In a galaxy far, far away… in 1977 , a little SciFi movie Star Wars came out and changed everything forever! Star Wars has become a huge global pop culture phenomenon, and has inspired and excited billions of fans worldwide! Star Wars #1 from Marvel Comics published in 1977 is the very first Star Wars comic, and is this week’s Key Comic post.
The story goes that George Lucas initially reached out to Stan Lee about doing a Star Wars comic prior to the film’s release. Stan Lee declined, stating that the film was not yet finish and that movie tie-in did not sell very well at the time. Charles Lippincott, who worked for Lucasfilm setup another meeting however this time with Roy Thomas and was able to make a publishing deal for Marvel Comics to create the Star Wars comics. Marvel’s best selling comic of the time was Amazing Spider-Man selling 250,000 issues a month, when the first couple of issues of Star Wars sold over a million issues, almost four times their best seller! It is a good thing too, according to Jim Shooter, Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief at the time, the strong sales of the Star Wars comics in the seventies saved Marvel Comics financially!
Recently, with both Star Wars and Marvel Comics owned by the Walt Disney company, Marvel has released a new line of Star Wars comics, and has been the best selling comic series so far for 2015. All in anticipation and excitement, for the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out December 18!
Fun Facts: this comic actually came out a few months before the movie came out, and helped generate the anticipation and excitement factor for the upcoming blockbuster film! Since the film was not finished, writer Roy Thomas and artist Howard Chaykin had to create this comic based on a few still images and the initial first draft of the script from the movie. This led to some inclusions of some scenes that were not in the final cut of the film. The first 6 issues of the series adapted the movie storyline, Marvel then created original new stories set in the Star Wars universe. Marvel’s Star Wars series ended its nearly ten year run with Issue #107, continuing for three years after the Return of the Jedi left theaters. After a four year absence in comics, the Star Wars comics license went to Dark Horse Comics, starting with the Dark Empire #1 in 1990. Dark Horse Comics would publish a ton of Star Wars comics for an incredible twenty plus year run, before the license returned back to Marvel Comics/Disney earlier this year.
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #45 (2015) has the NearMint of this comic at $200.00. The value has increased 60% since the year before, and an overall increase of $170.00 (667%) since 1999. With Disney paving the way for many future upcoming Star Wars films, the high demand for Star Wars comics including this very desirable first one will continue to rise to stellar heights!
Here are the other classic Star Wars comics to hunt for:
Star Wars #1 (rare- 35 cent variants only released in four states, priced $6000 in the Overstreet Price Guide!)
Star Wars #7 (1st original new Star Wars story from Marvel)
Star Wars #42 (1st appearance Boba Fett)
Star Wars #107 (final Marvel issue, low print run and distribution)
Star Wars: Dark Empire #1 (First Dark Horse Star Wars comic)