids in space, attached to a beacon designed to signal the Falcon, and got away in the Y-Wing’s escape pod, which was pulled into the asteroid hangar via tractor beam. Sharlee then explains that she was informed that Han could use battle armor, and that she has an extra suit she needs him to fill.

Gyla comes out of the Millennium Falcon and joins them. “That walking throw-rug you left me with isn’t very entertaining company!” After cold-shouldering Gyla, Gamine communicates the explanation to all of Han’s questions through her telepathic eyes! She explains that some people on Constancia have learned how to use telepathy, and that they’ve kept it secret from the Empire. But while Gamine was away from Constancia, the Empire discovered Constancia and the Constancian telepaths, and are now threatening to destroy the planet if they don’t put their abilities at the Empire’s disposal. Han breaks away from his connection with Gamine’s mind, reacting to it much as someone whose mind has been invaded and sifted through by a Force-user would. He then agrees to don the spare set of battle armor and help Sharlee in the coming battle.


COMING UP

What will Han have to do to save Constancia? Will Gyla Petro ever get home? Find out next time when I present Part 4 of the Constancia Affair!


Author Biography

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 Legends-inspired in my spare time. May The Force Be With You, Always!

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