As part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations for 1983 Star Wars trilogy climax Return of the Jedi, Marvel are releasing a short series of one-off issues focusing on different characters and situations related to the third movie.

This first one – Jabba’s Palace – is a tale which explains just what the protocol droid belonging to vile gangster, Jabba the Hutt, did to anger his boss so much that he disintegrated him.

Eightyem, as he calls himself, is a droid who thinks and feels a lot more than other droids and, as such, wants to be freed from the boredom and monotony of life as a Hutt’s translator. When a shifty Twi’lek offers him a deal in exchange for three favours, his freedom seems to be within his grasp. Yet we all know the outcome, given that C-3PO is employed to replace poor Eightyem…

This was a fun and engaging story with some fantastic artwork. It is a little bit light and, knowing the ending in advance, does feel a bit tragic – we do feel some sympathy for the soon-to-be disintegrated droid.

It’s a great look at what led to a well known moment, in a classic scene of what’s become an iconic film. Despite not being my favourite Star Wars film overall, I’m perhaps more familiar with Return of the Jedi than any other film in the saga, due to the fact that I had it on VHS when I was really young.

I watched it every single day at one point. Obsessed doesn’t begin to cover it!

So it’s great to finally see the backstory of Jabba’s previous protocol droid, even though its outcome is a foregone conclusion.

I do much prefer these shorter bursts of Star Wars in comic form; the endless filling in of gaps between films, featuring the main characters, tends to stretch credulity quite a bit – but short stories with side characters always tend to be pretty fun. Eightyem’s story in Jabba’s Palace is no exception.

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