When 2000AD Comics Met Star Wars
The weekly 2000AD comic started in February of 1977, and was a popular read for kiwi sci-fi fans right from its early days. Before the internet came along, comics and magazines were often a source for the latest Star Wars news, and 2000AD comics had a range of Star Wars content through the late ’70s and early ’80s. Generally speaking, the pages in 2000AD comics that covered Star Wars material could be grouped into: 1) action figure advertisements (featuring Palitoy branded versions of the Kenner mini-action figure line), 2) competitions, and 3) movie reviews.
Below, we take a look at some of the key Star Wars content in last century’s 2000AD comics.
Star Wars Action Figure Advertisements
Palitoy advertised directly to kid’s via 2000AD comics, including some mail-in items like the famous Boba Fett offer that was available before The Empire Strikes Back hit cinemas. They presented figures and playsets in exciting ways, albeit often with corny dialogue. The fun and memorable aspect of these advertisements was that the illustrations were of the toys themselves, not the movie characters, complete with their simplified styling (particularly noticeable on characters like R2-D2). Contributing artists included 2000AD regulars like Judge Dredd artist Brian Bolland – his work on the full page comic strip-style advert for the Creature Cantina, Droid Factory and Land of the Jawas playsets was one of my favourites of the time.
These advertisements were predominantly presented as line art or monochrome renditions, but for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, we did see pages that incorporated a splash of colour. As well as the Boba Fett offer, which required a proof of purchase and 3 name plates to be cut from action figure backing cards, there were also mail-in offers to get a Dengar action figure, and Emperor Palpatine figure, or The Empire Strikes Back display stands with backdrops.
There were only a few competitions with Star Wars prizes in issues of 2000AD, but some of those prizes were very worth while indeed, including access to see filming of The Empire Strikes Back at Elstree Studios! Other competition prizes included large-sized action figures, sets of mini-action figures, and electronic/computer games.
Each of the 3 Original Trilogy movies got a 2-page review with accompanying pictures in a 2000AD comics. The printing process for comics at the time did not allow for high-quality rendering of photos, but in that bygone era, we were appreciative of any details or images from the Star Wars movies.
The film reviews were, of course, overwhelmingly positive.
You can join the discussion on this topic in the SWNZ Message Boards.
Gallery – Star Wars in 2000AD comics
The gallery below presents Star Wars content in issues of 2000AD in chronological order, and includes the respective comic cover.