Classic Star Wars #5
December 1992
28ppg, $2.50

Writer: Archie Goodwin
Artist, Cover Artist: Al Williamson
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Editor: Anina Bennett
Cover Colors: Matthew Hollingsworth

flying serpent

C-3PO (See Threepio), R2-D2 (Artoo Detoo)

Ophideraan, The Great Well

Serpent Masters

cargo hauler

This issue continues reprinting the fifth Archie Goodwin strip and the fourteenth overall. It is commonly called "The Serpent Masters" and ran between Jul 27, 1981 to Nov 1, 1981.

For an in-depth comparison of this issue to the original comic strips, please see the Classic Star Wars Issue Index.

Includes pinup art on the Star Wars Showcase page by Kyle Peterson and Scott Hahn.
Having been captured by the Serpent Masters, Luke Skywalker and Tanith Shire are taken to see the Supreme serpent master, Tyrann on the Great Well. Tyrann wonders why Tanith is not out collecting drone barges from them to scavenge. She apologizes and tells Tyrann that they ran into some difficulties of the Imperials. The serpent master tells his chief scout Varn to return her to the slave quarters, and execute the troublemaker, Luke. Tanith begs Tyrann to let Luke live, claiming he can be of help in the operations of the Great Well. Tyrann agrees for now, but tells Varn that he can always kill him later.

The two are returned to the slave island at the bottom of the great well. Luke looks around for a way to get out, but Tanith tells him he might as well adjust to life here. The only way out is on a serpent, which can only be controlled by the Serpent masters. An older man agrees with her; it is her father, who explains to Luke how they crashed on the planet. And now his daughter is trying to buy their freedom, by arranging for more wrecks to crash on the arid planet.

Luke is determined to escape, but first, he is given the tour of the facilities by Tanith and her father. They mention that others have tried escape, but none have been successful, even those that sought out the birthplace of the serpents across the lake.

Luke decides that is a good place to start. The young Jedi discovers a cavern full of serpent eggs; some of which are hatching. Suddenly Tyrann and Varn land, having detected Skywalker among their creatures. Tyrann orders Luke onto the back of one of the creatures, which he does hesitantly.

The creature flies off with Luke in the saddle, but quickly becomes agitated, bucking around. Luke realizes that the serpent masters are controlling the beast, but not before being thrown off and into the waters of the Great Well. Varn wonders why Tyrann didn't have Luke thrown onto the rocks like previous trespassers. Tyrann tells him that having Luke become a martyr is not his plan, rather using him to dash the hopes of the remaining slaves seems more effectual.

Luke is down, but not out. He figures if he can get to his droids, they might be able to help him, since they mentioned something about the flying serpents prior to their capture. Tanith tells him there is no way he will ever see his droids again, because they are scheduled to be dismantled and scrapped. She tells him they are located in the parts chamber at the top of the Great Well.

Using his lightsaber he cuts handholds in the rock wall, and begins the long ascent to the location his droids are being kept. Meanwhile, two serpent masters have entered the parts chamber to begin cutting the two droids apart. Luke is able to deflect their stun blasts back at them before plugging the droids into a power supply and reviving them.

Back at the slave quarters, Tyrann and Varn arrive for the daily slave count. Tanith and her father decide to slow the count down, allowing Luke more time to return. As Luke gets Threepio and Artoo powered back up, he asks them what they know about the serpents. Artoo tells him that they communicate ultrasonically and that there seems to be a signal in operation that is controlling them.

Varn and Tyrann discover that Skywalker has escaped and that he is hiding in their dwelling. Hurrying, Luke asks Artoo is he can duplicate the signal, and before the droid can respond, he leaps onto the back of one of the serpents and takes off into the air. The serpent masters are shocked that he is actually riding the beast and open fire on him.

Luke notices that Tyrann has Tanith held hostage just as a stun blast explodes near him, knocking his blaster loose.

Related Issues
The Serpent Masters #14 Classic Star Wars #1 Classic Star Wars #2 Classic Star Wars #3 Classic Star Wars #4 Classic Star Wars #6 Classic Star Wars #7

Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Russ Cochran Limited Edition Newspaper Strips Treasury Edition #1 Classic Star Wars Trade Paperback #1

Return to Comics