Star Wars: Tag and Bink are Dead #1
October 2001
"Episode IV.I Tag and Bink Are Dead", 22ppg, $2.99

Scripter: Kevin Rubio
Penciler, Cover Artist: Lucas Marangon
Inker: Howard M. Shum
Colorist, Cover Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Book Design: Darcy Hockett
Assistant Editor: Philip Simon
Editor: Dave Land
Publisher: Mike Richardson

MSE-6 droid, C-3PO (See Threepio), R2-D2 (Artoo Detoo), protocol droid

Death Star, Alderaan, Tatooine

TIE fighter pilots, Imperial Navy Trooper, Stormtroopers

Devastator, TIE fighter, X-wing starfighter, TIE Advanced x1 Starfighter, Millennium Falcon

This two issue series was written by Kevin Rubio, the creator behind the widely successful Star Wars COPS parody called TROOPS. It is is 3rd foray into writing for Dark Horse, also having penned "A Death Star is Born" from Star Wars Tales #4 and "Force Fiction" in Star Wars Tales #7. It is, in essence, a parody of the Tom Stoppard play "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead", which is a play about two minor characters from Hamlet and their adventures.

While the names Tag and Bink are used between each character in this issue, it is usually while they are in Stormtrooper armor, and cannot tell who is actually speaking. For the record Tag is the lighter skinned humanoid and Bink is the darker skinned humanoid. Tag's full name is given in issue #2 while Bink's full name has only been revealed in the solicitation write-up at Dark Horse Comics.

There are a lot of hidden and silly jokes throughout the issue (one reason this book falls under Dark Horse's Infinities line). Here's a list of the in-jokes:
  • The opening crawl is written from the perspective of the writer, and features an unfinished panel, complete with coffee mug stain and the artists hand.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy green planet is seen over Tatooine with a Star Destroyer bearing the bumper sticker, "Honk if you love evil!"
  • The Rebel commander is reminiscent of George C. Scott as Patton, complete with three stars and riding crop.
  • The Death Star contains the Dark Horse logo in its lights.
  • Inside the Death Star is a giant Bob's Big Boy statue and a man in pajamas (the writer has revealed this to be Arthur Dent, from the aforementioned Hitchhiker's Guide)
  • Bink (I believe) bumps his head on the side of a door while in a Stormtrooper disguise, and there are other references to the lack of peripheral vision of stormtrooper outfits.
  • Tag is in the TIE fighter that the Millennium Falcon follows back to the Death Star.
  • Tag and Bink also let Obi-Wan slip by them and turn of the tractor beam.
  • This issue also shows four X-wings and three Y-wings leaving the exploding Death Star.
Some other information about these references can be found at the Kevin Rubio interview at EchoStation and are as follows:
  • The original bumper sticker on the back of the Star destroyer in T&B #1 read: "How's my driving? call 1 800-EMPEROR (it had to be changed because that's the number to Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City NJ).
  • Tag and Bink are my two brothers (they're the models anyway). Their real names are Craig and Brian.
  • Arthur Dent can be found on the Death Star. (He wearing pajamas and carrying a towel.)
  • I always have a Bob's Big Boy and a Beatles reference in every comic.

A humorous opening crawl hilights the problems that Dark Horse is having, and how Dave Land managed to get Kevin Rubio to write (or try to write) a two issue series. Lucas Marangon's hand is still drawing the splash page.

On board the Tantive IV two rebel troopers, Tag and Bink, are evading the fire from boarding Stormtroopers while arguing over the standard compliment of troops on an Imperial Star Destroyer.

They find themselves arguing with C-3PO as Princess Leia inserts the plans for the Death Star into R2-D2, and then are captured by a squad of Stormtroopers. They continue arguing, but manage to escape due to the lack of peripheral vision in the Stormtrooper armor. Bink has an idea.

They put on the armor of the fallen Stormtroopers, board the Star Destroyer and hitch a ride to the Death Star. There they literally run into Admiral Motti, again due to the peripheral vision issue, and he berates them for being inept.

They decide to steal a TIE fighter and make their escape for Alderaan, which the other one thinks is insane. That is until it comes into view on the monitor. Unfortunately as they begin their approach, the planet explodes and they must turn around and head back to the Death Star.

They are followed by the Millennium Falcon and have their transmissions jammed, which leads the Falcon right into the tractor beam.

Later, they join up with a squad of troopers, but are quickly put on sentry duty in the tractor beam shaft, discussing the new BT-16. Having failed to stop an old man from disabling the tractor beam, they decide to take their chances in open space and don TIE pilot uniforms again.

Unfortunately they are stopped by Darth Vader who orders them to come with him. They accompany him in a pair of TIE fighters as he races down the equatorial trench after a lone X-wing. They are blasted by the Millennium Falcon, the Death Star explodes and two TIE pilots float amongst the wreckage.

Next issue: Bink and Tag Live!

Related Issues
Tag and Bink are Dead #2 Tales #12 Tag & Bink II #1 Tag & Bink II #2

Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space #2 Tag & Bink Were Here #1 Tag & Bink Were Here Trade Paperback

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