Star Wars #19
January 1979
"The Ultimate Gamble", 17ppg, $0.35

Writer, Editor: Archie Goodwin
Artist, Cover Pencils: Carmine Infantino
Artist, Cover Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Irving Watanabe
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Consulting Editor: Jim Shooter


DROID
Wheel medical droid, Casino cashier droid, C-3PO (See Threepio), R2-D2 (Artoo Detoo), Master-Com (model 1 destroyed)

LOCATION
The Wheel, Gladiator pits

ORGANIZATION
Wheel security, Stormtroopers

STARSHIP
Millennium Falcon, merchant ship, Imperial light cruiser

COMMENTS
Though both listed as artists, Carmine Infantino is primarily a penciler and Bob Wiacek is primarily an inker. The cover art is done by Carmine Infantino and Bob Wiacek and is signed by the two.

The letterer is listed as Irv W., who is presumably Irving Watanabe, and the colorist is listed as Gaff, who is presumably Carl Gafford. Thanks to the research provided by the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comic Creators for the names.

Threepio refers to Artoo as a "thermo-capsuary dehousing assister", rather than a "thermo-capsulary." Also, one of the Wheel security officers inadvertently calls them the Spine Mines of Kessel, rather than the Spice Mines.

This issue contains the Star-Words letter page, with letters from Steven Alan Bennett, Beppe Sabatine, and Steve Guldin.
SYNOPSIS
Trapped on the gambling space station known as The Wheel, and pursued by Stormtroopers, Threepio with the unconscious Luke Skywalker manage to evade the white-clad Imperials with some help from Artoo-Detoo, who closes a blast door between them just in time. The shots from the Stormtroopers ricochet, killing them.

Their progress is being monitored by Senator Greyshade, the administrator of this facility and his robotic companion, Master-Com. They are also following the shootout between Princess Leia, Han Solo and another group of Stormtroopers. Greyshade has ordered some of the Wheel security guards to interrupt the firefight and take Leia and Han into custody. Leia is taken towards Senator Greyshade, while Han is returned to his ship while it's being searched.

Elsewhere, Chewbacca has succeeded in avoiding capture, and making his way to the rendezvous point at the Crimson Casino. Unfortunately he is stopped by a bouncer and alien companion, who begins a brawl with the wookiee. Chewbacca manages to eject the alien bouncer bodily from the casino, but is quickly stunned by Wheel security and taken to the gladiator pits.

Meanwhile, Leia. held captive in the executive tower, watches as security guards begin dismantling the Falcon searching for the stolen credits. She offers a theory to Greyshade about why the Empire might make it appear that the Rebels are stealing Wheel profits. Suddenly master-Com barges in, letting them know that Commander Strom is on his way. Strom then blasts Master-com apart, but the droid manages to transfer his programming into another body and disarm Strom.

Greyshade asks Strom to step into the other room while Leia waits for him. The ex-Senator asks Strom to consider become partners. He promises to stay quiet about the Imperials supposed theft of Wheel profits, in return for being allowed to keep Princess Leia.

Later Threepio and Artoo have managed to find the hospital wing and have worked to get Luke admitted and examined when a wheel guard comes by and takes them away to storage, citing that they are now Wheel property. It seems that Han pawned them as a gambling stake.

Elsewhere, Chewbacca is being tormented by guards in his holding cell. They give him the option to "volunteer" for gladiator service or be shipped off to the spice mines of Kessel.

In an effort to remain on board the gambling vessel, Han has been attempting win suitable profits, but his luck has not been holding up. To gather the necessary funds, he put himself up as a gladiator in the Big Game arena. Watching on, Senator Greyshade tells Master-com that he plans to have Han lose that bet, just as surely as they made him lose the smaller games.


Related Issues
Star Wars (Marvel) #18 Star Wars (Marvel) #20 Star Wars (Marvel) #21 Star Wars (Marvel) #22 Star Wars (Marvel) #23


Trade Paperbacks and Alternate Covers
Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago... #1 The Original Marvel Years #1 A Long Time Ago Trade Paperback #1



San Diego Comic-Con 2014
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Next September marks the twentieth anniversary of Hasbro's Kenner The Power Of The Force action figure collection. The line introduced a new generation of children to the wonderful world of Star Wars toys and ushered in the modern collectibles we all enjoy today. Our ever-inquisitive Probe Droid is actively searching all corners of the galaxy to find out if there is interest in products that commemorate this very significant 1995 release.
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