For other uses, see Star Wars 42.

"There is a grave disturbance in the Force! We have a new enemy who could bring about our destruction--the son of Skywalker!"
Emperor Palpatine[src]

Star Wars 42: The Empire Strikes Back: To Be a Jedi is the forty-second issue in the Marvel Star Wars series of comics.

Plot summary[]

Luke Skywalker watches as his recently landed X-wing fighter begins to slowly sink into the swamps of Dagobah. He endeavors to set up camp until he meets a diminutive green gnome who unceremoniously begins rifling through his belongings. The gnome learns that Luke is looking for a Jedi Master named Yoda and volunteers to take him to him. They return to the gnome's dwelling and Luke begins to act impatient. It is revealed that the gnome is in fact, master Yoda. Yoda feels that Luke is too old and reckless to learn the ways of the Jedi, but the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi encourages Yoda to train him. Yoda begins putting Luke through an extensive training period of physical and mental exercises. He pushes him to expand his knowledge and use of the Force.

While Luke is training on Dagobah, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C-3PO continue to outmaneuver Imperial gun ships through an asteroid field. Han angles the Millennium Falcon down towards one of the larger asteroids and swoops into a cave inside one of the craters. He lands the Falcon deep within the recesses of the cave as Imperial TIE bombers drop their payloads onto the outer surface of the asteroid. But they only touch down for a brief moment, until they realize that the "cave" they just entered is in fact a giant space slug. Han gooses the Falcon and they zip out of the mouth of the beast before it can consume them.

Re-entering the battle with the TIE fighters, Han turns the Millennium Falcon around and executes a suicide-run straight for the Avenger. He veers off at the last second and then attaches the ship to the rear of the star destroyer's deflector shields. Captain Needa of the Avenger is now forced to tell Darth Vader that he lost the Falcon.

Meanwhile, Darth Vader has a private communiqué with Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine speaks of a new enemy – Luke Skywalker. Vader suggests that rather than kill Skywalker, they should instead attempt to turn him. Palpatine agrees with the plan and tells Vader to make preparations to capture Skywalker alive.

Han and the others wait for the Imperial fleet to make their regularly scheduled garbage dump before entering lightspeed. As they do so, Han detaches the Falcon from the side of the Avenger and floats unobtrusively away with the rest of the garbage. Vader hires a group of bounty hunters to track down and capture the Millennium Falcon, and one of these hunters, Boba Fett, begins following Solo in his own ship, Slave I.

With the Empire safely behind him, Han makes a course heading towards the planet, Bespin. Bespin is the last known hangout of an old friend of his – Lando Calrissian.


By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea



Droid models


Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Behind the scenes[]

This is Part four of the six part adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back.

This issue includes a cover gallery to the British variants of Star Wars #3944.

Behind the scenes appearances of Obi-Wan Kenobi's Force ghost and Zuckuss. A bounty hunter appears partially obscured on the splash page who is presumably intended to be Zuckuss, though he looks nothing at all like the character that most people are familiar with.

1st comic book appearances of 4-LOM, Boba Fett, Bossk, Dengar and IG-88B.

1st full comic book appearance of Yoda. He made a cameo introduction in Star Wars #41. The artwork used to illustrate Yoda in this issue is different then that used in The Marvel Comics Illustrated Version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda is seen significantly smaller than his movie or regular appearances.

1st comic book appearance of Lorth Needa. Dies in this issue.

Bossk's flight suit is incorrectly colored purple on the cover of this issue. It should be orange.

Lucasfilm Ltd. forbade Marvel Comics from actually illustrating the space slug for the official movie comic adaptation. As the comic book adaptations were being released concurrently with the release of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, the staff of Lucasfilm wanted the appearance of the space slug to be a surprise.


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Notes and references[]

  1. The Comic Reader #183 and The Comics Journal #58