The Original Trilogy was pure, undiluted movie magic, CG free, it was rough, spectacular and we liked it that way! Oh, I remember as a wee lad watching the Star Destroyer pass overhead many a time on screen and on videotape. Videotape, what’s that? Oh, younglings!, this is what we had to see movies on our television screens before DVDs and Blue Ray. So let’s start with our favorite smuggler. What is this BBY, ABY dating? The first one stands for Before the Battle of Yavin and the second, After the Battle of Yavin, SW terms.
6 BBY – Han Solo graduates from the Imperial Academy on Carida. This is in The Paradise Snare, the first of the Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin.
5 BBY – Chewbacca, played by Peter Mayhew, frees a ship of Wookie slaves, but the vessel is disabled by TIE fighters led by Lt. Han Solo. Han defies orders from Commander Nyklas to kill the pilot and is discharged from the Imperial Navy. Chewbacca swears a life-debt to Han. This event is found in Chewbacca #2 “Turrdko or Breaking a Custom” by Darko Macan and Dusty Abell. Han begins working for Jabba the Hutt. Lando gets as part of his sabaac winnings a run-down YT-1300 freighter, the Millennium Falcon. This is in A.C. Crispin’s novel, the second in the Han Solo Trilogy, The Hutt Gambit.
3 BBY – Han wins the Falcon from Lando in a sabaac game. A.C. Crispin’s last novel in the Han Solo Trilogy, Rebel Dawn, covers this event. “Your ship? Hey, remember, you lost her to me fair and square.” – Han Solo, Harrison Ford, to Lando, Billy Dee Williams (soon to appear at the Nuke the Fridge con) in Empire Strikes Back (1980). Leia Organa, played by the talented Carrie Fisher, becomes the youngest member of the Imperial Senate.
0 BBY – Princess Leia Organa discovers the location of the Death Star plans from Lord Tion while on a relief mission on Ralltiir. This is in the Star Wars National Radio Dramatization (1981). Han takes a shipment of spice for Jabba the Hutt. He makes a record on the Kessel Run with the Millennium Falcon, but is forced by Imperial ships to drop the shipment into space. “It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.” – Han Solo speaking to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness, in Star Wars (1977). Mon Mothma becomes suspicious of Imperial activity and instructs General Dodonna to move the Rebel base from Dantooine to Yavin IV. The convoy containing the Death Star plans is ambushed by the Rebels in its first victory in the Galactic Civil War. On board the Tantive IV, Leia Organa receives the transmission of the Death Star plans from Rebels on Toprawa before being pursued by Darth Vader played by David Prowse.
Here is the first and best Star Wars movie directed by George Lucas. Let’s give a shout out to Mark Hamill for his starring role as Luke Skywalker and for destroying the Death Star.
1 ABY – Lando Calrissian flies a freighter against pirates raiding the agricultural planet of Taanab in the Battle of Taanab. “Someone must have told them about my little maneuver at the Battle of Taanab.” – Lando Calrissian in Return of the Jedi (1983). Lando wins the ownership of Cloud City from Baron Raynor in a game of sabaac. This is in the Dark Horse comic book, Star Wars Tales #3, “Lady Luck” by Rich Handley and Darko Macan with art by Chris Brunner.
2 ABY – Han Solo and Chewbacca narrowly escape an encounter with the bounty hunter IG-88 on Ord Mantell. This is in the game, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squaron. “Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind.” – Han Solo in ESB. Lt. Commander Skywalker discovers Hoth escaping from an Imperial blockade. This was in the “Iceworld” part of the comic strip by Archie Goodwin and the legendary Al Williamson, reprinted in Classic Star Wars #12 and 13. Darth Vader is assigned to Admiral Ozzel’s Death Squadron which leaves Coruscant on a six-month mission to find the Rebels.
3 ABY – The Alliance Corps of Engineers completes construction of the Rebel headquarters code named Echo Base after 20 months. A Rebel Alliance convoy is attacked at Derra IV. Commander Narra of Red Squadron is killed. Luke Skywalker is promoted to commander of Rogue Squadron. This event is in the Empire Strikes Back National Radio Dramatization (1983).
Here is ESB considered by fans to be a favorite.
Six months after the Battle of Hoth, Bothan spies capture a freighter containing information about a new Death Star. “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” – Mon Mothma, played by Caroline Blakiston in RoTJ.
4 ABY – Luke Skywalker returns to Tatooine and begins to construct a new lightsaber. “I had to come back to Ben’s house to do this. I needed his tools and books. And it completes the circle somehow.” – Luke Skywalker, voiced by Joshua Fardon, in the Return of the Jedi National Radio Dramatization (1996).
To close off the first Star Wars trilogy, Lucas brings us Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Now we are waiting for Episode Seven: The Search for More Money, okay I’m swiping from Spaceballs (1987) so I will leave you with “May the Schwartz Be with Yoooooouuu.”