- "The stars...! They're gone! W-we're beyond the galaxy... lost somewhere in the void!"
- ―Leia Organa
Star Wars 38: Riders in the Void is the thirty-eighth issue in the Marvel Star Wars series of comics.
Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia were on a mission to transport medical supplies for the Rebellion when an Imperial Star Destroyer attacked their craft. When they made the jump to hyperspace, their damaged starship began to shake violently and Luke decided to drop back to sublight travel. Once they did, they realized that had traveled beyond their home galaxy and into the starless void. The only visible 'star' turned out to be a mysterious organic ship, which literally swallowed up their much smaller transport. Brought into something like a cargo hold, Luke and Leia disembarked to investigate. Suddenly the room was filled with the sound of mad laughter, and Luke and Leia were sucked into the floor, funneled down chutes into separate chambers, where they were attacked: Leia by tentacles sprouting from the floor, and Luke by a gold-skinned droid armed with a lightsaber, which talked as if this was all a game.
When Luke actually defeated the droid, the entity that was speaking through it panicked at the realization that they were real, not just part of another game, and tried to expel them by venting the ship's air to space. But when Luke managed to catch Leia and refused to let go of her hand, even at the risk of being sucked out himself, it came to another realization: that the two of them cared for each other. Sealing the outer hull again, it opened another passage to bring them to the ship's control room. There they found the ship's sole occupant, a spacesuited figure almost completely enclosed by a control station, who told them of its history.
Ship was once two separate beings, a pilot and a mecho-organic vessel, who fought in a war in an unknown galaxy. The ship and her crew were the only survivors of the last battle of the war, and returned home only to find that their enemy, as a final gesture, had unleashed a deadly plague bomb, killing the entire population. Only one crew member made it back to the ship alive, and fled the galaxy to the starless void, beyond the reach of the plague. Over time the pilot and ship fused, playing games with itself for amusement through the centuries of endless voyaging.
Ship decided to take Luke and Leia back to their home galaxy, but when it dropped out of hyperspace, it was attacked by the same Imperial Star Destroyer which had attacked the Rebels earlier. It defended itself by releasing anti-matter pods, which annihilated both the Star Destroyer and the TIE fighters it had launched. Explaining that their galaxy was "too real", too much like the one it had traveled so far to escape, Ship allowed Luke and Leia to leave in their transport before returning to the void and its solitary games.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Behind the scenes
- This was a fill-in issue but went on to become one of the more popular Marvel issues because of the artwork of Michael Golden.
- Issue #38 was scheduled to be the first part of the comic adaptation of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, as stated by the teaser on the final page of issue #37. However, according to an editorial comment in the letters page of issue #38, Marvel was moving to a new distribution system and the entirety of the adaptation had to fit under that new system, forcing Marvel to push the debut up to issue #39.
- Some fans suspect that the events mentioned in that issue should be retroactively considered the earliest appearance of the Yuuzhan Vong and the first mention of the Cremlevian War, but as of yet, no later source has retconned those two together.
- Classic Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 2
- Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... Volume 2: Dark Encounters
- Star Wars: Luke Skywalker, Last Hope for the Galaxy
- Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago.... Volume 2
- Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1
- Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Original Marvel Years Vol. 2
Notes and references
- The Comic Reader #179 (Alternatively, The Comics Journal #55 lists May 20, 1980, but this does not fit the pattern of each issue coming out the fourth Tuesday in a month)