"I suggest a new strategy, Artoo. Let... the wookiee... win!"
Star Wars 3
Star Wars 3
Vital statistics
Series Star Wars
Title "Death Star!"
Volume 1
Number 3
Cover date September, 1977
Cover price .35
Publisher Marvel Comics
Editor-in-Chief Archie Goodwin
Writers George Lucas; Roy Thomas [1]
Pencilers Howard Chaykin
Inkers Steve Leialoha
Cover Artists Dave Cockrum; Tom Palmer, Sr.
Colorists Carl Gafford; Steve Leialoha
Letterers Tom Orzechowski
Editors Roy Thomas
Issue navigation
Previous Star Wars #2
Next Star Wars #4

Plot Edit

Aboard the Death Star, Grand Moff Tarkin gives Princess Leia one last chance to reveal the location of the hidden Rebel Alliance base. If not, then he threatens to use the station's firepower against her home planet of Alderaan. Leia relents and gives Tarkin the name Dantooine. Satisfied with her answer, he nonetheless continues with the operation and gives the order to fire. In tears, Leia spits the words, "And you call yourselves humans!", to which Tarkin coldly replies, "You're far too trusting." A blast surges forth from the Death Star and Alderaan explodes.

Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan Kenobi feels a powerful surge in the Force. He describes it as a feeling of death and instructs Luke Skywalker to continue with his Jedi training. Pilot Han Solo pokes fun at Obi-Wan and Luke and their shared interest in a "hokey religion". In the corner of the room, the droid R2-D2 is playing (and beating) Chewbacca the wookiee at a holographic chess game. Chewbacca grows irritated and Han reminds the droids that wookiees are prone towards ripping peoples' arms out of their sockets when they lose. C-3PO advises his short companion to "...let the wookiee win". Luke meanwhile, continues practicing with his father's lightsaber. Obi-Wan sets up a targeting remote which emits short electrical bursts. Luke tries to deflect the bursts with a small degree of success.

Han brings the Falcon out of light speed and they find themselves smack in the middle of a meteor shower. Han checks his star charts and realizes that this is where Alderaan is supposed to be. He deduces that it has been destroyed. A rogue TIE fighter is seen navigating its way through the meteors and the Falcon crew, fearing that it might be able to identify them, decide to go after it. They track the ship towards what they believe is a small moon, but as they approach, they realize that it is in fact a space station - the Death Star. They try to turn around, but the Death Star locks the Falcon in its tractor beam. The ship is pulled into one of the station's hangar bays.

A scanning crew analyzes the ship, but pick up no signs of life. They believe that the crew may have escaped in life pods shortly after their initial departure. Darth Vader orders two Stormtroopers to inspect the interior of the ship. Sensing a mysterious presence, Vader muses to himself and takes his leave.

Han and the others are hiding inside secret compartments under the ship's deck plating. When the moment is right, they ambush the two Stormtroopers and take their uniforms. They leave the ship and manage to make their way to a computer room. Luke criticizes Han for his excessive use of a blaster and Chewbacca's perpetual "screaming". R2-D2 plugs into a computer outlet and finds the location of the tractor beam controls. He also discovers that Princess Leia is alive and is being held in the Death Star's prison block. While Obi-Wan Kenobi goes off to deactivate the tractor beam controls, Luke convinces Han and Chewie to help him rescue the princess.

Luke's plan involves Han and he continuing to masquerade as Stormtroopers while they "escort" Chewbacca to the cell block as part of a prisoner transfer. Chewbacca feigns breaking loose and Han and Luke begin blasting away at Stormtroopers and Death Star officers. Once the room is clear, Han checks the computer database and tells Luke that Leia is in cell number 2187. Luke goes off to find her, leaving Han and Chewbacca behind to hold off any more Stormtroopers that might come their way.

Luke makes his way down the cell block and finds Leia's cell. When she sees him, she snidely remarks, "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" Luke removes his Stormtrooper helmet and reveals that he is with Ben Kenobi and that he is here to rescue her. The two leave and meet back up with Han and Chewie in another section of the detention level. A squad of Stormtroopers come around the corner and open fire on them. Han and Chewbacca return fire while Luke desperately tries to get in contact with C-3P0.

Appearances Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The events from this issue take place in Year 0 BBY.
  • This issue went to second printing.
  • Many of the proper names used in this article are taken from the Star Wars Expanded Universe material and are not actually used in the content of this issue.
  • First full appearance of the exterior of the Death Star.
  • Commander Cass, seen briefly on page 15, appeared as part of the Imperial conference in issue #1.
  • In this issue it is Han Solo who incorrectly describes the Death Star as a small moon. In the film it was Luke Skywalker.
  • The holographic chess game that Artoo and Chebacca are seen playing is called Dejarik.
  • One of the Stormtroopers is identified as TX-421 in this issue. In Star Wars: A New Hope, his designation is actually TK-421. In the comic, TX-421 is part of the scanning crew assigned to inspect the Millennium Falcon. In the film, it is suggested that TK-421 is shot and killed when blaster fire is heard aboard the Millennium Falcon. No such evidence is shown in the comic book issue though it is reasonable to assume that he is killed as well.
  • The cell block that Luke and Han are purportedly transferring Chewbacca from is identified as TX-138. In the film, it is designated TX-1138. This is a reference to the titular character from George Lucas' 1971 film TXH 1138.

Reprints Edit

This issue is reprinted in the following comic books and comic book collections:

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Lucas is not actually credited in the issue, but is credited here as this issue adapts material from his film

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