Star Wars Newspaper Strip Spotlight – ‘The Constancia Affair,’ Part 4

The panels in this week’s article were published each Sunday from May 27 to June 10, 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 are rescued by legendary smuggler Han Solo, and his equally legendary ship: the Millennium Falcon. Han questions Threepio, and finds out that Luke was on a secret mission to Constancia for the Rebel Alliance. But before Han can learn about the mission, they are discovered by an Imperial TIE Bomber patrol. Han engages the enemy and after losing the TIE Squadron in a meteorite ring surrounding Constancia, Han is forced to pilot the Falcon into a mysterious hangar bay carved inside a meteorite. There he meets a white-haired woman named Gamine, who explains that Han is needed to fill an extra suit of battle armor, to save the Constancian telepaths on the planet below from becoming slaves of the Empire! As we rejoin our heroes, Han is preparing to join Sharlee in an escape pod, from which they plan to launch an attack inside of an Imperial Boarding Craft once captured…

Now, back to our story!

Han, trying to convince Gamine that he’s really volunteering because it’s best for him and his ship which is really just his personal cover up, he dons the battle armor. Irritated that he’s in this position, he tells Luke to call someone else next time he’s in trouble. Luke volunteers to fight alongside Sharlee, but Gamine reasons that she needs an experienced fighter with her. Sharlee and Han board the pod, and immediately take off from Outpost 8. Gyla, who has become somewhat fond of Han over the course of their adventures together, whispers to him to be careful as she watches the escape pod blast off. Gamine reassures Gyla that, “Wearing battle armor in a tiny life-pod doesn’t offer much in romantic opportunities!” Meanwhile, Han and Sharlee don their battle helmets as another Imperial patrol spots them.

Sharlee sets her armor to Augment-9 where her armor will respond to her actions and 9 times faster than human, and quotes to a bewildered Han a saying about her people, which is reminiscent of Mandalorian warrior culture: “Born and buried in battle armor!” As we learned from the live-action series, The Mandalorian, Mandalorian recruits are trained as warriors from an extremely young age, and some versions of their code include the rule that after taking the Creed, one cannot remove one’s helmet in public ever again.

Sharlee confirms that the fake S.O.S. signal coming from the pod is working, which will convince the incoming Imperial ships that a badly injured Luke and Gamine are onboard, ensuring that the Empire will capture the pod. As Sharlee and Han prepare to emerge from the pod, now inside the recovery bay of the Imperial Boarding Craft, the rotation servo in Han’s battle helmet breaks, forcing him to go without it, and leaving him without any facial protection. Left without the proper equipment for the mission, and without time to repair his helmet, blue-armored Han and pink-armored Sharlee charge into the cabin of the Bomber, their shoulder-mounted guns blazing!

Han and Sharlee call to each of their two shoulder-mounted weapons when they want them to fire, and the blasters respond with hearty laser blasts. Finally, all the Imperials are either dead or have surrendered, so Han and Sharlee take over the controls of the Boarding Craft just in time for them to hear the latest set of orders from Imperial Command: “The Rebel spacecraft Millennium Falcon is blasting away from the ice ring, heading toward the planet! Intercept it at once!”


COMING UP

Will Han and Sharlee be able to distract the Imperial escort long enough for the Falcon to escape? Will Gyla ever get Han to take her home? Will the Constancians be forced to live under the oppressive rule of the Empire? Find out next week, when I present the fifth and final chapter strip 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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