Chinese Star Wars Comic (Part 1 of 6)7 min read

This is part of one of a six part post in which I plan to translate a 142 page Chinese comic book adaptation of Star Wars originally published in Guangdong, China, in the 1980s. Thanks to Maggie Greene for giving me the go ahead to re-post her scans, and Brendan O’Kane for bringing this to my attention.


Star Wars 星球大戰


Star Wars 星球大戰

Based on the original American science fiction movie

Adapted by Zhou Jinzhuo 周金灼

Illustrations by Song Feideng 宋飛等

Popular Science Press, Guangzhou Branch 科學普及出版社廣



This lianhuanhua is an adaptation of the American sci-fi blockbuster Star Wars. According to the story, there is Empire in a certain galaxy which cruelly oppresses all of the planets in the galaxy and therefore builds a “Death Star” to put down rebels. Princess Leia (Laia Gongzhu 來阿公主) from the planet Alderaan (Aoerdelan 奧爾德蘭), who leads the rebel resistance, falls into the hands of the enemy and is imprisoned on the “Death Star.” With the help of the Jedi knight Kenobi (Kainuobi 凱諾比) and two robots the young Luke “Skywalker” (Feitianzhe Luke 飛天者盧克) braves difficulty and danger to save Princess Leia and finally attacks and destroys the “Death Star” in a space battle.

1. In a certain vast galaxy, the entirety of which was ruled by the Galactic Republic (Yinhe Gongheguo 銀河共和國) in the past, but now this Republic has been destroyed and is now ruled by a Galactic Empire (Yinhe Diguo 銀河帝國). Not only does the Galactic Empire use despotic violence to oppress all of the planets in their galaxy, but they also are trying to rule the entire universe.

2.However, the fight against the Empire’s rule has has never ceased. In order to put down the rebels, the Empire’s ruler, Tarkin (Tajin 塔金), puts his supporter “The Dark-Robed Lord” Vader (Heiyi Xunjue Weide 黑衣勛爵維德) in command of a transuniversal carrier ship to seek out and suppress rebellion on every planet.

3. On this day, the trans-universal carrier discovers a rebel spacecraft on its way to a desert planet named Tatooine (Tatuyien 塔圖伊恩). Vader immediately orders [his crew] to follow and attack, [and so they] shoot a high-energy ray to ambush the spacecraft.


4.In order to dodge the ray, the spacecraft bobs and weaves, but its solar panel is still hit in the end, sending glittering shards of metal and plastic blasting out into space and leaving the spacecraft shaking.


5. It looks like [Leia] won’t be able to escape from Vader’s clutches. Carrying secret marching orders, rebel leader Princess Leia immediately takes the robot R2 (Atu 阿圖) to a secret storeroom and, after pressing and turning certain parts on R2, faces him with urgent agitation and begins to speak.

6. A little while later, R2 walks out of the secret storeroom and finds another robot, C-3PO (Silipi’ao 思里皮奧). R2 can only speak electronic language (dianziyuyan 電子語言), but C-3PO looks like a person and can speak human languages.

7.The spacecraft is ambushed again, and the two robots are shot into a long, narrow corridor by the enormous vibrations, leaving them battered and bruised. They listen carefully, only to discover that the spacecraft has stopped moving. The carrier has drawn aside the spacecraft, and the soldiers from both sides are already facing off.

8. Unexpectedly, armor-clad Imperial soldiers jump through a hole in the ceiling one after another. Just as the first regains his balance, he is shot in the head with a brilliant ray by a rebel causing his armor, bones and flesh explode in every direction.

9. The air in the corridor is filled with smoke and criss-crossing high-energy beams. Blood and flesh fly all about. The two robots hurriedly huddle to one side.

10. The rebels are hopelessly outnumbered and the survivors are taken captive. At this time, the two-meter-tall commander of the Imperial forces, Vader, appears wearing a black cape and a metal mask. His armor is already black enough, but its not nearly as black as his heart. At the sight of him, the rebels begin to shake uncontrollably, and the Imperial troops don’t dare to make sound, either.

11. Vader wants a rebel officer to tell him who is the commanding officer on the ship, and where the secret information tapes are kept, but the rebel officer doesn’t pay him any heed. In the end Vader uses a metal-clad hand to strangle him to death.

12. The Imperial troops search the vessel thoroughly but they can’t find the information tapes. After putting up a strong resistance, Princess Leia is finally captured. When Princess Leia is brought before Vader she doesn’t show any fear, and instead spits contemptuously in his direction.

13.An Imperial officer advises that they take care of her immediately, but Vader says, “No, she is my one and only only key to finding the Rebel base. I’m prepared to make full use of her, even if it means killing her in the process. Escort her onto the carrier!”

14. In the heat of the battle, R2 and C-3PO run this way and that, eventually sneaking into an escape pod. R2 presses a sequence of buttons [on the control panel] in front of the pilot’s seat and after a thunderous crash the escape pod carries them away from the wrecked spacecraft.

15. On the carrier, as soon as an officer discovers what has happened he immediately asks the the captain whether or not he should open fire. The captain glances at the scanner locked onto the escape pod. The screen is blank, indicating that there aren’t any lifeforms on the escape pod. Because the captain believes it would be a waste of ammunition [to destroy it] the pod escapes unscathed.

16. The escape pod lands safely on the desert planet. R2 and C-3PO climb out of the escape pod. A vast expanse of wasteland appears before their eyes: a series of towering and lofty sandstone peaks; wave after wave of sand dunes in endless succession stretching out into the horizon as far as the eye can see.

17.R2 and C-3PO split up and one heads into the mountains while the other heads into the dunes in search of civilization. Unfortunately they are both discovered by the Jawas (Jiawa 賈瓦) who look like people, but aren’t. Thinking they are abandoned trash, the Jawas put the robots into an enormous sand crawler (shadi pache 沙地爬車).

18. Afterwards, the Jawas sell R2 and C-3PO to Uncle Owen (Ouwen Dashu 歐文大叔). Owen needs robots to operate his condensers, so that the moisture in the air can be converted to water to irrigate his crops.

19. Owen tells his nephew, Luke “Skywalker,” to wash the two robots clean. Luke takes them into a storeroom buried deep beneath the desert.

20. “You guys clean yourselves up, and recharge your batteries, and don’t get into any trouble, you hear?” After Luke finishes talking to the two robots he walks toward a two-seated land-repelling kind of spacecraft parked in the hanger and prepares to repair the already damaged port-side wing.

21. But several hours pass, and Luke can’t make any progress. Lately he’s had a lot on his mind: his close friend has already joined the Rebels in their fight against the Empire, but Uncle Owen won’t let [Luke] leave the farm. “It’s just not fair!” Luke throws his wrench on the worktable, and walks in the direction of the storeroom.

22. C-3PO and R2 have already cleaned themselves up to be bright and shiny [again]. But Luke discovers that R2 has a small bump on his head from a collision, and begins to work away at [the protrusion] while saying, “The are a lot of charred spots around here. Seems like you guys have had a quite an experience.”

23. C-3PO agrees, saying, “You can say that again, Sir. Because of the Rebellion, and other reasons.” Luke’s eyes flash brightly. “You’re familiar with the Rebellion against the Empire?” C-3PO answers evasively, saying, “We were just observers, we had nothing to do with the Rebels!”

24. Luke is a little disappointed, and he goes back to scraping away at R2. After prying loose a shard of metal that was stuck in a circuit though, R2 miraculously begins projecting a 3D image of a graceful and beautiful young woman from the front [of his chassis].


Nick Stember
Nick Stember is a translator and historian of Chinese comics and science fiction, currently working on his PhD in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. In 2016 he completed his Master of Arts in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia with his (very readable and not at all obscure) thesis on the formation of the Shanghai Manhua Society in the mid-1920s.