Dig These 13 Far Out STAR WARS Characters Found Only in Classic MARVEL COMICS

MAY THE FOURTH: A look back at when the House of Ideas had a lot of them about Star Wars


Back in that wonderful, magical year of 1977, I would never have imagined that one day my very own birthday, May 4, would become the official Star Wars Day.

Who knew?

In fact, with anything concerning Star Wars back then, nobody knew anything.

We had one movie. We also had a comic book, but the people who made it had the same thing as the rest of us: one movie. That’s when the fun began. And the weirdness. Oh, yeah, there was a lot of that. In lieu of any real, tangible knowledge of what George Lucas may or may not have planned for an alleged sequel—and in 1977, we were only thinking about one sequel—the folks at Marvel just made stuff up as they went along. It was fascinating, because unlike today, there was a sense that the writers and artists could pretty much do whatever they wanted.

The first issue after the six-issue film adaptation. Cover by Gil Kane and Tony DeZuniga.

And they did. And that’s what I want to celebrate today on my birthday. Crazy thing is… it’s true. It’s all true.

Here are 13 FAR OUT STAR WARS CHARACTERS FOUND ONLY IN CLASSIC MARVEL COMICS. If you haven’t met them before, get ready for weirdness. You’ve been warned:

Don-Wan Kihotay (Star Wars #8). Look past the goofy name and you’ll find one of the very first Force-sensitive characters beyond Luke and Obi-Wan we ever had. He wasn’t exactly a Jedi—more like a Jedi fanboy—but he meant well. You should’ve seen him tilting at moisture vaporators.

Writer: Roy Thomas. Artists: Howard Chaykin and Tom Palmer.

Master-Com (Star Wars #18). To call Master-Com a droid would be an understatement. It was actually a supercomputer that ran the very-cool space station called the Wheel and had a series of robotic voices created by the station’s administrator, Simon Greyshade. Master-Com’s other claim to fame was being drawn by Carmine Infantino, which made him uniquely artistic in form.

Writer: Archie Goodwin. Artists: Carmine Infantino and Gene Day.

Domina Tagge (Star Wars #35). If one Tagge wasn’t enough—the Death Star officer dude with the bad haircut—the comic introduced a whole family of them, including the redheaded beauty Domina. She was sort of one of the franchise’s first femme fatales, though she was raised in a monastery. She also went after Luke for revenge when her brother Orman was killed by Vader.

Writer: Archie Goodwin. Artists: Carmine Infantino and Gene Day.

Cody Sunn-Childe (Star Wars #46). The Star Wars comic had a lot of characters with goofy names, yes, and while this guy only appeared in one issue, I always thought he had a lot of potential. His shtick was that he could make dreams come true. Well, he certainly did for me… that is, if my dreams were of an alien Rebel who only appeared once.

Writer: J.M. DeMatteis. Artists: Carmine Infantino and Tom Palmer.

Plif (Star Wars #55). Yep, you knew this one was coming. You thought you’d see him and the big green rabbit, but anybody can be a Jaxxon fan. It takes real guts to be a Plif fan. And seriously, how could you not love a little telepathic alien like him? He was so popular that he kept appearing in the comic all the way to its end. You just can’t keep a good Hoojib down.

Writer: David Michelinie. Artists: Walt Simonson and Tom Palmer.

Shira Brie (Star Wars #56). Ah, Shira Brie. She was an early romantic interest for Luke before we discovered she was an Imperial agent planted in the Alliance to crush Skywalker either emotionally or physically. It’s a shame she later became a Vader-like cyborg called Lumiya, but at least we still got to stay in her orbit. Ah, Shira Brie…

Writers: Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson, and David Michelinie. Artists: Walt Simonson and Tom Palmer.

Fenn Shysa (Star Wars #68). Remember when we knew virtually nothing about Mandalorians? That was when Fenn Shysa came in, as a stand-in for when the comics people couldn’t use Boba Fett but wanted someone who looked like him. He had a really annoying Irish-esque accent, but he got to kiss Princess Leia, so he wasn’t all bad. In fact, he was kind of a cool character.

Writer: David Michelinie. Artists: Gene Day and Tom Palmer.

Rik Duel (Star Wars #70). Our boy Rik here was a Han Solo clone in a way, another Corellian smuggler who ran up against the rebels. He had a beard, and a ship called the Moonshadow, but he always stood in the shadow of Solo, even when Han was in carbonite. I guess one of the coolest things about Rik is the company he kept. You’ll see what I mean in the next entry.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Kerry Gammill and Tom Palmer.

Dani (Star Wars #70). Red-purple skin, guns, sex appeal—there wasn’t much Dani the Zeltron didn’t have, and she went on to make a lot of appearances in the comic. Like her partner Rik Duel, she had a past with Han Solo, and soon sported a hopeful future with Luke, but Luke didn’t go in for her obvious talents. Dani then fell in love with two guys down on our list.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Kerry Gammill and Tom Palmer.

Drebble (Star Wars #71). Leave it to the Marvel Star Wars comic to create a businessman character and expect him to fit right in with Jedi and Wookiees and droids, etc. Drebble was a plus-size guy who became a foil for Lando Calrissian and someone you just wanted to punch in the face. A lot.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Ron Frenz and Tom Palmer.

Kiro (Star Wars #75). Golden-skinned, bug-eyed Kiro was an Iskalonian who was Force-sensitive and trained with Luke to fulfill his wish to become a Jedi Knight. That took some doing, because Luke had a fear of creating another Darth Vader, but eventually, after a few adventures, Kiro trained as what we would now call a Padawan learner.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Kerry Gammill and Tom Palmer.

LE-914 (Star Wars #80). Remember those Bothans who had to die in order for the Alliance to get the intel on the second Death Star? Well, “Ellie” here was involved in that story, and I have to say, it’s one of the real tearjerkers of the original Marvel run. Look this one up; you’ll be glad you did.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Ron Frenz and Tom Palmer.

Knife (Star Wars #91). This guy was of the Nagai species and sported the full name of Ozrei N’takkilomandrife. Yeah, now you know why he was called “Knife.” Anyway, he was a pretty big thorn in the Rebels’ sides, and even kidnapped Chewbacca’s family to hold them hostage while he, get this, set up a slave ring on the Wookiee homeworld. Yep, quite the a-hole.

Writer: Jo Duffy. Artists: Ron Frenz, Tom Palmer and Tom Mandrake.


— MAY THE FOURTH: Childhood in 1977 — When It Was Just Called STAR WARS. Click here.

— The REBEL TRANSPORT AT 40: A Near-Perfect Gift for the Serious STAR WARS Kid. Click here.

When JIM BEARD’s not editing and publishing through his two houses, Flinch Books and Becky Books, he’s pounding out adventure fiction with both original and licensed characters. In fact, he’s put words in the mouths of Luke Skywalker, Superman, Fox Mulder, Carl Kolchak, Peter Venkman and the Green Hornet… and lived to tell about it. His latest pop culture non-fiction tome is D20 or Die!, available here.



His latest pop culture non-fiction tome is The Old Origin Changeth!, available here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I noticed the Scoutship from the Leif Ericcson model kit ( designed by Star Trek’s Matt Jefferies) on the cover of the above “The Old Origin Changeth”. Interesting.

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    • Didn’t know what you meant at all, so asked the artist and he got a little chuckle out of it. He showed me what you mean, and while they’re similar (and I can see that), it’s not the same ship. The artist would never swipe something. I have great trust in his integrity as a professional.

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  2. Happy, HAPPY Birthday, Jim and may You have a Gazillion more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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