"You only know... half "The Force"... Vader...! You perceive its full power... as little as a spoon... perceives the taste of food!"
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Star Wars 4
Star Wars Vol 1 4
Vital statistics
Series Star Wars
Title "In Battle With Darth Vader"
Volume 1
Number 4
Cover date October, 1977
Cover price .30
Publisher Marvel Comics
Editor-in-Chief Archie Goodwin
Writers George Lucas; Roy Thomas [1]
Pencilers Howard Chaykin
Inkers Steve Leialoha
Cover Artists Dave Cockrum; Gil Kane
Colorists Steve Leialoha
Letterers Tom Orzechowski
Editors Roy Thomas; Archie Goodwin
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Previous Star Wars #3
Next Star Wars #5

Plot Edit

Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Chewbacca the wookiee are trapped in the detention level of the Death Star. Imperial Stormtroopers bear down upon them and the two opposing groups exchange laser fire. Leia grabs Han’s rifle and begins firing into the side of the wall. Han yells at her about wasting ammunition, but Leia retorts "somebody has to save our skins". The blasts open a hole leading down into a garbage chute. The heroes jump into the chute into an industrial size garbage compactor. Han, having recovered his weapon from Leia tries shooting the vacuum-sealed door, but his shot ricochets all across the chamber. To make matters worse, something alive beneath the refuse grabs a hold of Luke and drags him down beneath the sewage. Han tries to blast at it, but all he can see are a bunch of writhing tentacles. Just as quickly however, the thing lets go of Luke and leaves him alone. Moments later, the walls of the trash compactor begin closing in. Han tries to brace the walls with a large metal pipe, but it snaps in half.

Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are having problems of their own. A group of Stormtroopers come into the computer room and Threepio diverts their attention by pointing them in the direction of a group of "madmen". When the troopers leave, Threepio turns his communicator on just in time to intercept Luke's panicked cry for assistance. Luke orders the droids to shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level. With the danger averted, he has Threepio unlock the pressure hatch and set them free.

Elsewhere in the station, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes his way to one of the seven tractor beam control outlets. Kenobi threads a narrow passage to get to the terminal and shuts down the tractor beams holding the Millennium Falcon in thrall. An Imperial officer and several Stormtroopers canvas the area, but Kenobi remains well hidden.

As the heroes leave the fetid ruins of the trash compactor, the tentacled monster that attacked Luke tries to escape. Han barks, "Doesn't that thing ever give up?" and shoots it with his blaster. Leia criticizes him for making so much noise. After shedding the bulky Stormtrooper armor, they make their way to the level just about the hangar where the Falcon is being held. More Stormtroopers begin converging on their position and Han and Chewie split up from Luke and Leia. Han distracts the Stormtroopers by boldly charging right after them. Once they reach a dead end however and the troopers realize that they are only facing two opponents, they return fire and Han and the wookiee are forced to retreat. Luke and Leia meanwhile run off in another direction. They come upon a stark chasm with no accessible bridge. Leia shoots the controls that seals off the doors to the room. Using some filament wire from his Stormtrooper belt, Luke lassos an overhead conduit and Leia swing across the chasm to the other side of the bridge. The Stormtroopers break through the shielded door and begin firing again, but Luke and the Princess keep running.

Obi-Wan Kenobi meanwhile makes his way back to the hangar. Darth Vader steps out from the shadows to confront him. His lightsaber is already ignited and he acknowledges that this will be his final duel with his old mentor. Kenobi lights his saber and the two begin fighting. Vader's overall strength and power overwhelms Kenobi, "as if an invisible weight were being placed upon him", but Obi-Wan taunts Vader, telling him that killing him would only serve to make him even more powerful. Luke and the others arrive in the hangar as the two men fight as do several Stormtroopers. They all watch the fight between these old Jedi masters until finally Darth Vader deals the killing blow. As his saber strikes Kenobi, the old Jedi disappears, his robes falling empty to the floor. Horrified, Luke screams out "Ben!" and begins shooting. The Stormtroopers return fire and the heroes quickly board the Falcon. Luke hears the disembodied voice of Kenobi urging him to get on the ship.

Han and Chewie climb into the cockpit, both praying that Kenobi succeeded in shutting down the tractor beam controls. The ship starts up and they blast their way out of the Death Star towards freedom.

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.
  • Star Wars letters column "Star Words" begins with this issue.
  • When Leia blasts the wall in the Death Star she is aiming to the side, but when they jump into the chute, they are jumping downwards.
  • The creature that grabs Luke in the trash compactor is identified in the Star Wars novelization as a dianoga.
  • This story contains several moments that were not from the film. In the issue, the trash compactor monster tries to escape and Han shoots it with his blaster. Later, Han makes reference to the "Five Fire Rings of Fornax", a line of dialogue that was not in the film or the novelization. Obi-Wan's duel with Vader contains extraneous dialogue that is unique to the Marvel Comics adaptation. Also, the death of Kenobi is more visually graphic in this issue as Vader's lightsaber is clearly seen cleaving him in half. In the film we only see his lightsaber cutting through Kenobi's empty robe.
  • One scene shows Vader lifting Obi-Wan's empty cloak with his lightsaber. This should be impossible as the saber would cut right through it on contact.
  • In this issue, the serial number on the garbage compactor door is 366117891. In the film it was 3263827.

Reprints Edit

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

See also Edit


The World of Star Wars

Star Wars miscellaneous

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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