Friday, February 4, 2011

15. Escape to Hoth

With "Escape to Hoth", the newspaper strips unfortunately come to an end. These stories have been superior to the Marvel stories and have been fun to read. I will miss them.

One thing I appreciated about "Escape to Hoth" was its attempt to tie into the movies. While these particular strips were actually published after "Empire Strikes Back", they tell the story of the Rebel's arrival on Hoth in flashback, providing background for the opening scene of the movie.

"Escape to Hoth" picks up with the story of Luke and the suspected traitor Vrad Dodonna. Vrad proceeds to carry out his suicide mission, but it is not entirely successful. Although it damages Vader's ship, it does not destroy it. Meanwhile, the rebels are evacuating Yavin IV. As the last ship leaves, they realize that Gen. Dodonna has stayed behind. He has decided to sacrifice himself in order to destroy the Imperial strike force that has been launched to attack the former rebel base.

While the majority of the fleet escapes to Hoth, the Millenium Falcon has dropped out of hyperspace in the wrong place. They land on a jungle planet to make repairs, and while Luke is scouting the area, he stumbles upon the mind witch S'ybil. Luke is able to escape her trap and the Millenium Falcon is able to rejoin the rebellion on Hoth.

Once they arrive, they are immediately dispatched to deal with a ship that has followed them there. Han, Luke, and Chewbacca discover that it is Raskar who has followed them. Raskar is the former pirate from whom the the stole the power gem used by Vrad in his attack on Vader, and it seems that Raskar has been forced to return to pirating now that he is no longer in possession of the power gem. Raskar believes that Han has hidden some treasure on Hoth, so he forces them to return to Hoth to uncover it. As it turns out, Luke has discovered real treasure on Hoth, but it's guarded by a giant dragon slug. They are able to escape, and in the process Luke, Han, and Chewbacca, save Raskar's life. Raskar agrees to release them in exchange for the treasure, but another surprise awaits them.

Raskar has been followed by a group of bounty hunters, including Dengar, Zuckuss, Bossk, and Skorr, the bounty hunter from Ord Mantell. They are working with Boba Fett to bring Han Solo back to Jabba the Hutt. The bounty hunters take the rebels and Raskar to Ord Mantell to deliver Han to Boba and also to deliver Luke to Vader. Since there is no bounty on Raskar, he and his men are left as prisoners in their own ship while the bounty hunters land to collect their reward. Han, Chewbacca, and Luke are able to escape with the help of Reskar, frustrating Boba Fett and Vader. The heroes return to Hoth, and this great series comes to an end.

It was great to see the bounty hunters again, as well as some of the characters that had appeared in earlier comics. The artwork in this series has been great, and the stories have been involved and well developed. The characters have been true to their own screen persona, and there have been a number of original characters introduced. It's too bad that this series wasn't able to continue, but it was fun while it lasted.

Next up we return to the world of Marvel UK, reading the reprints published in "Devilworlds".

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