Star Wars Comic book 1979 issue 23

Luke, company and the droids prepare to leave in the Falcon thanks to the deal Princess Leia made. Luke is extremely upset. He just saw Han Solo die in the arena. Chewbacca was forced to kill him. Based on this Princess Leia agrees to the deal. Luke is angry that Leia agreed to the deal. She at least would like to say good bye before they leave as it could be the last time they see each other. They hug and kiss. Back in the arena, one contestant had been hiding. He now focuses on Chewie. Han gives him a heads up and he easily takes out the opponent. Chewie goes over and gets Han. Han whispers to him to be tempermental and not let anyone near him. He blew up a death trap so that he would be hidden in all the debris long enough to put a shield under his shirt. He tells Chewie to be careful and not shake him so the shield doesn’t fall out. The payout lines on the wheel are long as Chewie was a favorite. Commander Strom comes out screaming about a rebel plot and about being drugged. He declares martial law and calls all his perssonnel to duty immediately. Years of immunity training have allowed him to fight off the drug. He sets his storm troopers to find Grayshade. Strom hears people saying they don’t like storm troopers looking over their shoulder while they are gambling but if it protects them from rebel attacks they’ll accept it. Back in bay ten, Grayshade is authorizing his departure and the Falcons. He also asks Master-Com to find the R2 unit and broadcast the tape he has on all channels. Master-Com informs him that he is no longer the adminstrator and he can’t follow his orders. However, out of a feeling of friendship he will try and open his docking bay for him. However, before he can do anything, the storm troopers shoot him to pieces. The storm troopre says the commander will have to do a full system over ride. He’s sending a search and destroy team to bay ten. However, that team happens upon Luke and C3PO in the hall on the way there. Luke now tries to quickly get to bay ten to make sure Leia and Grayshade are safely away. R2 manages to find a counduit tunnel to hide in. He comes out because he knows what he needs to do but he finds someone waiting. Chew tries to safely get Han’s body out of the wheel, but the storm trooper tells him that there is an imperial death warrant on his head and they plan to execute it now. This forces Han to stop playing dead and come out shooting. Han yells for Chewie to grab the weapons and prepare for a last stand. It is Master-Com who is waiting for R2. He tells him he switched to a different body and detected him. He tells him where a master relay terminal is. Master-Com tells him he can help him as the troopers did not order him to shut down and he is programmed to resist violence. But time is short because a human override team is at work. He takes him to a plug in so R2 can broadcast the tape. While that happens he can take over agian. The tape plays and everyone on the wheel now sees the truth. The reactions slowly turn into a riot. Han and Chewie get a good laugh over it. They arrive at the bay, winnings in hand and get greeted by storm troopers. Chewie puts the lift in full speed and bowls over the storm troopers. On Grayshade’s ship, we see Luke, Leia and C3PO. Grayshade held off the troopres so they could escape. C3PO tells them that Master-Com reports Han is not dead and they have a pick up to make. Grayshade is injured and Master-Com comes to his aide. His yacht is back in the bay. He tells Master-Com it was just beginners’ luck at playing hero. Commander Strom finds Grayshade and threatens to kill him. Grayshade tells him it’s not very sporting since his weapon is empty and discarded. However, Grayshade still has a proton grenade. He throws it at Strom. Both Grayshade and Master-Com are leaking fluids. R2 is also recovered. Luke and company find in their path an imperial cruiser. The bay is opening to try and pull them in with a tractor beam. However, Luke feels Darth Vader searching for him. Vader realizes this person is resisting him. He wants a face to face. Meanwhile, the Falcon joins them and shoots the imperial cruiser. Han tells them over coms to get moving before the crusier can recover. Leia is thrilled. Han isn’t. He said it’s the most expensive escape to date. Han tells them to clear out, he will make one more pass to give them cover to escape. However, Darth Vader recognizes the ship as the one that blasted his TIE fighter and ended his defense of the death star. He now wants that ship destroyed at all costs. Leia recognizes the cruisier is not following them anymore but is locked on the Falcon. She is worried they’ll be vaporized before they can reach lightspeed. Somehow Luke manages to channel all his rage and frustration and blast into Darth Vader’s mind. It distracts him long enough that both ships make the jump to hyperspace. He still doesn’t know how they are, they’ve alluded him for now.

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