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Marvel Star Wars ANNUAL #3
THE APPRENTICE
Published: December 1983
Story: JO DUFFY
Art: KLAUS JANSON
Summary

On a Star Destroyer over Belderone, Vader lecture officers as a servant shines his boots. Sent to stop Rebels here and on Kulthis, the third world in the system, he is angry when General Andrid belittles the Force. He knows something important is coming. On Belderone, a youth named Flint wakes his friend, Barney, to see a ship land at the spaceport. He, too, knows something important is coming, and ignores his mother, Zana, who warns him not to miss his shift. A neighbor warns that he, like his father, will bring trouble, but Zena shares his hope for a better life. The boys join a crowd forming near the Falcon as Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewie, and the droids disembark. They're excited by Luke's lightsaber, for Flint's father was a Jedi, but Luke denies his Jedi heritage. Lando fails to open trade, for all business is done with the Empire, and when Leia says they're from Kulthis, none will speak with them. Flint offers a place to stay, leaves Barney and the droids to watch the ship, and brings them to Zana's tavern. Luke tells Leia he senses Vader and fears for Kulthis. As Flint runs to work, Zana worries about his Rebel sympathies and the neighbor calls Andrid, who chooses not to call Vader. Later, as the Rebels dine at the tavern, the boys watch in awe. Kulthis stands by to attack when called, but the Rebels have no news to report. Leia and Lando tease Luke about the boys' idolization, but he pretends not to notice. As Lando orders ales, three assassins open fire. Ducking behind a table, they shoot two and corner a third, who promptly kills himself. Seeing Luke fight, the boys know he's a Jedi. The neighbor calls Andrid again to report, and a spy intercepts the call for Vader, who kills Andrid for showing his hand, orders Kulthis attacked, and leaves with Colonel Maldrod to supervise the mobilization on Belderone. While Luke and Chewie go to warn Kulthis and remove Luke from Vader's senses, Leia and Lando spy on the Imperials, whom Barney and Flint reveal have been assembling something secret. Vader and Maldrod see them but are too concerned with striking Kulthis and finding Luke to pursue. Luke returns to Belderone with X-Wings, ready to attack the capital city, as Leia and Lando learn that the Empire is building AT-ATs to use on Kulthis. Flint and Barney realize the village may become a war-zone and hurry to save it. Stealing a landspeeder, they race to beat the AT-ATs to town. As X-Wings attack the AT-ATs, using tactics forged on Hoth, Flint flies to the tavern, flipping his speeder, and as they lie unconscious in the road, an AT-AT nearly steps on them. Luke's X-Wing is hit and lands atop an AT-AT, which suddenly fires at others. Inside are Leia and Lando. Luke jumps to the head of a nearby AT-AT, killing its crew and taking over, then both vehicles go to level the factory. Several X-Wings chase the AT-AT in town, and as the factory falls, war destroys the town. Flint awakens, thinks Barney dead, and finds his mother's corpse. Feeling useless and angry, he vows to find a trainer and "show them all." Vader steps out of the shadows, senses his Force potential, and offers to train him as a soldier and as a Jedi. After the fighting ends, the Rebels mourn the dead with a badly-bandaged Barney, who has lost his family. He doesn't blame them, but worries for Flint, who was seen leaving with Vader. He joins the Rebellion to train as a Jedi, realizing Flint was not as interested in good and evil as he was in power, and that he may ultimately be "the one who makes a difference." Aboard Vader's ship, as the forces begin to pull out, Flint stares at a photo of himself and his mother, then dons a Stormtrooper helmet and begins his Imperial service. EnsViews Comic Review

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"EnsViews" are copyright 1997-8 by Paul Ens. They are posted to rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, emailed to Dark Horse Comics and archived on theForce.net. Cover scans are courtesy of Mark Lookabaugh.

Titles, Cover images, Marvel Comics, and the Marvel logo are trademarks of Marvel Comic Group and its respective Licensors.

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