The Jedi may be evolved peacekeepers who strive to keep their emotions in check, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t love a good fight. Comic Book Resources’ regular Comic Book Legends Revealed column recently uncovered the curious case of a Star Wars comic book from the 1980s that had its message of non-violence completely rewritten at the last moment because Lucasfilm didn’t want to put such dangerous ideas in children’s heads, prompting the writer of said story – J.M. DeMatteis – to go into detail on his own blog:
It seemed that, to them, the very idea that a character in the Star Wars universe would voice an opinion that in any way contradicted the Skywalker Worldview was offensive. The word came down that [DeMatteis’ pacifist creation, Cody] Sunn-Childe, in rejecting violence, made their characters look bad. In other words, their universe wasn’t big enough to contain one single person with a point of view that suggested that non-violence was a reasonable alternative to war. (So much for my follow-up story about Princess Leia traveling through time to meet Martin Luther King and Gandhi.)
Louise [Simonson, editor] had no choice, this was a high-profile license and Marvel had to keep the Lucas people happy: new dialogue was written for the last page—not by me!—and I’ll never forget this line that was added: “He died for his dream of peace,” Calrissian said, “but he was wrong.” No maybes about it: Cody Sunn-Childe was an idiot who sacrificed his life for nothing. (There was other lines added about letting the Empire’s ships—which had been damaged—rot in other-dimensional space. This, we were led to believe, would have made Sunn-Childe happy. A moment while I bang my head against the wall, for old time’s sake.)
DeMatteis responded by taking his name off the story – replacing it with the psuedonum “Wally Lombego” – and the edited story ran, with this re-written final page, in #46 of the series:
However, when the story ran in the British reprint magazine years later, a mix-up meant that DeMatteis’ original page ran instead, as Comic Book Legends Revealed discovered:
Okay, I know the franchise is called Star WARS, but still: I honestly don’t see what’s so bad about that page, unless it was the awkwardness of the “TO SHOW US!” line. Maybe Lucasfilm just wanted to make Lando look like a bit more of an intolerant dick in the regular series?
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